As a branch of engineering cybernetics, automatic control theory has been extensively applied to improve products, increase productivity and rationalize management. This paper adapts the principles of automatic control theory to the field of software process improvement. In particular, the work described uses control theory to define a requirement engineering (RE) process control system, its dynamic and steady-state performance, and the steps in designing, analyzing and improving such a system. The work has highlighted the need for process activities relating to measuring elements, including those in feedback compensation and organizational support. The results of this research can be used to guide the establishment and improvement of RE processes, compare different requirement process solutions quantitatively, develop methods for evaluating benefits from process improvements, and structure the application of knowledge about RE.
This paper's contribution is the novel application of classical control theory to software process improvement (SPI). The paper builds on Sawyer and Sommerville's earlier work on requirements engineering process improvement (the requirements engineering good practice guide - REGPG) and Xu's background in control engineering. The paper was an invited contribution for a special issue of the Journal of Systems and Software selected and adapted from a paper at the 2nd Int. Workshop on Software Cybernetics. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Computer Science and Informatics