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This paper proposes a methodology to improve the reusability of finite element analysis (FEA) software using a program family approach. The usability and the maintainability are significant problems for a developer trying to properly reuse FEA software. Usability is promoted via systematically defined goals, assumptions, theoretical and computational models, definitions, common requirements and variabilities. Maintainability is improved through a component generator and traceability matrices between different portions of the documentation. We present preliminary work on a simple FEA program family for solving beam analysis problems to illustrate how the program family approach can be applied to FEA software.