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Making the Case For a 'Manufacturing Execution System' For Software Development

By Martin Naedele, Rick Kazman, Yuanfang Cai

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 57 No. 12, Pages 33-36

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Today's software development process is supported by many tools such as integrated development environments, configuration management systems, issue tracking databases, requirements management systems, estimation tools, time accounting applications, as well as enterprise resource planning systems for human resources and finance data. What is missing is information integration with the goal of enabling software development management to make informed decisions that cut across the stovepipes of different tools and stakeholder concerns. Without such information integration, today's software managers are doubtlessly making suboptimal decisions about productivity, quality, and resource allocation.

Our vision is inspired by the model of a manufacturing execution system (MES)6 (see Figure 2), which is used in manufacturing industries.1,5 The success of MES systems relies upon integrating data from various aspects of the manufacturing process.


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