Chapter XIII

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Knowledge at Work in

Software Development:

A Cognitive Approach for

Sharing Knowledge and

Creating Decision Support

for Life-Cycle Selection

Luca Iandoli

University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Giuseppe Zollo

University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Abstract

Knowledge management practices in software development and engineering have

been focused mainly on knowledge sharing and maintenance whereas less attention

has been devoted to knowledge elicitation and codification issues. In this chapter we

present a methodology based on causal mapping for the investigation and management

of knowledge created and elaborated by software development teams in the production

of new software applications. The chapter focuses on the early stages of the process

when development teams have to make a choice regarding the software life cycle model

that best fits, given constraints concerning ambiguity of the requirements, risks, costs

evaluation and scheduling. A step-by-step application of the proposed methodology

to a case study in a software company is presented to provide the reader with examples

drawn from the field analysis and illustrates critical methodological aspects.

Implications for knowledge management in software project development are then

outlined and discussed.