Enchantment Meeting Speaker: David Hartley & Dr. Paul Clements - Patterns for Success in the Adoption and Execution of Feature-Based Product Line Engineering

Ann Hodges
[email protected]

Dr. Paul Clements is Vice President of Customer Success with BigLever Software, a leading product line engineering company.  His job is to help organizations gain the maximum benefits available from PLE, in real-world settings.  Previously he was a senior member of the technical staff at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, where he worked from 1994 through 2011 leading or co-leading projects in product line engineering and software architecture documentation and analysis.  While there, he co-wrote the SEI's first product line case study, was co-creator of the SEI Framework for Product Line Practice, was an author of the book Software Product Lines: Practices and Patterns, and helped to create the SIMPLE modeling language for product line economics.  In addition to his work in product line engineering, Clements is the co-author of seven editions of three practitioner-oriented books about software architecture, as well as approximately one hundred papers on architecture and product line engineering. He received a B.S. in mathematical sciences in 1977, and a M.S. in computer science in 1980, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He received a Ph.D. in computer sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994.   

David Hartley is a Senior Advanced Software Engineer and Product Owner for the General Dynamics Missions Systems Product Line Engineering Center of Excellence. He started his career at FedEx where he held many roles such as Software Engineer, Technical Advisor and Enterprise Application Architect. In addition to working at FedEx, David spent some time doing consulting work for companies such as Citibank and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. David has been at GD Missions Systems for over 3 years working on the Pando Project, which is a corporate initiative to promote and implement Product Line Engineering (PLE). As the product owner for the PLE Center of Excellence (CoE), David leads an agile team whose mission is to maintain and execute the governance and processes necessary to execute PLE across GDMS. The CoE prepares PLE-ready product teams who understand PLE principles, use PLE tools, establish governance, become self-sufficient and assist others to adopt PLE. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.


Systems and Software Product Line Engineering (PLE) is a general approach to engineer a portfolio of related products in an efficient manner, taking advantage of the products’ similarities while respecting and managing their differences.  The approach manages a product portfolio as a single entity, as opposed to a multitude of separate products.  Numerous resources describe the organizational benefits associated with incorporating PLE techniques and tools.  Feature-based System and Software Product Line Engineering is a specific form of PLE that is powered by commercial off-the-shelf automation, fully defined processes, and a formal language of variation based on features.  Many case studies show the efficacy of Feature-based PLE and the improvements in cost, schedule, and quality that can come with it.  This talk summarizes a paper from INCOSE’s 2020 International Symposium, in which practitioners from four of world’s six largest defense companies highlight their experience with the practices that enable and inhibit success with this powerful engineering discipline.


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