|Authors||H. C. Benestad|
|Title||Assessing the Reliability of Developers' Classification of Change Tasks: a Field Experiment|
|Afilliation||Software Engineering, Software Engineering|
|Publication Type||Technical reports|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Publisher||Simula Research Laboratory|
Many software projects routinely record information about change type as part of their change management process. Such information can be used to make priorities, to clarify responsibilities, and to monitor and act on trends during software evolution. The objective of this field experiment was to empirically assess the reliability of developers' classifications according to two alternative classification schemes, in the context of a commercial software project. The project members perform classifications of already completed changes according to the dimensions of maintenance by Swanson and according to quality factors included in the ISO9126 standard. The results show that in this project, the inter-rater agreement was low by normal standards, for both the investigated schemes. The conclusion is that projects should take explicit actions to improve and evaluate the reliability of such classification before they are used as input to management decisions.