T-0.7050 (2009) Research Plan
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  • 1. T-0.7050: Introduction to Post-Graduate Studies in Computer Science Research Plan 2.2.2009 Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen Software Business and Engineering Institute Helsinki University of Technology t07050@soberit.hut.fi
  • 2. Cornerstones of the Post-graduate Studies Research topic => research problem Research plan The existing literature related to your research topic Research methods Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 3. Why do you need a research plan? What should a good research plan contain? Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 4. Making a Doctoral Thesis Demands Passion and motivation Perseverance and patience Working systematically and independently Research Plan can be used for clarifying your research topic and problem following up your own progress getting feedback from your supervisor and instructor getting funding Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 5. Contents of a good research plan Introduction (background) Motivation why your research topic/problem is important Based on the existing literature Based on key references Research problem and questions Research methods Preliminary/key results Publication plan & schedule Funding Graduate schools: SoSE, HeCSE, GEBSI Academy of Finland References Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 6. From research topic to research problem and questions: An example Research topic Requirements engineering Research problem (high-level research question) How can organisations improve their requirements engineering (RE) practices? Research questions • What do organisations need to know to be able to improve their RE practices? • What should organisations do to be able to improve their RE practices? • How can organisations monitor the impact of the RE improvement actions? Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 7. What are characteristics of a good research question? Relevant Not too broad Easy to understand - simple and not too long Clear (unambiguous) All the concepts used in the question are carefully considered. All the key concepts are defined in the thesis. It is possible to find an answer. Try to imagine in advance what answers could be Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 8. Analysis of the research questions Question Possible answer What do organisations need to know • Status of existing practices to be able to improve their RE • Organisational needs practices? • Existing RE technologies What should organisations do to be able to improve their RE practices? • Improvement plan How can organisations monitor the impact of the improvement actions? • Set of appropriate metrics Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 9. Analysis of the research questions Question Possible answer What do organisations need to know • Status of existing practices to be able to improve their RE • Organisational needs practices? • Existing RE technologies What should organisations do to be able to improve their RE practices? • Improvement plan How can organisations monitor the impact of the improvement actions? • Set of appropriate metrics Relevant, but too broad Too ambiguous Relevant, but too difficult Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 10. From research topic to research problem and questions: An example Research topic Improvement of requirements engineering (RE) processes Research problem (high-level research question) How can organisations introduce RE into product development? Research questions • How does the REGPG* help organizations in RE process improvement? • Which practices support systematic user requirements definition? • What are the potential success factors that support the introduction of RE into product development? • Which challenges do organizations face when they introduce RE into product development? * Requirements Engineering Good Practice Guide (Sommerville & Sawyers, 1997) Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 11. Research Plan: Hints Research problem and questions are the most fundamental part of the research plan. Update the research plan at least once a year Keep the research plan short (4-6 pages) Try to present it as many times as possible Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 12. Research Plan: Hints Research plan Introduction Research problem and questions Research methods Your research plan Preliminary/key results forms an excellent basis Publication plan & schedule for your doctoral thesis. Funding References Dissertation Introduction Related work (Literature review) Research problem and questions Research approach and methods Results Discussion Conclusions References Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen
  • 13. What is the status of your research plan? How can you improve it?
  • 14. References Sommerville and Sawyer (1997) Requirements Engineering: Good Practice Guide, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Marjo Kauppinen & Marko Nieminen