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Software Development Productivity of European Space, Military, and Industrial Applications
October 1996 (vol. 22 no. 10)
pp. 706-718

Abstract—The identification, combination, and interaction of the many factors which influence software development productivity makes the measurement, estimation, comparison and tracking of productivity rates very difficult. Through the analysis of a European Space Agency database consisting of 99 software development projects from 37 companies in 8 European countries, this paper seeks to provide significant and useful information about the major factors which influence the productivity of European space, military, and industrial applications, as well as to determine the best metric for measuring the productivity of these projects. Several key findings emerge from the study. The results indicate that some organizations are obtaining significantly higher productivity than others. Some of this variation is due to the differences in the application category and programming language of projects in each company; however, some differences must also be due to the ways in which these companies manage their software development projects. The use of tools and modern programming practices were found to be major controllable factors in productivity improvement. Finally, the lines-of-code productivity metric is shown to be superior to the process productivity metric for projects in our database.

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Index Terms:
Software productivity; software effort estimation; European software projects; space, military, and industrial software projects; empirical study of software projects.
Citation:
Katrina D. Maxwell, Luk Van Wassenhove, Soumitra Dutta, "Software Development Productivity of European Space, Military, and Industrial Applications," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 22, no. 10, pp. 706-718, Oct. 1996, doi:10.1109/32.544349
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