One of the most common questions asked about adopting Model-Based Design is “What sort of resources do I need to succeed?” Since it is a common question I have a ready answer, there are three things that you need.
- Support from management: Managerial support for initial projects can be at the local level, however, for full adoption across a company VP level support is required.
- A correctly scoped project: As written in early blogs identifying the correct initial project is critical for success.
- Engineering resources: The engineer resources represent who will be doing the work on the project. This is the subject of the current blog.
In the initial stage, my recommendation is that you have at least 3 engineers with
- 5+ years with the company
(Preferably one with at least 10)
- 80% of their time dedicated to the project
- Exposure to multiple stages of the software development process
Why these recommendations? First with respect to experience; there are two aspects here. You need someone who understands the complexity of the existing project, past problems, and past successes so they can accurately judge the MBD processes. Second, people with experience know who to talk to when there are issues that are outside of their scope.
The next aspect is the percentage of “on-project” allocation. Adopting any new process requires dedicated time to study, learn, try, fail and adapt. If resources are split between multiple projects the time required to digest the new information will be lost.
The reason for multi-stage exposure should be self-evident, the engineers need to understand how their suggested changes to the development process affect people across the organization, not just in their local domain. At a minimum, these experienced engineers should know when to pull in outside resources for consultation.
Final thoughts: Why 3?
The rationale behind having a minimum team of three engineers is to provide diverse viewpoints on the decisions required as part of the adoption process. Following these recommendations greatly increases the probability of initial projects succeeding.