can have in software engineering concerns efforts to combine information (NRC, 1992) across software engineering projects as a means of evaluating the effects of technology, language, organization, and the development process itself. Although difficult issues are posed by the need to adjust appropriately for differences in projects, the inconsistency of metrics, and varying degrees of data quality, the availability of a data repository at least allows for such research to begin.

Although this report serves as a review of the software production process and related research to date, it is necessarily incomplete. Limitations on the scope of the panel's efforts precluded a fuller treatment of some material and topics as well as inclusion of case studies from a wider variety of business and commercial sectors. The panel resisted the temptation to draw on analogies between software development and the converging area of computer hardware development (which for the most part is initially represented in software). The one approach it is confident of not reflecting is over-simplification of the problem domain itself.

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