Legal Risk Management Process in Software Projects: An Action Research Study



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Create DateJanuary 23, 2018
Last UpdatedJanuary 23, 2018

For the software industry, legal risk management is a growing concern. In some cases it can be a serious threat to the commercial and financial success of software systems. Software engineers cannot find guidance on legal assurance, as it is not covered in the software best practice frameworks and international standards. Project Management standards, such as the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), the Maturity models (MM) such as the CMMI and ISO/IEC 15504 and the international standards such as ISO/IEC 12207 do not currently offer explicit guidance for software engineers on the topic of legal assurance. This paper proposes extensions to the current international standards life-cycle processes and maturity models to add legal management processes targeted to provide guidance for the management of the legal risks associated with systems and software. A case study using these extensions is also presented. Our findings indicate that a formalized legal management process is a suitable way for helping companies in mitigating, diminishing or avoiding legal risks in software development projects.


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I am full professor of Software Engineering at the University of Québec in Montréal, in its Software Engineering faculty. I have more than 30 years of Helthcare, Finance/Banking and Telecommunications IT industry experience, especially in Cloud Computing, Big Data, software acquisition, contracts, software quality assurance and business process management. I am more comfortable with open source, practical applications and technology transfer to industry.
Currently I concentrate on research projects. In the past I was the recipient of the ISO award for higher education in standardization in 2011, as well as the chair of the Software Engineering gratuate program and of the Software Engineering departement. I also published Software Engineering Books: Software Maintenance Improvement and Software Quality Assurance.