Ask a question about 'Bus factor'
Start a new discussion about 'Bus factor'
Answer questions from other users
In software development
Software development is the development of a software product...
, a software project's bus factor
is a measurement of the concentration of information in individual team members. The bus factor is the total number of key developers who would need to be incapacitated (as by getting hit by a bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...
) to send the project into such disarray that it would not be able to proceed; the project would retain information (such as source code
In computer science, source code is text written using the format and syntax of the programming language that it is being written in. Such a language is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source...
) with which no remaining team member is familiar. A high bus factor means that many developers would need to be removed before the project would necessarily fail.
"Getting hit by a bus" could take many different forms. This could be a person taking a new job, having a baby, changing their lifestyle or life status, or literally getting hit by a bus: the effect would be the same. The term was commonplace in business management by 1998, was used in mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...
in the same year, was seen in software engineering papers in Association for Computing Machinery
The Association for Computing Machinery is a learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947 as the world's first scientific and educational computing society. Its membership is more than 92,000 as of 2009...
and Information Systems Frontiers by 1999, and the term "Bus Factor" was used in engineering by 2003.