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Classifications Schema

Classifications Schema

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Published by John Strohl
A Classification Schema for Software Development Methods provides one of the early documents laying out the approaches to software development circa 1987
A Classification Schema for Software Development Methods provides one of the early documents laying out the approaches to software development circa 1987

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Published by: John Strohl on Mar 06, 2014
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06/19/2014

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There are numerous surveys [Yau 86], classifications ([Hesse 84], [Kelly 87], [McDonald 85]),
and comparisons ([DoD 821, [Bergland 81], [Floyd 86]) of development methods. Many of these
papers propose classification schemes and evaluation criteria for methods. While we agree with
most of the individual points made in these papers, have used them to develop our own classifi-
cation scheme, and will lean heavily on them in developing our evaluation criteria, we feel that
their proposals are not entirely appropriate for reasons such a• those listed below.

"• There was often no clear distinction between classifying methods (describing what
methods do) and evaluating methods (saying how well they do it). We believe this
distinction is essential.

"* We believe that the classification scheme has to be simple (but meaningful), though
the evaluation criteria should be extensive.

"* The classification scheme often contained a cudous mixture of technical, adminis-

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CMU/SEI-87-TR-41

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trative, and economic judgments. We believe that the classification scheme should
be technical, and administrative and economic considerations should be evaluative.

* In some cases, the distinctions were purely descriptive and would be difficult to use
for comparing the capabilities of different methods. For example, describing one
method as "data flow" and another as "data structure" does little to assist in classi-
fying the methods.

'The reports were often selective in the methods chosen (limited to three to five
methods), and hence there was less need to define general classification and evalu-
ation criteria, since each technique could be probed for Its strengths and
weaknesses individually,

* In general, the papers failed to assist the reader in assessing the usefulness of one
method over another.

CMU/SEI-87-TR-41

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CMU/SEI-87-TR-41

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