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Semat moving forward – step 2

Dear Signatories, Supporters and Friends of Semat,

This is the second email on the way ahead for Semat:

1.    The Troika is delighted to announce that the Semat community will continue to implement the Grand Vision (formulated in the call for action) and that the work on implementing the first year vision (formulated in the vision statement) will move to OMG.  The Troika’s task is done and the Troika as leaders of Semat will retire (however, see point 4 in the following).

2.    OMG is beginning work now to adopt a standard based on the Semat first-year vision.  Anyone may participate in the standardization process, which we expect to begin formally in December, 2010.

3.    The Semat community that we have built will continue to implement the Grand Vision that we three proposed a year ago.  It will flourish, contributing joint development, theoretical work, experimentation and research not only to the OMG standardization process but to the community at large.  We expect that current Semat community members — and potentially others — will respond to the OMG Request for Proposals which is coming shortly.

4.    The SEMAT Community will be managed by an Executive Committee, members yet to be determined and with advice only (NOT oversight) by an Advisory Board, members initially being Bertrand, Ivar, Richard, corporate and academic signatories and a few outstanding individuals).

– o –

As already announced Semat has taken a first step in achieving its goals.  Its work on implementing its first year vision has matured and is being turned into an RFP of OMG.  The key idea of our first year vision can be summarized in one sentence: all existing methods can be described as compositions of practices, described on a lightweight kernel consisting of essential elements and a small language.  The idea has been supported by our signatories, most importantly by our ‘customers’, that is our corporate and academic signatories. This is a great step on our way to reach our grand vision.

However, Semat will continue.  It will as, we said in our previous email to you: “also respond to the longer-term aspects of the call for action.  It will provide the platform for addressing other aspects of software engineering such as a) integration with other efforts such as SME, SPEM, OPF, EPF, UP, SWEBOK and CMMI, b) creating a sound theoretical basis for the work, c) experimentally evaluating and validating the practices, d) developing a library of (potentially competing) practices, etc.”

Moving forward we hope to be able to engage our signatories and our supporters more actively. This will be the role of the self-organizing community itself. However, some work comes from the work done thus far:

1.                            Requirements.  Semat started to work on the overall requirements of Semat lead by Martin Naedele, ABB.  These requirements go beyond the first year vision. Requirements from research, education, industry, developer, methodologists, etc.

2.                            Definitions. Definitions related to engineering and software engineering will focus on what is common ground. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so we will rely on previous standards when fit for purpose.

3.                            Theory.  Semat will deal with different kinds of theories and research related to methods, practices, languages, etc., both human as well as technical.

4.                            Methods and Practices. Many supporters are interested in getting access to certified practices designed to be extended.  Semat has already started to describe some practices (scrum and iterative development).  Work on a prioritized list of practices has been started.  The list includes not just traditional development practices (from requirements to test, architecture, test), but also practices from other areas such as team building, business, user experience, metrics and measurement, personal improvement, instrumentation, etc.  Around each such practice area we envision that a self-organized group will be created.  Such a group may also include researchers, closing the gap between academics and industry.

5.                            Assessment.  Much of the work on assessment is generic and not specific for the vision implementation.  Semat can potentially assess different proposals coming out from OMG.  It could also assess the practices being developed within Semat.

In the next couple of weeks work on the implementation of the first year vision will be moved to OMG.  In the same period we will engage to set up the Semat community.

We look forward working with all of you.

Best regards
— The Troika

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