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Essentials of Software Engineering, 3rd Edition by Barbara Bernal, Orlando Karam, Frank Tsui

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be included in the calculation of the expected payroll system support effort. Many of the
following decision factors will play a role:
n
Number of expected users and customers
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Number and type of known problems that existed at release time
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Projected number of problems that will be discovered by users
n
Amount of user training
n
Amount of support personnel training
n
Number of development personnel committed to support the system
n
Expected number of problem-fix releases and future functional releases
Based on these factors, the number of postrelease people required to support and
maintain the payroll system must be estimated and allocated. Clearly distinct skills will
be needed to support such a complex environment, and it will be necessary to consider
at least two sets of support personnel:
n
A group to answer and handle system usage and simple problem work-arounds
n
A group to fix difficult problems and implement future enhancements
The first group does not have to include any program coding personnel. They must,
however, possess good communication skills as well as payroll system and usage knowl-
edge. The second group often needs to include designers and coders. If there is an
expected long product life for the payroll system, then the support personnel must be
prepared for several releases of functional enhancements. The support personnel in this
group may thus resemble a complete development team. The important concept here
is that large, complex systems such as a payroll system will require a support organiza-
tion that may be comparable in size and complexity to the original development team.
Chapter 12 will cover the postrelease support and maintenance subject in more detail.
2.3 Coordination Efforts
The payroll example demonstrates the need for many of the software engineering activi-
ties. A critical concern for large, complex systems is the upward scaling of the needed
process, of the design structure and contents of the product, and of the required person-
nel. In the opposite direction is the concern of downward scaling of the same parameters
for simpler systems. In this section we will introduce these concerns and discuss the
details of process, product design, and personnel management in later chapters.
2.3.1 Process
We have already discussed the notion of a process. As both applications and systems
software became large and complex in the 1980s and 1990s, the number of serious and
costly problems skyrocketed. Often in the past, more and more hurdles—usually in the
form of more reviews, more inspections, more testing, and more meetings—have been
inserted as a part of the process. Large corporations signed up for expensive quality
assurance and measurement efforts. These efforts were designed to prevent, detect,
and correct problems, thereby improving the quality of software and increasing the
productivity of the software developers. Extensive metric programs were put in place to
2.3 Coordination Efforts
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