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Unification of Project Management Data for Large-Scale Systems across Organizations

Tokyo, Oct 22, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Nanzan University, IBM Japan Ltd., Fujitsu Limited, NEC Corporation, NTT DATA Corporation, Hitachi, Ltd., and Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. today announced that PROMCODE(1) has released its first publication, the PROMCODE Interface Specifications, for exchanging project-management data between organizations. The specifications are available on the group's website (http://lab.nise.org/PROMCODE/) along with the PROMCODE Usage Manual and PROMCODE Adapter Software for exchanging data in actual projects based on the specifications, as well as the PROMCODE Experiment Report. These tools will enable customers and vendors to manage project-management data via a standard interface across organizations, lowering the risk of project delays and cost overruns.

PROMCODE was formed so that large-scale system-integration and software-development projects involving a customer and multiple vendors would have efficient time and progress management and quality control between the organizations involved. This is made possible by a data-interchange interface for project-management data that would be independent of any organization or platform.

The first publication from this consortium, the PROMCODE Interface Specifications, compiles knowledge from the member organizations that are involved in multi-organizational, multi-layered, large-scale systems integration and software development projects in Japan. The PROMCODE Interface Specifications was designed based on management data used in actual development projects, and is being validated through practical experiments. The consortium plans to use it on actual projects in the future, with the aim of giving the customer and vendors participating in large-scale systems integration or software development projects a high degree of flexibility and independence, with the aim of transforming Japan's information industry.

Offshore development has brought the challenges of distributed development conducted by multiple organizations to a global level. This is why the consortium is preparing to form a technical committee in OASIS(2) with the eventual goal of having its work recognized as an international standard.

About the PROMCODE Interface Specifications, PROMCODE Usage Manual, PROMCODE Adapter Software, and PROMCODE Experiment Report

The PROMCODE Interface Specifications define a standard interface to allow different organizations to exchange project-management data. It was designed based on direct experience with on-site project management, and is compatible with Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK(3)).

The PROMCODE Interface Specifications consist of the PROMCODE Domain Model Specifications, which standardizes the model for project-management data being exchanged between organizations, and the PROMCODE Resource-Definition Specifications, which define the resources that perform data interchange between the various management tools used by each organization, via that data model.

The PROMCODE Usage Manual consists of the PROMCODE Service Development Guide, which is a guide for developing data-interchange software based on the PROMCODE Interface Specifications, and the PROMCODE Usage Guide, which establishes principles for using it in practice.

PROMCODE Adapter Software is a reference implementation of software for exchanging data between organizations based on the PROMCODE Interface Specifications. This conforms to OSLC(4), which aims to be a standard specification for data-interchange interfaces between software tools, and is published as open-source software from the Eclipse Lyo(5) website.

The PROMCODE Experiment Report is a report from each of the companies on results based on experiments of the interface's usefulness with real project management data.

List of Published Work Products
1.Report on products of activities
2.PROMCODE Interface Specifications
1.PROMCODE Domain Model Specifications
2.PROMCODE Resource-Definition Specifications

3.PROMCODE Usage Manual
1.PROMCODE Service Development Guide
2.PROMCODE Usage Guide

4.PROMCODE Adapter Software
5.PROMCODE Experiment Report

Group Milestones

May 21, 2012: Formation of group.
May-October 2012: Wrote a series of PROMCODE interface specifications based on project-management cases and knowledge held by each of the member organizations.
November 2012: Presented results at international conference on project management.
From November 2012: Developed adapter software; conducted practical testing at member organizations, made ongoing improvements.
September 2013: Presented results at major conference in Japan on software development technology.

Benefits of the Group's Work

1.Accurately track a project's status through timely data sharing

With projects growing in scale and becoming geographically distributed because of outsourcing, tracking their progress becomes increasingly difficult, which can lead to delays and cost overruns. The products of the PROMCODE consortium will make it possible for customers and a vendor - or multiple vendors - exchange project management data between their organizations in a timely manner, and to accurately track projects.

2.Eliminating manual work

In the past, for one organization to exchange its project management data with another required that the data be converted manually. Data collection and conversion are time consuming and are susceptible to errors. The products of the PROMCODE consortium automate the collection and conversion process, thereby enabling the prevention of errors.

3.Usefulness confirmed through experiments

The member organizations of the PROMCODE consortium have conducted experiments to confirm the usefulness of their work products with various usage scenarios. One project, for example, used a variety of different management tools and forms, but this new technology made it relatively simple to compile an aggregate-total form in a consistent manner.

4.An open specification based on international standards

The terminology used in the PROMCODE Interface Specifications has been made compatible with PMBOK. Additionally, the Resource Definition Specifications within it complies with the OSLC specifications. OSLC created an OSLC member section for standardizing its works in OASIS, the international standards body for information-systems technology.

5.Adapter extends availability beyond IT specialists

The PROMCODE consortium is providing software to convert project management data from the widely used ExcelR format to the format set by the PROMCODE Interface Specifications. In addition, because the conversion rules are defined in Excel as well, they can be used without highly specialized knowledge.

6.Open-source adapter software is available to everyone

A reference implementation for data-conversion software has been published as open source on Eclipse Lyo for everyone to use.

Proposal to Establish an OASIS Technical Committee for Recognition as an International Standard

To encourage widespread international adoption of the PROMCODE Interface Specifications, the PROMCODE consortium intends to set up a technical committee in OASIS, and to establish PROMCODE as an open standard. This technical committee is expected to be instituted under the OSLC member section, which is the technical committee working on OSLC standardization within OASIS.

Comments

Steve Speicher, OSLC Core Working Group Lead, W3C Linked Data Platform Editor, Eclipse Lyo Project Co-Lead

"It is great to continue to see the expansion and impact of OSLC - geographically, into new industry sectors, domain areas and open source efforts driven by the PROMCODE consortium. The OSLC community will benefit greatly from the experience of these industry experts involved with PROMCODE and how it can both shape and drive furthering the standardization work at OASIS."

Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop

"In an effort to scale software delivery, organizations around the world are struggling with figuring out how manage a growing number of software suppliers. The PROMCODE group brings invaluable experience from Japanese firms managing software supply chains that contain a hundred separate organizations, and I am personally very excited by PROMCODE contributing their knowledge and ideas to the lifecycle standards discussions that are taking place in the OSLC forum on OASIS."

About NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company's experience and global resources, NEC's advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society. For more information, visit NEC at http://www.nec.com.



Source: NEC Corporation

Contact:
Seiichiro Toda  
NEC Corporation  
s-toda@cj.jp.nec.com
+81-3-3798-6511 


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