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Capturing Cost Avoidance through Reuse: Systematic Literature Review and Industrial Evaluation

Conference paper
Authors Mohsin Irshad
Richard Torkar
Kai Petersen
Wasif Afzal
Published in Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering
ISBN 978-1-4503-3691-8
Publication year 2016
Published at
Language en
Keywords Cost Avoidance, Cost Savings, Software Reuse
Subject categories Software Engineering


Background: Cost avoidance through reuse shows the benefits gained by the software organisations when reusing an artefact. Cost avoidance captures benefits that are not captured by cost savings e.g. spending that would have increased in the absence of the cost avoidance activity. This type of benefit can be combined with quality aspects of the product e.g. costs avoided because of defect prevention. Cost avoidance is a key driver for software reuse. Objectives: The main objectives of this study are: (1) To assess the status of capturing cost avoidance through reuse in the academia; (2) Based on the first objective, propose improvements in capturing of reuse cost avoidance, integrate these into an instrument, and evaluate the instrument in the software industry. Method: The study starts with a systematic literature review (SLR) on capturing of cost avoidance through reuse. Later, a solution is proposed and evaluated in the industry to address the shortcomings identified during the systematic literature review. Results: The results of a systematic literature review describe three previous studies on reuse cost avoidance and show that no solution, to capture reuse cost avoidance, was validated in industry. Afterwards, an instrument and a data collection form are proposed that can be used to capture the cost avoided by reusing any type of reuse artefact. The instrument and data collection form (describing guidelines) were demonstrated to a focus group, as part of static evaluation. Based on the feedback, the instrument was updated and evaluated in industry at 6 development sites, in 3 different countries, covering 24 projects in total. Conclusion: The proposed solution performed well in industrial evaluation. With this solution, practitioners were able to do calculations for reuse costs avoidance and use the results as decision support for identifying potential artefacts to reuse.

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