The society’s dependency on software systems is steadily increasing. The dependency on correctly working software will soon be found everywhere. Banking systems, airport systems, train control systems, landing systems, automatic teller machines and industrial process control systems are but examples of the systems we are critically dependent on. All these systems are termed business-critical systems and constitute a great challenge to the society at large. In order to meet this challenge, better technologies and work processes need to be put in place for software projects. Most methods and techniques that can handle such problems efficiently are found within traditional systems safety analysis. These methods have, however, largely been ignored in the general software community in Norway. In addition, sound empirical (i.e. scientific) studies of software processes and technologies are not routinely performed. That is, we have scant validated data on the effect of software technologies in actual software projects. Without this, no systematic improvement or learning can be achieved.
The project will systematically study key software technologies for the development of business-critical software “in vivo”, with the purpose of improving these technologies and/or their usage. The project will also provide effective and modified methods, with guidelines for performing realistic studies, both in industry and at universities, and for refining and packaging the collected data in experience bases to achieve organizational learning. We will study traditional IT/telecom companies as well as dot.com companies and companies working in the financial sector to obtain a representative coverage.