Inverted Functional Matrix - a New Approach to Project Intensive Software Engineering Courses

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The inverted functional matrix provides a new approach to organizing and managing projects in software engineering courses. The model simulates real-world software development and provides meaningful and varied experiences for students. Individual teams are functional units, responsible for different life cycle phases. The Inverted Functional Matrix is so named because the students are distributed to successive functional teams of a single project rather than, as in a traditional functional matrix, working on a single functional team which is then distributed across multiple projects. The entire class is organized to work on a single project, and all students serve on either multiple teams, in multiple life cycle phases, or on an entire life cycle support team. Details of the project organization, team structure, management and assessment issues, and benefits of this approach are discussed.