ICSE 2014: Evidence-based decision making in software project management

Evidence-based decision making in software project management. Paper at Software Engineering in Practice (SEIP) track at ICSE 2014, Hyderabad.

Preprint of paper here:  pdf doc

Many professions evolve from their origins as a creative craft
process to a more product-centered industrial process. Software
development is on such an evolutionary trajectory. A major step
in this evolution is the progression from ad hoc to more rigorous
evidence-based decision-making in software development project
management. This paper extends theory and practice in relation to
lean software development using such an evidence-based
approach. Based on a comprehensive dataset of software
development metrics, gathered in a longitudinal case study over a
22-month period, the Erlang-C model is used to analyze different
software development parameters and to guide management
decision-making in relation to development resources. The
analysis reveals how ‘gut-feel’ and intuition can be replaced by
evidence-based decision-making, and reveals how incorrect
assumptions can underpin decisions which as a consequence do
not achieve the desired outcome.