Monday, October 20, 2008

Planning to Fail?

Current Project Management and System Architecture Specification Activities Causing Delays in Software Engineering and System Integration

A recently released study from VDC Research reveals that failures in system architecture design and specification may, in many cases, be the underlying causes of failures in software engineering and system integration.

VDC’s survey of embedded engineers (based on a mix of various project types including hardware, software, and system designs) suggests that system integration, along with firmware and application development/test, are typically key areas of delay among late projects. Meanwhile, project management/planning and system architecture design and specification are most commonly cited as significant contributors to project delay.
A closer investigation of this data reveals that among those projects experiencing delays in firmware design, 48% reported system architecture design and specification as a cause of project delay, and among those projects experiencing delays in application/middleware engineering, 47% reported system architecture design and specification as a cause of project delay. With software engineers, hardware engineers, and system architects on average reporting that they spend approximately a quarter to a third of their time on firmware engineering tasks, these findings suggest that failures in system architecture design and specification could be having significant impact on time-to-market.

VDC believes that the growing sophistication of software requirements is likely to play an increasingly greater role in driving the advancement of the system-level engineering management and architectural decision-making practices. “The realization that efficient design and test of advanced hardware and systems can no longer be accomplished without common approaches and greater development visibility across the system engineering process is impacting the vendor community,” says Matt Volckmann, Program Manager with VDC Research’s Embedded Software Practice. “VDC expects market participants to place increasing focus and effort on enabling effective software development/test throughout the system engineering process as a result of the expanding importance of software across all types of
embedded system engineering disciplines.”

VDC explores these and other critical issues within the embedded systems market within the recently released report, Volume 2: Virtual System Prototyping/Simulation Tools for Software Development and Verification, from Track 2 of VDC’s 2008 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service. In addition to an analysis of the supplier market opportunity, this report also includes in-depth analysis of findings from VDC’s 2008 Embedded System Engineering Survey providing key statistics on engineering demographics, trends, and project characteristics.

To Access the PDF version of this press release, click here.