The 3-Tiered Product Line Engineering Methodology

First generation software product line development methods tended to be large and complex, making adoption difficult in practice. Through direct involvement in successful real-world deployments, including three Software Product Line Hall of Fame inductees, BigLever Software has identified a simpler pattern of product line engineering methodology, referred to as the 3-Tiered Product Line Engineering Methodology™.

BigLever's pragmatic new generation methodology is useful for understanding systems and software product line engineering (PLE) and justifying why this technology should be part of every product line portfolio development organization. Its practical tiered approach is instrumental in allowing companies to remove barriers and successfully transition to and operate product line practices.

The 3-Tiered Methodology comprises the following three tiers of capabilities and benefits, where each tier builds upon and is enabled by the previous tier (click image below to enlarge):

Base Tier (1):
Feature-based Variation Management and Automated Production

Tools, integrations and infrastructure for engineering product line features, product feature profiles, product line hierarchy, feature-based variation points in assets, and automated feature-based configuration of product line assets into products and deliverables.3-Tiered Software Product Line Methodology

Middle Tier (2):
Feature-based Asset Engineering

Processes and organizational structures for engineering the full lifecycle of product line assets – from requirements to architecture, design, implementation and test – on multiple delivery streams in a production line.

Top Tier (3):
Feature-based Portfolio Management

Business-wide management of a product line portfolio by the features offered and the profile of features allocated to each product.

For more information, see BigLever's white paper The Pragmatic 3-Tiered Software Product Line Methodology.