Understanding and Predicting the Process of Software Maintenance Releases

by

V. Basili, L. Briand, S. Condon, Y.-M. Kim, W. L. Melo, and J. Valett

To appear in the Proc. of the 18th Int'l Conf. on Software Engineering, Berlin, Germany, 1996. IEEE Press.

Also available as a Technical Report, University of Maryland, Department of Computer Science, College Park, MD, 20742-001. July 1995. CS-TR-3502. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-95-79).

Abstract:

One of the major concerns of any maintenance organization is to understand and estimate the cost of maintenance releases of software systems. Planning the next release so as to maximize the increase in functionality and the improvement in quality are vital to successful maintenance management. The objective of this paper is to present the results of a case study in which an incremental approach was used to better understand the effort distribution of releases and build a predictive effort model for software maintenance releases. This study was conducted in the Flight Dynamics Division (FDD) of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). This paper presents three main results: 1) a predictive effort model developed for the FDD's software maintenance release process, 2) measurement- based lessons learned about the maintenance process in the FDD, 3) a set of lessons learned about the establishment of a measurement-based software maintenance improvement program. In addition, this study provides insights and guidelines for obtaining similar results in other maintenance organizations.

Key words: software maintenance, measurement, experience factory, case studies, quality improvement and goal/question/metric paradigms.


Copyright 1996 IEEE. Published in the Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE-18), March 25-29, 1996, Berlin, Germnay. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works, must be obtained from the IEEE.

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