Vol.5 No.1 2012

Research paper : Construction of a traceability matrix for high quality project management (A. Sakaedani et al.)−2−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.5 No.1 (2012) work progresses when the person in charge finishes one task and hands the object over to the next worker, for example, in the case of an automobile factory where the object is assembled in steps. However, in a software development project, the main subject of transfer is information, which is different from objects in terms of transfer cost characteristics. The information transfer cost is defined as the total expense required to transfer information in a form that can be used by the information seeker (receiver).[9] To control the information transfer cost, the difficulty of transferring implicit knowledge, the difficulty of transfer due to different capabilities between the receiver and sender of information, and the difficulty of transferring high-volume information must be considered (Table 1).It is difficult to maintain the accuracy and details of the information without the worker checking the original information transferred by the previous worker. Unlike objects, it is difficult to conduct information transfer by clearly segmenting the process as in object transfer, and there is the characteristic that the same process must be repeated several times to transfer information. 2.2 Necessity of shifting from process-centric to information-centric project managementIn a software development project, the main work is the transfer of information rather than a physical object. To improve the production efficiency of an information-centric software development project, mere process-centric improvement is limited to pursuing a smooth workflow according to a set procedure. The issues that arise from the information transfer characteristics (the difficulty of transferring implicit knowledge, the difficulty of transfer due to different capabilities between the receiver and sender of information, and the difficulty of transferring high-volume information must be considered) will not be solved by a process-centric approach. Accordingly, a change from process- to information-centric is necessary 2.3 Characteristics of information: equivocality and information stickinessThe information transfer cost will be reconsidered from an information-centric perspective. Focus will be placed on the following two concepts pertaining to information. The relationships between the information transfer cost and the two concepts will be explained.Information stickiness: the difficulty of information transfer[9]Equivocality: the characteristic where the information may be given diverse meaningsInformation stickiness is a term that describes the difficulty of transferring information from the sender to the receiver due to stickiness, a characteristic of information. Stickiness indicates that the element and its information are indivisible, and the information transfer cost arises due to this stickiness. There are three decisive factors of stickiness as shown in Table 1. When the sender and receiver of the information have a 1:1 relationship, the information transfer cost is governed by the information stickiness that arises from the three factors. For example, many companies work on formalizing implicit knowledge; this is done because the information stickiness of implicit knowledge is high and the information transfer cost, or the cost needed to teach the know-how of a worker to another within the company, is very high. It may be necessary to exchange the information several times to extract or to learn the information. It may be impossible, to begin with, to transfer information to other workers. As a result, it may become a barrier in raising the basic capacity of the company as a whole. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the information transfer cost by reducing the number of information exchanges by formalizing the worker’s knowledge (or making it visible).On the other hand, information stickiness is insufficient to explain the information transfer cost in a 1:n relationship Fig. 1 Research aimsTable 1. Difference in the transfer cost of information and object↑↑Understand the structure using the presence of interdependency of elements that compose the project and other elementsUnderstand the status of elements using the difficulty of elements that constitute the project as the indexUnderstand the status using complexity of the project as indexUnderstand and evaluate the individual elements of the projectGet overview and evaluate the whole projectTo realize high quality project managementSolve the upper-tier issues by “seeing both the forest and the trees”Solve the upper-tier issues from the viewpoint of project architectureTransfer cost increases as volume increases (even if the volume is high, it takes only one session to complete the transfer activity).Transfer cost increases because more information exchange becomes necessary as complexity and information volume increase.Amount to be transferredNot dependent on sender/receiver attributes (transfer is completed when it is handed over from the sender to receiver).Information transfer cost varies according to the capabilities of the sender and receiver.Attributes of the sender and receiverTransfer cost does not depend on the characteristics of the object itself (instead, the cost depends on transfer conditions such as rate and volume).Large transfer cost isnecessary due to implicitness of information (such as know-how).Characteristic of transfer subjectObjectInformationDetermining factor of transfer cost


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