Model for Quantitative Estimation of Functionality Influence on the Final Value of a Software Product

Authors: Gregor Molan, Gregor Dolinar, Jovan Bojkovski, Radu Prodan, Andrea Borghesi, Martin Molan

Journal: IEEE Access

Purpose: The gap between software development requirements and the available resources of software developers continues to widen. This requires changes in the development and organization of software development.

Objectives: Presented is a model introducing a quantitative software development management methodology that estimates the relative importance and risk of functionality retention or abundance, which determines the final value of the software product.

Method: The final value of the software product is interpreted as a function of the requirements and functionalities, represented as a computational graph (called a software product graph). The software product graph allows the relative importance of functionalities to be estimated by calculating the corresponding partial derivatives of the value function. The risk of not implementing the functionality is estimated by reducing the final value of a product.

Validation: This model has been applied to two EU projects: CareHD and vINCI. In vINCI, the functionalities with the most significant added value to the application were developed based on the implemented model and those that brought the least value were abandoned. Optimization was not implemented in the CareHD project and proceeded as initially designed. Consequently, only 71% of the CareHD’s potential value has been realized.

Conclusions: Presented model enables rational management and organization of software product development with real-time quantitative evaluation of functionalities impacts, assessment of the risks of omitting them without a significant impact. A quantitative evaluation of the impacts and risks of retention or abundance is possible based on the proposed algorithm, which is the core of the model. This model is a tool for rational organization and development of software products.