The University of Western Australia
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering

School of Computer Science and Software Engineering

CITS5502 Software Processes


This unit focuses on the underlying principles of software processes, their analysis, measurement and improvement. These principles are examined from both a commercial and research-oriented viewpoint. Understanding these principles enables the selection of an appropriate process methodology for a specific software development environment, measurement of its effectiveness and improvement of the process over time. Topics covered include development life cycles; process modelling and simulation; measuring and assessing process methodologies; meta processes; and methodology verification. Process methodologies examined include the Personal Software Process/Team Software Process, lightweight (agile) processes and open source processes.


Unit coordinator: Arran Stewart
Consultation: 4pm Thursday
Lecturers: Arran Stewart, Terry Woodings

Students must attend the lectures each week and one workshop. See the Schedule page for details.

Type Time Day Location
Lectures 3pm–5pm Tuesday Robert Street L.T. (Building 272, G16, opposite CSSE building)
Workshop 11am–12pm Thursday CSSE Seminar Room 1.24
Workshop (repeat) 12pm–1pm Thursday CSSE Seminar Room 1.24

For class readings and recommended texts, see the Resources page.

Learning Objectives

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. critically evaluate a process and customise it to specific development environments;
  2. employ mechanisms for the measurement and assessment of process effectiveness;
  3. critically assess aspects of software development life cycles and processes
  4. compare and contrast key process methodologies and models; and
  5. improve and optimise processes.


The assessment for CITS5502 consists of three assignments, a research seminar (and an associated report), and a final exam. Note that the final mark may be scaled in line with the Faculty’s Policy on Assessment Practices and Procedures.

Assessment % of final mark Assessment dates
Assignment 1 – software processes 10% Week 4
Assignment 2 – modelling 10% Week 6
Assignment 3 – optimisation 10% Week 9
Research presentation and report (group) 20% Week 13XX
Examination 50% November Examination Period

Further details are available on the Assessment page.