Complex requirements, ever shorter development periods and increasing cost pressure – productivity is an issue of increasing importance in software development. This is the starting point for my book project “Productivity and Performance Measurement – Measurability and Methods”.
As Head of the Competence Center Project Governance, I am responsible for the process engineering for software development at PASS. For several years we have been using key performance indicators as a major information source of our IT management – in more than ten different application environments with more than 500 customers and approx. 250,000 users. In some areas our regularly measured KPIs show significantly higher delivery productivity. We now summarize our collected experience within a book series. Part one is titled: “Productivity and Performance Measurement – Measurability and Methods”.
Why measure productivity?
IT has changed almost all areas of life through fundamental innovations. Our future will be dominated by virtualization and smart helpers, i.e. things equipped with intelligence. Software is the fabric, which nurtures innovation. Software development is a key competence.
Critical success factors for software developing enterprises are productivity and quality. Only with suitable measuring methods and regular measurements they can reliably determine the effort of planned projects and set the foundation for a continuous improvement of productivity and quality.
Blog series: Productivity of Software Development
- Individual Standard: Mass Customization in Software Development
- Increasing Productivity of Software Development – a Book Launch
- Increasing Productivity of Software Development – Part 2
- Three levers for higher productivity in software development
- Productive software development requires a management model
- In software development, every error is an opportunity
- Productive insight: Monitoring in software development
The content of this book
The book “Productivity and Performance Measurement – Measurability and Methods” first gives a definition of productivity, feasible for software development processes. It shows the general conditions under which productivity can be measured at all. The international standard ISO/IEC 14143 is explained as important basis for all recent function-oriented measuring methods. Some of these methods are described in detail – proven as well as new ones – and their advantages and disadvantages are compared. The book discusses the automation capacity of measurements and also shows their limits, which arise from using constructive characteristics of a system instead of use cases. Thus, invalid measurements are the consequence of exceeding these limits.
Another topic is the impact of the complexity on the functional size to be measured. It figures out the different levels of considering the complexity by the introduced measuring methods. This also leads to limited measurability when using function-oriented methods, for example, in the case of systems with high algorithmic complexity. Finally the book describes three easy-to-follow steps for the introduction of regular measurements in the practice of commercial software development.
The book can be ordered in the PASS Book Shop, for example.
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