Measurement for the management of software maintenance
This thesis addresses the problem of bringing maintenance, in a commercial environment, under management control, and also increasing the profile of maintenance in a corporate picture, bringing it onto a par with other components of the business. This management control will help reduce costs and also the time scales inherent in maintenance activity. This objective is achieved by showing how the measurement of the products and processes involved in maintenance activity, at a team level, increases the visibility of the tasks being tackled. This increase in visibility provides the ability to impose control on the products and processes and provides the basis for prediction and estimation of future states of a project and the future requirements of the team. This is the foundation of good management. Measurement also provides an increase in visibility for higher management of the company, forming a basis for communication within the corporate strategy, allowing maintenance to be seen as it is, and furnished with the resources it requires. A method for the introduction of a measurement strategy, and collection system, is presented, supported by the examination of a database of maintenance information collected by a British Telecom research team, during a commercial software maintenance exercise. A prototype system for the collection of software change information is also presented, demonstrating the application of the method, along with the results of its development and the implications for both software maintenance management and the technical tasks of implementing change.