REVIEW - The OPEN Process Framework - An Introduction


The OPEN Process Framework

An Introduction


Donald G. Firesmith, Brian Henderson-Sellers



Pearson Education (2002)




Matt Pape


February 2005



This book provides an introduction to the OPEN Process Framework (OPF), which is a framework for defining software development processes. It differs from the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and Extreme Programming (XP) by being less prescriptive in the activities to be performed and their sequencing. This allows for greater tailoring of the process but consequently increased effort for the engineer charged with defining the process.

The book begins by providing a fairly standard definition and justifications for software processes that can be found in many books on software development.

It quickly becomes apparent that the authors are deeply involved in the development of the OPF and this comes across by their strong sales pitch for the OPF within the introduction.

The majority of the book describes the process components (e.g. development activities, roles and products) and this is generally well covered although there is some duplication with the appendices that provide definitions for the components.

The Appendices comprise half the book and much of this information can be found online and felt like padding in an introductory book.

The final chapter, on usage guidelines, is frustratingly short (at just 10 out of the 300 pages) and provides insufficient explanation or examples for defining a process based on the OPF.

Overall, the book provides a good introduction to the OPF (mostly in 30 pages in the second chapter) and should be of interest if you are involved in the task of process definition.

However the book disappoints by failing to provide sufficient implementation guidelines or clear direction of how to proceed if you wish to adopt the OPF.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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