An empirical study of maintenance issues within process improvement programmes in the software industry
Anecdotal evidence from our work with software developers suggests that maintenance is a significant problem for software development companies. A problem that is absorbing increasing amounts of precious development effort. In parallel, software companies are increasingly applying process improvement principles to development problems. In this paper we discuss how maintenance is addressed in process improvement programmes. We look at how well maintenance is addressed by formal process models like CMM. We also present empirical evidence from our study of process improvement in UK software companies. Our main findings are that although developers report that maintenance is indeed a problem, it is not always their most important problem. Furthermore, our findings also suggest that companies are often not well prepared for the maintenance phase of developments and that formal process improvement models do not pay enough attention to maintenance.