The effects of the business model on object-oriented software development productivity

T. E. Potok, M. A. Vouk
1997 IBM Systems Journal  
Unless the business model that governs software production adjusts to new technology, such as object-oriented software development, it is unlikely that an investment in this new technology will result in real productivity benefits. Commercial development always takes place in the context of a business model, and in that context an understanding of how business constraints influence commercial software development is imperative. As software markets become more competitive and business pressures
more » ... horten software development cycles, improved software development productivity continues to be a major concern in the software industry. Many believe that new software technology, such as objectoriented development, provides a breakthrough solution to this problem. Unfortunately, there is little quantitative evidence for this belief. In this paper we explore the relationship between the business model under which software is being developed, and the productivity that a software development methodology can achieve in a commercial environment. We first examine empirical data from several commercial products developed using object oriented methods. The results indicate that object-oriented development may not perform any better than "procedural" development in environments which lack incentives for early completion of intermediate project tasks. We then model and simulate the impact of the software task completion incentives and deadlines on the productivity that might be expected from a technology with high-performance potential, such as object-orientation. We show how and why some common business practices might lower project productivity and project completion probability. We also discuss to what extent poor software process control and (im)maturity of the technology compounds the problem. production, and academic computing environments. He is the author, or co-author, of over 100 publications. He is currently a Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. His research and development interests include: software process and risk management, software testing and reliability, scientific problem-solving workflows, advanced high-performance networking, coding theory, and computer-based education. He teaches courses on software engineering, software testing and reliability, software process and risk management, and communication networks. Dr. Vouk is the chairman of the IFIP Working Group 2.5 on Numerical Software. He is also a senior member of IEEE, and a member of Reliability Society, Communications Society, IEEE Computer Societies, IEEE TC on Software Engineering, ACM, ASQC, and Sigma Xi. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Reliability.
doi:10.1147/sj.361.0140 fatcat:hduneioiobczpiu7ltmbsymvdu