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Multiple Views of System Specifications: Connecting a Distributed Project

May 2012 Presentation
Robert Schwanke (Siemens Corporate Research)

A presentation from the Architecture and Collaboration 1 track at SATURN 2012, May 7-11, 2012, St Petersburg, FL.


Software Engineering Institute



This talk is based on a project that used a system-specifications model to facilitate communication among its marketing, system architecture, and development groups. The project was distributed across two large and three small development sites on both sides of the Atlantic. Although these sites had collaborated before, there were substantial differences in their requirements-related practices and in their national and corporate cultures.

I used a rigorous, hierarchical specification model to elicit details and corrections from subject-matter experts in all three groups. As the model accumulated marketing, architectural, and implementation information, it became too large for any one stakeholder to review. Instead, we classified each specification according to which stakeholder groups were interested in it. The rigorous hierarchy of the model was invaluable for organizing, reorganizing, and classifying the specifications and continues to make it easy to maintain.

This talk will present the modeling tool (Enterprise Architect), the modeling method, the viewpoints, examples drawn from the project, and other hints and lessons learned.