Guiding Engineers through Software Engineering Process Deviations (ProGuide)
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Software processes together with software Quality Assurance (QA) focus on ensuring and attesting that the engineering processes result in the appropriate software quality. Yet, there exists a tension between the need to follow regulations and the process on the one hand, and the need to be able to deviate on the other hand. The problem is then how to provide automated process guidance to engineers in the presence of violated process and quality constraints. This is non-trivial as a process deviation typically affects not only a single engineer but has impact on other engineers as well. Without awareness of process deviation and its impact on others, a deviation (such as an unfulfilled QA constraint) may go unnoticed or not be completely corrected. The constraint violation then may propagate to subsequent process steps and their engineering artifacts, ultimately leading to costly rework at a later time or lower software quality. We argue that guidance needs to come in two forms. First, supporting engineers in determining which activities are needed to return to a consistent process state, and second, identifying what are the affected process steps and their responsible engineers.