CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

An Effective Software Development Methodology for Quality Software Development in a Scheduling Department

Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Michael A. Moody

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Abstract

The research described in this document represents work performed in the area of software development methodologies as it applied to quality software development in a scheduling department. It addressed traditional methods in software development, current trends in software development, in addition to quality and software development at various companies. The literature suggested a correlation between using a software development methodology and quality software. However, there was limited literature that measured quantitatively the correlation between the effectiveness of the software development methodology and quality software.

A software development methodology was developed for the scheduling department of a government contractor company in Aiken, South Carolina based on its needs and emerging technologies. An instrument was utilized to measure the effectiveness of the developed methodology. The methodology was compared with two other methodologies: a standard methodology from the literature and the current method of software development in the scheduling department. A population of computer professionals was divided into three equal groups. Each group was asked to apply the methodology to the case study. Individuals in each group were asked to review the case study and software development methodology. Then using the instrument, the individuals were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the software development methodology, thereby providing a means for evaluated effectiveness, without conducting years of testing. The responses of the three groups were compared to one another.

The results indicated a significantly higher level of approval for those methodologies that guided the development activities, standardized the development process, and identified the development phases and deliverables. It was concluded that utilizing a software development methodology that guides, standardizes, and defines the development phases and deliverables will result in an improved software development process and software quality. Further investigation could validate the findings of this research. The results actually achieved from utilizing the methodology developed for the scheduling department compared with the results achieved from utilizing some other methodology could further validate these research findings. Additional research could examine, over an extended time period, the success of the software development process and software quality of those projects utilizing the methodology described in this dissertation.

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