Managing Software Evolution Life Cycle: A Demand Perspective

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2012

Publication Title

Communications of the ICISA


Software evolution planning is a major challenge that information systems managers are facing in many organizations. This challenge stems from two basic root causes: competing demands (development, user support, repair, improvement, etc.) for the same limited resources, and the uncertainty associated with these demands. Software evolution has a series of distinctive stages, each with different activities, staff needs, processes, and business consequences. Information Systems managers need reliable tools that enable them to deal with the uncertainty in different stages and thus proactively plan evolution to better respond to user requests. This study provides a software evolution life cycle (SELC) model and a quantitative decision method to help managers identify software evolution stages. The decision method includes ways to characterize the distributions of different types of maintenance requests, monitor their changes, and determine the shifting of regimes on which the managers base their planning decisions. This study reviews three cases to validate the SELC model and decision method that determines the four stages of software evolution life cycle.