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A new model of the software development process is presented and used to derive the form of the resource consumption curve of a project over its life cycle. The function obtained differs in detail from the Rayleigh curve previously used in fitting actual project data. The main advantage of the new model is that it relates the rate of progress which can be achieved in developing software to the structure of the system being developed. This leads to a more testable theory, and it also becomes possible to predict how the use of structured programming methods may alter pattems of life cycle resource consumption.