Maintenance is more expensive than development

This memo cites people saying that the maintenance costs for a software product are higher then its development.


For every $1 you spend of software development, you will spend $2 on maintenance. [1]
Only about 15% of software development effort is devoted to programming. [1]
Finding and fixing a software problem after delivery costs 100 times more than finding and fixing the problem in early design phases. [1]
The most expensive phase of software development is maintenance. [2]
Je später ein Fehler in den Anforderungen im Verlauf des Entwicklungspprojekts behoben wird, umso höher sind die damit verbundenen Kosten. [3]


[1] Royce Walker, Next-Generation Software Economics, The Rational Edge, December 2000.
[2] Robert C. Martin, Granularity, The C++ Report Vol. 8 Number 10, December 1996.
[3] Barry W. Boehm, Software Engineering Economics, Prentice-Hall, September 1981.

Other sources

Capers Jones, Software Assessments, Benchmarks, and best practices, addison wesley 2000

Date published:
Date modified: 2014-12-24
Keywords: Software maintenance