Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Software development today is an ad hoc enterprise. Often lost in all the detail involved with producing software is the big picture of why the software is being produced and who it is for. The hard work of producing good requirements, whole system architectural designs, and managing cost and schedule issues are often ignored for a random "code & test" approach. This research took a closer look at the systems and software engineering processes used to develop the product entitled FarmWin 97. Prior to the project, a commitment was made to use basic software engineering processes such as requirements' management, design before coding, formal testing, project management, oversight and tracking. Plans were made on weekly and six-month time frames and daily records of work activity were collected. Though summarizing costs and work efforts was difficult, the data reconfirm the basic software industry findings and show that greatest problems were encumbered in team communication, requirements' management and project oversight. Solving technical issues was less difficult. This research shows that more research is needed to understand and improve software development in agriculture.