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Asset Management in Software Engineering: What is it after all?
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1729-5154
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3995-6125
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1350-7030
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0619-6027
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2021 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When developing and maintaining software-intensive products or services, we often depend on various "assets", denoting the inherent value to selected artefacts when carrying out development and maintenance activities. When exploring various areas in Software Engineering, such as Technical Debt and our work with industry partners, we soon realised that many terms and concepts are frequently intermixed and used inconsistently. Despite the central role of assets to software engineering, management, and evolution, little thoughts are yet invested into what assets eventually are. A clear terminology of "assets" and related concepts, such as "value" or "value degradation", just to name two, are crucial for setting up effective software engineering practices.

As a starting point for our own work, we had to define the terminology and concepts, and extend the reasoning around the concepts. In this position paper, we critically reflect upon the resulting notion of Assets in Software Engineering. We explore various types of assets, their main characteristics, such as providing inherent value. We discuss various types of value degradation and the possible implications of this on the planning, realisation, and evolution of software-intensive products and services over time. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021.
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-21267OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-21267DiVA, id: diva2:1538411
Part of project
SERT- Software Engineering ReThought, Knowledge Foundation
Note

Published with title: Assets in Software Engineering: What are they after all? in Journal of System and Software

Available from: 2021-03-19 Created: 2021-03-19 Last updated: 2022-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards Understanding Assets in Software Engineering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Understanding Assets in Software Engineering
2021 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of software products is a massive undertaking, and organisations have to manage all artefacts involved in the process. Managing such artefacts that, in many cases, become crucial assets is important for success. Recognising assets and letting them (unintentionally) degrade can result in maintainability problems. Thus, there is a need to create a structured and organised body of knowledge that can guide practitioners and researchers to deal with the assets during the product/service life-cycle. This includes, but is not limited to, what steps are needed to understand the assets’ degradation, investigating and examining the existing methods and metrics on how to estimate degradation and understanding the implication of assets’ value and degradation.

This licentiate’s main objective is contributing to the software engineering field by providing a different perspective on assets focusing on assets’ value for the organisation. We have used literature reviews, focus groups, case study, and sample study to address this objective. The collected data is from peer-reviewed work, collaboration with five company partners, and 31 OSS from Apache Foundation.

First, we have defined the concept and terminology in a position paper. We havecreated an asset management taxonomy based on a literature review and focus groups– fours focus groups conducted in 2019 with 29 participants. The extracted assets represent not only the stages of software development, from requirements to verificationand validation, but also operational and organisational perspectives. The taxonomy wascreated to be extendable as the field evolves and matures.

Then, we have performed a more in-depth investigation of selected asset types. As a part of studying assets, in a case study, we present the impact of bug-fixing,refactorings, and new development to investigate how source code degrades. In anothersample study, we examine the longevity of specific source-code related issues in 31OSS from Apache Foundation using statistical analysis.

The work done in this licentiate includes: defining the asset concept and relatedterminology, identifying assets and creating a taxonomy of assets, presenting the preliminary investigation of tools and methods to understand source-code and architecturerelated asset degradation.

We conclude that a good understanding of the relevant assets for the inception,planning, development, evolution, and maintenance of software-intensive products andservices is necessary to study their value degradation. Our work builds on currentmethods and details the underlying concepts attempting to homogenise definitions andbring the areas of assets and degradation together. A natural progression of our workis to investigate the measurements to evaluate the degradation of assets. This licentiate thesis starts investigating the value degradation of source-code related assets. We planto continue investigating the degradation of architecture in our future work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2021. p. 136
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 3
Keywords
Assets in Software Engineering, Asset Management, Asset Degradation
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-21270 (URN)978-91-7295-418-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2021-04-27, Zoom, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-03-19 Created: 2021-03-19 Last updated: 2021-04-28Bibliographically approved

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Zabardast, EhsanFrattini, JulianGonzalez-Huerta, JavierMendez, DanielGorschek, Tony

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