Value-Based Design Decision Rationale Documentation: Principles and Empirical Feasibility Study

Abstract

The explicit documentation of the rationale of design decisions is a practice generally encouraged, but rarely implemented in industry because of a variety of inhibitors. Methods proposed in the past for design decisions rationale documentation (DDRD) aimed to maximize benefits for the DDRD consumer by imposing on the producer of DDRD the burden to document all the potentially useful information. We propose here a compromise which consists in tailoring DDRD, based on its intended use or purpose. In our view, the adoption of a tailored DDRD, consisting only of the required set of information, would mitigate the effects of DDRD inhibitors. The aim of this paper is twofold: i) to discuss the application of value-based software engineering principles to DDRD, ii) to describe a controlled experiment to empirically analyze the feasibility of the proposed method. Results show that the level of utility related to the same category of DDRD information significantly changes depending on its purpose; such result is novel and it demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed value-based DDRD.

DOI: 10.1109/WICSA.2008.8

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@article{Cantone2008ValueBasedDD, title={Value-Based Design Decision Rationale Documentation: Principles and Empirical Feasibility Study}, author={Giovanni Cantone and Philippe Kruchten}, journal={Seventh Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA 2008)}, year={2008}, pages={189-198} }