10th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE) (EASE)
Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE)
10 - 11 April 2006
Software modernization and replacement decisions are crucial to many organizations. They affect greatly to the success and well being of the organizations and their people. The decisions like that are usually presumed to be rational and based on facts. These decisions and how they are made tell much about the decision makers and the decision making tools available to them. Interviews of 29 software modernization decision makers or senior experts were analyzed in order to find out how the decisions were made and what models and tools were used. It turned out that decisions are not as rational as supposed. Intuition is the dominant factor in decision making. Formal software engineering oriented decision support methods are not used. Most decision makers did not see intuition as a preferable way to make decisions. This might be because the preferred values are rationality and formality. Since the use of intuition is not particularly valued it is not necessarily admitted or documented either. However, truthful description and justification of decisions is important both from the practical and ethical point of views.