Affiliated Organization

University of Groningen, Netherlands


Despite the exponential increase in the demand for software and the increase in our dependence on software, many software manufacturers behave in an unpredictable manner. In such an unpredictable software manufacturer organization, it is difficult to determine the optimal release time. An economic model is presented supporting the evaluation and comparison of different release or market entry alternatives. This model requires information with respect to achieved reliability and maintainability. Existing literature reveals many models to estimate reliability and limited models to estimate maintainability. The practicality of most available models is however criticized. A series of case studies confirmed that software manufacturers struggle with determining the reliability and maintainability of their products prior to releasing them. This leads to a combination of non-analytical methods to decide when a software product is good enough for release: intuition prevails where sharing convincing information is required. Next research steps are put forward to investigate ways increasing the economic reasoning about the optimal release time.