Defining Productivity in Software Engineering

May 8, 2019

Successful software systems are subject to perpetual change as they need to be continuously improved and adapted to continuously changing requirements. Software evolution is the term used in software engineering to refer to this process of developing software initially, then repeatedly updating it. It is an essential goal to minimize the cost and to maximize the benefits of software evolution. In addition to financial savings, for many organizations, the time needed to implement software changes largely determines their ability to adapt their business processes to changing market situations and to implement innovative products and services. With the present yet increasing dependency on large scale software systems, the ability to develop and change existing software in a timely and economical manner is essential for numerous enterprises and organizations in most domains. We commonly call this *productivity* which across disciplines and domains refers to the ratio between output and input. The input side - the cost spent - is relatively easy to measure in software development. The challenge lies in finding a reasonable way to define output as it involves software quantity and quality.

  • Stefan Wagner
  • Florian Deissenboeck

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