European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 173, No. 3, pp. 1047-1066, 2006
29 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2008 Last revised: 23 Nov 2008
We present a model to determine the optimal point for maintaining a software application. We also address the question: given that a maintenance project has been initiated, should maintenance effort continue till the project is completed? Most previous literature has implicitly assumed that it is optimal to complete a maintenance project once it has been initiated. We analyze two policies: a work-based policy and a time-based policy. In the work-based policy, a fixed amount of work needs to be completed, and the time taken to accomplish the work is random. In the time-based policy, a fixed amount of time is allocated to maintenance, but a random amount of work is completed. We examine similarities and differences between the above two policies and provide insights into the management of software maintenance projects. A key insight of this study is that under a variety of situations, partial maintenance is suboptimal.
Keywords: Software maintenance, Dynamic programming, Threshold policy, optimal timing
JEL Classification: C61, M10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Feng, Qi and Mookerjee, Vijay and Sethi, Suresh, Optimal Policies for the Sizing and Timing of Software Maintenance Projects. European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 173, No. 3, pp. 1047-1066, 2006; McCombs Research Paper Series No. IROM-11-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1095520