Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > UML

Quality Process Architecture for UML-Based Projects

Learn what constitutes a quality process for software architecture, and how such a process helps to enhance quality in a UML-based project.
This chapter is from the book

The change from craftsmanship to industrialization does not come with the change to a
new technique. The change must come on a more fundamental level which also includes
the organization of the complete development process.
—Jacobson [1992]

Putting This Chapter in Perspective

The previous chapter focused on creating the right environment, and eliciting management support for necessary quality-assurance activities and tasks. A crucial aspect of that quality environment is a quality process. In this chapter we discuss what constitutes such a process, and how it helps to enhance quality in a UML-based project. This chapter does not propose a new process, but discusses the most commonly used activities and tasks that should be present in all processes. These activities and tasks and their related roles and deliverables are described with the aim of improving the discipline in a process, resulting in the enhanced quality of UML-based deliverables and, eventually, the software product.

This chapter starts by mapping the three dimensions of a process (the what, how, and who as mentioned in Chapter 1) to the corresponding examples in UML-based projects. Unlike the UML metamodel, though, we do not yet have an officially standardized process metamodel. Therefore, to simplify our process discussion, we develop the mapping of the three dimensions of a process into an unofficial metamodel for processes. Various process-components are then derived from this metamodel. In identifying and describing the process-components, we consider the most basic or core elements of a process. Furthermore, we consider in greater detail the methodological or "how to" aspect of the process-components (their activities and tasks). Relevant deliverables ("what") and roles ("who") are also mentioned in the process-components. This is followed by descriptions of the necessity and sufficiency aspects of quality of the process-components. Malleability is part of process enactment and therefore not discussed separately for each process-component. Thus, this chapter deals with the construction of a process. Once a quality-conscious process is created, it is ready for deployment and enactment—topics dealt with in Chapter 4.

The Prime Reader: Process Engineer, Quality Manager

3.1 The Process Backbone

In Sections 1.4.2 and 1.4.3, we considered the three dimensions of a process and discussed a simple baking example to demonstrate them. Here, we begin the discussion of a process by extending that example further, in order to put it in a process metamodel. This will help us immensely as we construct the quality software process-components later in the chapter. We will also use that understanding to facilitate the creation of a process metamodel.

3.1.1 The Three Dimensions of a Process

The first dimension of a process develops an understanding of the materials on which the actions are performed, as well as the tools that help to perform those actions. This forms the technological dimension of a process. In the example of baking a cake, the activities related to this technological dimension are the evaluation of the dish, the ingredients, and the equipment. This constitutes the "what" of a process.

The second dimension of a process is the step-by-step guide to "how" a particular process is conducted. The discipline of conducting a process comprises a sequence of well-defined activities and tasks that are organized in a specific order. This discipline, or method of working, constitutes the methodological dimension of a process. Some activities corresponding to this dimension in the baking example are recipe, cookbook, and timing. This constitutes the "how" of a process.

The third dimension of a process deals with the people who are going to take responsibility for the actions, and carry them out by following the prescribed methodology. An understanding of the dimension of a process that deals with the people who carry out the tasks, and the environment or the organizational context in which those tasks are carried out, results in the sociology of a process—the sociological dimension. In the baking example, the sociological aspect is comprised of the cook, the kitchen environment, and the "soft" issue of cake presentation.

Quality assurance, although a part of the overall process, has a separate set of deliverables, activities, tasks, and roles. Therefore, these elements of the process are separately defined—focusing on the quality management, quality assurance, and quality control suite of activities. These quality-related activities continue to influence the rest of the process. They are also self-influencing in the sense that each quality activity can be used to perform quality assurance on itself. For example, an activity of workshopping in a quality-assurance part of the process can be used to verify the process of conducting workshops in a process. Understanding these three dimensions is crucial to understanding the logic behind the metamodel for a process.

3.1.2 "What" of a Process

The "what" of a process is the technological dimension of the process that answers everything related to the physical things in the process. This primarily includes the raw material with which the process is executed, as well as the deliverables. It is concerned with the technology of the process. Many factors from the technological dimension influence the overall output of a process. These factors include the quality of material that is used, the availability of the material, and the appropriateness of the tools that are used in the process. Thus, everything that deals with the "what" in a process plays a part in influencing its deliverable. Examples of some of these technological factors in a UML-based project are summarized in Table 3.1.

3.1.3 "How" of a Process

The "how" or the methodological aspect of the process deals with the steps you follow to produce the deliverable. It is essentially a glossary of the distilled experiences of numerous project managers. The "how" of a process is instrumental in conserving effort when the process is enacted. Taking the cooking example further, the "how" of the process is the recipe book for the baking process. A description of the activities and tasks using suitable notations and language is essential to expressing the "how" of a process. In the case of UML-based projects, examples of the methodological dimension of the process are as follows:

3.1.4 "Who" of a Process

Simply following a method, as described in a recipe book, does not produce the desired deliverable. Application of the methodology is the purview of the person who is applying it. Success depends on the skills and experience of the person, as well as the environment in which she is working. Thus skills, experience, and environment form the sociological factors, or the "who" of a project. These are also called soft factors, as they deal with the softer or human-relations issues of a process. Refer to Chapter 2 for further discussion of soft (not easily quantifiable) factors.

Skills, one of the factors influencing the final outcome of a process, require regular training—especially when new ways of doing things and new equipment become available on a daily basis. Experience comes from practicing developed skills in a real environment. In addition to the skills and experience, it is also important to consider the motivational factors and their influence on the process. These are some of the sociological factors that continue to influence the final outcome of the project. For a UML-based project, some of these sociological factors are summarized in Table 3.3.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020