Functional Method Engineering

Functional Method Engineering

S. B. Goyal (Manav Rachna College of Engineering, Faridabad (Haryana), India) and Naveen Prakash (Manav Rachna College of Engineering, Faridabad (Haryana), India)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/jismd.2013010104
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Examination of the notion of situation shows that it does not reflect so much the method characteristics as the characteristics of projects/method implementations. By treating methods as functions the authors are able to postulate functional characteristics of methods. By including these in the description of a situation, they are able to describe the functional aspects of a situation. This functional situation can be used for retrieving functionally similar methods. Functional similarity is abstracted out in the notion of functional method. That is, a functional situation gives to the authors a functional method which can correspond to one or more methods. Each method is retrieved and it is then adapted to yield the desired method. Since they rely so heavily on the notion of a function, the authors refer to their approach as functional method engineering. The implications of the approach on CAME tool design are considered and illustrated through a running example.
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Method Engineering, ME is the discipline of developing information systems development methods. Initially, it was thought that a universal method (Saeki & Wenyin, 1994) that was capable of addressing the needs of all information system development projects could be defined. However, this view was rejected (Hoef, Rob, Rolf, & Vincent, 1997; Karlsson & Ågerfalk, 2004). Since project needs vary with projects and projects vary in their characteristics, development of methods may require specific adaptations (Anat & Iris, 2011). Therefore, an engineering technique for this is required. The area of Situational Method Engineering, SME was developed to build methods for specific development situations. Situational Method Engineering, SME, assumes the existence of a method base from which method components could be retrieved and assembled to form the desired method.

The assembly process has been illustrated in Brinkkemper, Saeki, and Harmsen (1998) where state chart and object models have been assembled together to form a new method.

Ralyté, Rébecca, and Rolland (2003) proposed a two-step goal oriented SME process: first, a method engineering, ME, goal is established, second, assembly based method engineering task is carried out by eliciting ME intentions. Prakash, Srivastava, Gupta, and Arora (2007) proposed a three stage SME process: intention matching, architecture matching, and method implementation matching.

The situation of SME can be conceptualized in many ways, as descriptors (Rolland & Prakash, 1996), contingency factors (Slooten & Brinkkemper, 1993; Lemmen & Punter, 1994; Swede & Vliet, 1994; Slooten, 1995), project factors (Harmsen, Brinkkemper, & Han Oei, 1994), situation factors (Harmsen, Lubbers, & Wijers, 1995), context type (Deneckere, Elena, & Bruno, 2010) and project type (Bucher, Klesse, Kurpjuweit, &Winter, 2007; Bucher & Winter, 2008). Table 1 summarizes the proposals made by different authors for the notion of a situation.

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