J. Bräuer, R. Plösch: Improving Object-Oriented Design Quality: A Portfolio- and Measurement-Based Approach, IWSM MENSURA Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, October 24-26, 2017, doi:10.1145/3143434.3143454.


Current software development trends have shortened release cycles and forced developers to implement short-term solutions that cannot cope with increasing product complexity. This phenomenon of introducing hasty design choices or applying bad design practices becomes something known as technical debt, in particular design debt. To pay o this debt, the literature oers approaches for identifying these design aws; however, few methods for properly prioritizing investment eorts are available. In this paper, we propose an approach that supports the decision-making process regarding design improvements. It identies violations of design best practices that are then arranged within a two-dimensional portfolio matrix. This matrix combines the importance of practices of design quality with actual achievement relative to a benchmark suite. To show the application of the approach in a quality-improvement process, we performed a feasibility study on three open-source projects and a benchmark suite containing 50 projects. This study clearly shows that the importance of the design best practices greatly impacts the improvement decisions and must be aligned with the strategic quality goals of the product.

The preprint can be found here.