A rapid simulation modelling process for novice software process simulation modellers
In recent years, simulation modelling of software processes have has promoted as a tool to understand, study, control, and manage software development processes. Claims have been made that simulation models are useful and effective at gaining insight into software development processes. However, little has been said about the process of developing simulation models for software engineering problems. Simulation modelling is a young discipline in software engineering. Consequently, many number software process simulation modellers are thought to be novices. The simulation modelling process is believed to have had an effect on the quality of a simulation study. Although there is a body of knowledge available in the general simulation literature to guide and educate novices, the software process simulation modelling literature lacks information for novice software process simulation modellers to understand and adopt a simulation modelling process. This thesis aims to develop a simulation modelling process for novice software process simulation modellers. This thesis reports how the development and evaluation of a simulation modelling process for novice software process simulation modellers. The rapid simulation modelling process (RSMP) is based on an empirical study of the contexts and practices of expert simulation modellers in SPSM and Operational Research (OR). The RSMP is intended to be independent of a particular simulation technique (i. e. system dynamics or discrete event simulation) and guides novice software process simulation modellers through a set of steps that should be undertaken during a simulation study; the RSMP emphasises heavy client contact and provides guidelines for model documentation. The RSMP has been evaluated through controlled experiments with novice software process simulation modellers using system dynamics (SD) modelling. In the future, it will be further evaluated with software process simulation modellers using discrete event simulation. The RSMP has also been evaluated with a panel of expert software process simulation modellers. The main contribution of this study lies in providing novice software process simulation modellers with a simulation modelling process, which embodies real world simulation practice and is intended to be independent of a particular simulation technique.