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Article

An Action Research for Improving the Sustainability Assessment Framework Instruments †

1
Centro de Investigación CITIC, Universidade da Coruña, 15001 A Coruña, Spain
2
Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in ICT4S 2019.
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041682
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 13 February 2020 / Published: 24 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ICT4S— ICT for Sustainability)
In the last years, software engineering researchers have defined sustainability as a quality requirement of software, but not enough effort has been devoted to develop new methods/techniques to support the analysis and assessment of software sustainability. In this study, we present the Sustainability Assessment Framework (SAF) that consists of two instruments: the software sustainability–quality model, and the architectural decision map. Then, we use participatory and technical action research in close collaboration with the software industry to validate the SAF regarding its applicability in specific cases. The unit of analysis of our study is a family of software products (Geographic Information System- and Mobile-based Workforce Management Systems) that aim to address sustainability goals (e.g., efficient collection of dead animals to mitigate social and environmental sustainability risks). The results show that the sustainability–quality model integrated with the architectural decision maps can be used to identify sustainability–quality requirements as design concerns because most of its quality attributes (QAs) have been either addressed in the software project or acknowledged as relevant (i.e., creating awareness on the relevance of the multidimensional sustainability nature of certain QAs). Moreover, the action–research method has been helpful to enrich the sustainability–quality model, by identifying missing QAs (e.g., regulation compliance, data privacy). Finally, the architectural decision maps have been found as useful to guide software architects/designers in their decision-making process. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; sustainability–quality model; decision map; action research; software-intensive systems sustainability assessment; sustainability–quality model; decision map; action research; software-intensive systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Condori-Fernandez, N.; Lago, P.; Luaces, M.R.; Places, Á.S. An Action Research for Improving the Sustainability Assessment Framework Instruments. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1682. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041682

AMA Style

Condori-Fernandez N, Lago P, Luaces MR, Places ÁS. An Action Research for Improving the Sustainability Assessment Framework Instruments. Sustainability. 2020; 12(4):1682. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041682

Chicago/Turabian Style

Condori-Fernandez, Nelly, Patricia Lago, Miguel R. Luaces, and Ángeles S. Places. 2020. "An Action Research for Improving the Sustainability Assessment Framework Instruments" Sustainability 12, no. 4: 1682. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041682

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