Management Indicators: Assessing Product Reliability and Maintainability

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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

This report discusses the role of Management Indicators in validating the predictive capability of the bottom-up evaluation process, which is defined by the Procedural Approach to the Evaluation of Software Development Methodologies. The bottom-up evaluation process provides a framework for determining the extent to which software engineering objectives, e.g., reliability and maintainability, are present in a software product from a design perspective of the code and supporting documentation. The bottom-up evaluation process is observed to be a predictor of the extent to which the objectives are realized in the post-developed product. Employment of the bottom-up evaluation process to determine the extent to which the objectives are present in the product is accomplished by the utilization of Design Indicators. Management Indicators are proposed as a counterpart to Design Indicators and enable one to measure the extent to which the objectives are realized in a developed product. While Design Indicators focus on design structure characteristics of the product, Management Indicators focus on the acquisitional, behavioral, and maintenance characteristics. To accomplish the validation of the predictive capability, the correlation between the values obtained by utilizing Design Indicators and those obtained by utilizing Management Indicators must be investigated. The author has chosen to study and present the software engineering objectives of reliability and maintainability as they related to a future validation effort.