Since 1978, the goal of the Software Cost Reduction (SCR) project has been to demonstrate the effectiveness of certain software engineering techniques for developing complex software. The application is the redevelopment of the operational flight program for the A-7E aircraft. Also since then, the Software Technology Evaluation (STE) project has been monitoring SCR project activity in order to provide an objective evaluation of the SCR methodology. SCR project activity data are collected from SCR personnel on a weekly basis. Over 55000 hours of SCR design, code, test and other activity data have been captured and recorded in a computer data base. Analyses of SCR module design data show that there are parameters that can be used to characterize and predict design progress. One example is the ratio between cumulative design discussing activities and cumulative design creating activities. This ratio is referred to as the Progress Indicator Ratio (PIR) and seems to be an accurate metric for design completeness. This and other results suggest that discussion activity among software engineers may play a major role in the software design process and may be a leading indicator of design activity progress. © 1988.
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