Chicago Software Process Improvement Network
(C-SPIN) Meeting
Thursday, September 6, 2001


Challenges and Best Practices for e-Commerce

Mark C. Paulk   /   Software Engineering Institute


In spite of the shakeout, it is clear that e-Commerce is critically important to industry, to the U.S. government, and to the U.S. Department of Defense. Since the SEI mission is to "provide leadership in advancing the state-of-the-practice of software engineering to improve the quality of systems that depend on software," the SEI is exploring opportunities for advancing the state-of-the-practice in the e-Commerce. Our initial focus is on the problems that e-Commerce companies have encountered, spanning the range from business issues such as venture capital and business plans to technical issues such as privacy and security. An understanding of the problems should lead to insight into best practices for companies engaged in e-Commerce. We are also interested in issues such as how the Internet supports harmonizing processes across organizations, establishing the infrastructure for e-business (including organizational structures), agile processes, virtual SEPGs, and on-line collaborative work (e.g., groupware and on-line peer reviews). One aspect of this investigation is a collaboration with CMU's IT Software Quality Center on a capability development model for e-Commerce (eCDM) that will characterize an organization's e-Commerce capability at the project, business unit, enterprise, and inter-enterprise levels. This presentation provides an overview of the e-Commerce problems identified, best practices, and the eCDM.


Mark has worked at the SEI since 1987, initially working with the Software Capability Evaluation project. He has worked with the Capability Maturity Model project since its inception and was the project leader during the development of Version 1.1 of the Software CMM and was the product manager during the version 2 work. Mark contributed to the initial development of ISO 15504 (aka SPICE - Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination, a suite of international standards for software process assessment currently under development) and remains actively involved with ISO 15504, ISO 15288 (Systems Life Cycle Processes), and ISO 12207 (Software Life Cycle Processes), as well as IEEE software standards activities. Prior to joining the SEI, Mark was a Senior Systems Analyst for System Development Corporation (later Unisys Defense Systems) at the Ballistic Missile Defense Advanced Research Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Mark is currently working on a PhD in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.