How Useful and Understandable is the APPLIES Framework? A Preliminary Evaluation with Software Practitioners
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Although engineering software product lines have proven to be an efficient way to develop similar products with high quality and increased time-to-market, companies must determine if they are willing to do the business and technical changes that this strategy requires. To support decision making, we are proposing APPLIES, a framework for evaluating the motivation and preparation for adopting product lines in an organization. We reviewed drivers, success factors and barriers described in the literature and proposed a comprehensive framework where these aspects can be prioritized and inter-related by diverse stakeholders in a company. Decision makers can use the resulting information to advise or not the implementation of product lines. This paper reports an initial evaluation of our proposal: a quasi-experiment where a group of 14 practitioners discussed motivators and barriers for adopting product lines, applied the framework and answered a set of questions about it. Our results show that reviewing the proposed factors contribute to evaluate if product line engineering could be adopted. However, we noted some problems with the used descriptions and visualizations that we must tackle to improve the framework and prepare further evaluations. This paper presents lessons learned in the process and gives some advice to researchers proposing similar techniques. © 2018 IEEE.