Monday, September 1, 2008

Plan of thesis resreach

This fall I am starting the research on my master thesis.

The topic of the thesis is about how to compare projects with the metrics provided by Hackystat.

In large companies, it is possible to have hundreds of projects at a same time. The abilities to understand and compare this large amount of project is a great challenges and opportunities for both project managers and developers. Managers will want to figure out how those projects are doing as well as how the develop groups are doing. Developers will like to find similar projects or groups for further communication on technique, tools, etc.

Utilizing Hackystat's auto-collected data of software development procedure, we build a Software Project Portfolio Management page on Project Browser. It demonstrates projects using a set of software procedure metrics with both present value and historical chart. These values and charts are colored according to the thresholds and trends. Users are able to quickly scan this portfolio and get fast understand from colors and narrow down their interest to several projects. Then they can have further investigation into those projects.

However, understanding of such a software project portfolio is still far from sufficient. We don't know if all metrics we using are useful, or there may be some interesting metrics we should introduce to the system. How to color the charts and value is also uncertain. So we give the system the capacity to adapt different situation and need. Users can define the value thresholds for each metrics, determine if the higher value means better, and select the color for good, bad and so so values and trends. In the future, users may even define more than 3 color spaces for value and more colors for more different trends.

To study this system, we are planning first evaluate it in classroom. We will:
  • let the students in ICS413 to use this system during their course program development
  • do several survey about their opinion of the system and their preferred customization
  • track down their usage of the system
Hopefully after research with these data, we will acquire deeper understanding of this Hackystat powered Software Project Portfolio Management.

1 comment:

aaron said...

sounds like a fun topic. do you have more information about the project portfolio management page?

good luck!