Operationalization of the quadrant-based validation in case of a designerly software development methodology
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Du Bois, Els; Horvath, Imre
Institution: 1: University of Antwerp, Belgium; 2: Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Systematic validation of design methods is important to advance the professional practice of engineering design. In contrast, we lack structured approaches for validation of design methodologies. In this paper we present the adaptation of an existing validation framework to external validation of a new, composite, designerly software development methodology (DSDM). A major challenge was that a comparative validation approach could not be considered in our single-case study. Literature review was done to find an appropriate reflexive validation method and useful validation criteria. Yet no effective software validation methodologies were found for our context. The validation quadrant approach however lent itself as framework of the sought validation method, which was adjusted, extended and operationalized by introducing series of validating steps. The quadrant-based external validation method (QEVM) combines structural and performance assessment actions in both the theoretical domain and the application domain. Our conclusion is that QEVM is useful in our single-case, reflexive assessments for the validation of the DSDM. Further research should focus on a context-less use of QEVM.