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Accumulation and Presentation of Empirical Evidence: Problems and Challenges

: Ciolkowski, M.; Münch, J.


Workshop on Realising Evidence-Based Software Engineering, REBSE '05. Proceedings
New York: ACM Press, 2005
ISBN: 1-59593-121-X
3 pp. : Lit.
Workshop on Realising Evidence-Based Software Engineering (REBSE) <2005, St. Louis/Mo.>
Journal Article
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software process; software project management; experience management; empirical study; measurement

Understanding the effects of software engineering techniques and processes under varying conditions can be seen as a major prerequisite towards predictable project planning and guaranteeing software quality. Evidence regarding the effects of techniques and processes for specific contexts can be gained by empirical studies. Due to the fact that software development is a human-based and context-oriented activity the effects vary from project environment to project environment. As a consequence, the studies need to be performed in specific environments and the results are typically only valid for these local environments. Potential users of the evidence gained in such studies (e.g., project planners who need to select techniques and processes for a project) are confronted with difficulties such as finding and understanding the relevant results and assessing whether and how they can be applied to their own situation. Thereby, effective transfer and use of empirical findings is hindered. Our thesis is that effective dissemination and exploitation of empirical evidence into industry requires aggregation, integration, and adequate stakeholder-oriented presentation of the results. This position paper sketches major problems and challenges and proposes research issues towards solving the problem.