In this paper Frank Niessink and Hans Van Vliet investigate the differences between software maintenance and software development from a service point of view. They argue that there are differences between products and services in general. These differences affect the way in which customers assess the quality of products and services. In particular, service quality is assessed on two dimensions: the technical quality—what the result of the service is—and the functional quality—how the service is delivered.
This paper is structured as follows:
- In section 2 is discussed a number of differences between services and products in general, and between software maintenance and software development in particular.
- In section 3 is show, how these differences affect organizations that maintain software. In particular, the authors identify a number of possible gaps between the service expected by the customers and the service they actually get.
- In section 4 the authors report on some case studies they did in the course of their research, and relate the results thereof to the gaps identified in section 3.
- In section 5 is described processes to bridge these gaps.
- Section 6 discusses related work in assessing software maintenance quality.
- Section 7 discusses two overall approaches to achieving quality in IT services that can also be applied to software maintenance. Both these models incorporate the processes identified in section 3.
- Finally, section 8 presents conclusions.