Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mihai Corbuleac, David Bermingham

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers

Microservices Expo: Book Review

Book Review: The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model

Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software

Processes are not documented and reused by a set of individuals because they lead to failure. Like design patterns, they are documented and reused because they lead to success.

They are all put together by very talented people who have successfully used them to develop software multiple times. For them the process is easy to use and understand. The teams that have not used it have a steep learning curve ahead of them. Just looking at the diagram of a pattern or process, definitely will lead you to failure every time.

I have seen Waterfall, Spiral, RUP, OpenUP, and Scrum all fail multiple times each because project managers, architects, developers, CIOs, and IT managers have only gone as far as looking at the diagram of the process they choose to use. They apply practices and principles they already know to the models instead of the ones that go with the models. The principles and practices that are behind the model must be learned and used in order to succeed.

I assume this is a trick insanity plays on them. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. They thought renaming and reordering what they already do was actually changing.

This book is required reading if you want to understand the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) and it's related diagrams. If you are not going to read the book, please do not attempt to use the diagram. After a very nice introduction it is broken down into five parts including the afterword. I have list each part and the chapters it includes below.

0. Introduction
Part I: The Four ICSM Principles
1. The First Principle: Stakeholder Value-Based Guidance
2. The Second Principle: Incremental Commitment and Accountability
3. The Third Principle: Concurrent Multidiscipline Engineering
4. The Fourth Principle: Evidence- and Risk-Based Decisions

Part II: ICSM Life Cycle and Stage I: Incremental Definition
5. The ICSM Life Cycle
6. Exploration Phase
7. Valuation Phase
8. Foundations Phase

Part III: Stage II: Incremental Development and Evolution
9. Development Phase
10. System Production and Operations

Part IV: Applying ICSM to Your Organization
11. ICSM Patterns and Common Cases
12. ICSM and Your Organization
13. Evidence-Based Life-Cycle Management
14. Cost and Schedule Evidence Development
15. Risk–Opportunity Assessment and Control

Afterword
Appendix A. Evidence Evaluation Framework
Appendix B. Mapping between ICSM and Other Standards
Appendix C. A Value-Based Theory of Systems Engineering

Don't make the mistake of looking at this book and saying "oh, it's that old model again", it's not the 1988 spiral model- A Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement. The 1988 spiral model began the long process leading to the spiral model in this book, the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM).

Developing software correctly is easy. The hard part is having all the skills needed to do that. Since most teams do not possess the skills needed to easily execute a software development process, they usually have a hard time. Even those who gave it their best shot learning the practices and principles behind the 1988 model had a hard time succeeding.

Within a short time the feedback that reached Dr. Boehm lead him to claim "What we really need are process model generators". I agree 100%. Implementing a development process instance for a given project is the only way to correctly use software development processes. Just as important, if not more important, is the ability to understand what is happening with your project and to change the process as needed. Teams seem to have a much harder time with that. Luckily that is what we got with this book.

Software process engineering allows you to account for your team's skills and availability, your businesses needs, the tools you have available, the environment you are working in, the difficulty of the solution, the working environment - team member locations, greenfield vs. brownfield development, and many more things that are usually not taken into consideration at all. Software process engineering not only gives you the instance to work with, it also allows for tailoring the process to meet the needs of the project as circumstances change throughout the project.

People leave, laws changes, hurricanes happen (although that didn't stop us- dumb, dumb, dumb), people get sick, and so on. The point is your process must be as agile and resilient as your software. That means the process must be changeable.

I have sat in a room watching project managers and business users debate for hours about what to do now that they have discovered the next 3 sprints will take 3-4 weeks and not the 2 weeks they had agreed on.

1/2 of them wanted to split functionality (user stories) to meet the 2 week mark and add it back later with 3 more sprints but that would really mean 4 extra sprints because splitting the functionality adds complexity to the programming. Some of them wanted to borrow a few developers, while others just wanted to pretend they didn't know and just start the next 2 weeks after they got done this sprint. No deliverables or tests, just keep going and hope they weren't questioned. All of this is non-transparent nonsense, and is anything but agile.

This book is not a software development process. The author's say "The ICSM is not a single, one-size-fits-all process. It is actually a process generator…". The book did not meet my expectation of what that means to me. In order for it to be a process generator, it would need to reference one or more specific process asset repositories which can be configured into an instance of a process.

That does not detract from the value of the book, because we already have enough process asset repositories. My perception of the content of the book is that it is material that will help you audit, adjust, and manage a software process. That is needed more in today's industry. The rest of the sentence that begins the paragraph above is consistent with my understanding of the book's content- "… that steers your process in different directions, depending on your particular circumstances."

One very cool thing about this book is that the material is available online. The material has been published from Eclipse Process Framework. At least it looks like it to me. There are two sites, The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) and The Instructional Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) Electronic Process Guide. The Instructional Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) Electronic Process Guide is a version of ICSM which is tailored to fit the nature of CSCI577ab Software Engineering Class.

The one thing that drove me kind of nuts while reading this book is the very heavy use of acronyms. They probably drove me crazy because they brought back flashbacks of being in the Army and working for the State of PA.

The thing I liked most about this book is the honesty found in it. An example is found in the first paragraph of the Preface- "Rumor has it, however, that some people would rather deliver an unsuccessful system so that they can continue being paid to make it successful; rumor also doubts those people will read this book." They also present failure stories for each success story, which really helps to keep the book grounded in reality.

All in all I found this book an excellent read. It contains a ton of wisdom gathered over a very long period of time.


The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software

The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...