1 Part 1: Fundamentals of the V-Modell

1.3 Basic Concepts of the V-Modell

1.3.4 Process Modules

The significant contents of the V-Modell are included in process modules which are based on one another. Every process module is a self-contained unit and can be changed or extended individually. A »Process Module covers all parts concerning a particular task which may occur within the scope of a V-Modell project. As shown schematically in Figure 5, a process module encapsulates the »Work Product and »Activity, which are relevant for the fulfillment of this task and thus belong together with regard to a specific topic, e.g., the contents of »Project Management or software development.

»Work Products in the V-Modell are depicted with rounded corners, »Activity in rectangular form.

Figure 5: Process Modules and their Components/Work Products. The results and interim results to be developed are designated as »Work Product. The entirety of all products is structured in a hierarchical manner, by integrating products which belong together into a »Discipline. Additionally, a complex product may be subdivided into several » Topics.


The specific products may depend on one another. A »Product Dependency of this type describes a consistency condition between two or more products. In this connection, there may be a product dependency within a process module or between products of different process modules.

A product can be specified explicitly as »Initial Product or as »External Product . There is no dependency between the designation as initial or external: designating a product as initial does not imply it being external. An initial product is a product which shall always be developed once - and only once - during a V-Modell project, e.g. the »Project Manual or the »Project Plan. Products which are not developed within the scope of the respective V-Modell project but entered as input into the project are designated as external products. However, the structure and the requirements regarding the contents of these external products are specified in the V-Modell.

Activities. Every product developed within the scope of the respective V-Modell project will be completed by exactly one »Activity. The ways for processing the individual products are specified in the »Activity. The activities of a process module are also structured in a hierarchical manner. Activities which are related with regard to their contents and procedural approach and the products prepared are integrated into »Discipline. In addition, activities may be subdivided into work steps. A »Work Step may be compared to a work instruction which has to be executed separately and covers one or several »Topics .

Integration of Roles. In addition to products and activities, a process module also includes the cooperation and responsibilities of roles. A »Role encapsulates a set of tasks and responsibilities. By that role concept, the V-Modell remains independent of organizational circumstances. At the beginning of a V-Modell project, those roles are assigned concrete persons and organizational units. After Tailoring, exactly one responsible role is assigned to each product (»Responsible Person). In addition, several roles may support in the creation of a product (»Contributor).

Thus, a process module specifies "what" shall be done in an actual project, i.e., which products shall be developed and which activities shall be executed. In addition, the process module specifies, "who" or which role will be responsible for a product.