search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

A Study in Software Maintenance

June 1993 Technical Report
Susan A. Dart, Alan M. Christie, Alan W. Brown

This report presents the results of interviews between CASE Environments Project team members and personnel in eight software maintenance projects within an agency of the U.S. government. The purpose of the study was to learn more about the tools, procedures, and techniques project personnel use in their work.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-93-TR-008

Abstract

In an effort to find out more about the tools, procedures, and techniques that project personnel use in their work, the Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) Environments Project interviewed personnel in eight software maintenance projects within an agency of the U.S. government. These interviews highlighted problems that we believe are typical of many software maintenance organizations (i.e., the need for more effective software maintenance tools, lack of communication between individuals working on similar projects, low status of maintenance personnel, and lack of a design-for-maintenance philosophy during the software development phase). This report highlights the findings of these interviews, provides our analysis of the findings, and makes recommendations directed at the agency for improvement in the areas of tools, people, and processes. We believe that what we observed is very typical of the state of the practice in these areas and, as a result, this report and its recommendations are applicable to other large or small software maintenance projects.