Conception of Collaborative Project Cockpits with Integrated Interpretation Aids

Documents

Thesis

Background

Managing is an important discipline during software development. Effective management requires transparency, achieved by developing and applying metrics. They provide the basis to monitor and control the different tasks that need to be managed. The different tasks will inevitably lead to different metrics, which need to be visualized in such a way that maximizes their potential. The visualizations of the devised metrics can be grouped together to form a project cockpit. A cockpit needs to be specifically build for a project because the projects widely differ from each other.
On the one hand, these cockpits provide valuable guidance for the project manager. On the other hand, the information extracted out of these cockpits needs to be communicated within the organization. For example, information needs to be reported to higher management or the infor-mation is used to steer activities in the project itself. The communication of these results, howev-er, is often not directly addressed in the cockpit and a tool switch is needed.
The information that is communicated includes the metrics that are visualized in the cockpits together with their meaning. Often the interpretation of these metrics is subjective or unclear. Therefore the visualization of the metrics needs to be enriched with interpretation aids to guide the interpretation of the metrics. Guidance to the multiple possible interpretations of a single metric visualization, as well as assistance for the usage and maintenance of a cockpit help for more effective management. Such kinds of guidance are of especially high importance to persons, who are new to a project, but need to interpret the metrics and/or use a project cockpit.

Assignment

The aim of this master thesis is to investigate the different requirements for project management cockpits. This investigation should especially focus on two points ? the ?collaborative? aspect and the ?interpretation aids? that are described above. The investigation should include interviews of people who want to use the cockpits as well as mining the related work and providing an overview of existing solutions. To validate the requirements, the investigations should lead to an initial hori-zontal prototype of a collaborative project cockpit that includes interpretation aids ? if the investi-gation shows that such a cockpit is indeed as necessary and helpful as expected.