Affiliated Organization

University of Groningen, Netherlands


A relatively unexplored area in the field of software management is the implementation or release decision, deciding whether or not a software product can be transferred from its development phase to operational use. Many software manufacturers have difficulty in determining the right moment to release their software products. It is a trade-off between an early release, to capture the benefits of an earlier market introduction, and the deferral of product release, to enhance functionality, or improve quality. In this research project software release decisions are researched from three perspectives: economics, decision-making and software management. All perspectives are reviewed, explored indepth, both from a theoretical and from an empirical point of view, by studying practical examples. The results are used in a proposed methodology to improve strategic software release decisions, characterized by the existence of large prospective financial loss outcomes, including the presence of high costs for reversing a decision. Based on validation results in a practicalsetting, it is concluded that this methodology has a descriptive and a judgmental character, and can therefore support understanding, analysing, assessing and improving the capability of software manufacturers in this problematic area.