Kristina Marner and Stefan Wagner from the Empirical Software Engineering domain worked with Guenther Ruhe from the University of Calgary, Canada, on an analysis of release planning patterns employed at Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG. The article has been published as open access in the journal Computers.
Context: Today’s vehicle development is focusing more and more on handling the vast amount of software and hardware inside the vehicle. The resulting planning and development of the software especially confronts original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with major challenges that have to be mastered. This makes effective and efficient release planning that provides the development scope in the required quality even more important. In addition, the OEMs have to deal with boundary conditions given by the OEM itself and the standards as well as legislation the software and hardware have to conform to. Release planning is a key activity for successfully developing vehicles. Objective: The aim of this work is to introduce release planning patterns to simplify the release planning of software and hardware installed in a vehicle. Method: We followed a pattern identification process that was conducted at Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG. Results: We introduce eight release planning patterns, which both address the fixed boundary conditions and structure the actual planning content of a release plan. The patterns address an automotive context and have been developed from a hardware and software point of view based on two examples from the case company. Conclusions: The presented patterns address recurring problems in an automotive context and are based on real life examples. The gathered knowledge can be used for further application in practice and related domains.