Optimizing the Software Life Cycle

Software Quality Professional vol. 5 issue 4 - September 2003

Abstract: [This abstract is based on the author's abstract.]

Optimizing software development is a difficult task because of the variation between developers and projects. The main obstacle is a lack of accurate and complete data on the development process. Use of the Personal Software Process (PSP) provides a usable data set to analyze. A case study is presented here which describes the analysis that the author performed on his own personal data that were captured over the course of seven years on 17 industrial projects. The analysis utilized design of experiments (DOE), regression modeling, and the Six Sigma technique of define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC). The results revealed that the code review phase is a value-added task that can increase the developer's productivity and also that the author could increase personal productivity by 20 percent without affecting product quality. The techniques employed here can easily be applied to a project team to identify optimization at the team level.

Keywords: DMAIC - Design of experiments (DOE) - Life cycle - Optimization - Case study - Regression - Six Sigma - Software quality assurance (SQA) - Product development

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