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Using Influence Diagrams to aid the Management of Software Change

Colin J. Burgess, Ilesh Dattani, Gordon Hughes, John H. R. May , Using Influence Diagrams to aid the Management of Software Change. Requirements Engineering, 6 (4). ISSN 0947-3602, pp. 175–182. December 2001. No electronic version available.


In a large software management programme, the number of software changes and enhancements requested for inclusion in the next software release often far exceeds the implementation resources available. Thus, during the preceding months before the final decision is made on which changes to include, there needs to be a way of incorporating all the different factors that influence these possible changes into a coherent set of information to enable good decisions to be made. This paper describes the use of influence diagrams to implement a risk model to formalise the combining of these different factors to aid the decision process. This model not only reflects the likelihood of all the necessary criteria for a requested change to be viable being met, but also considers the financial or other benefits to the organisation that would result from the change being included in the next software release.

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