Executive decision making for software development

Why is it important to use fact-based decision making in software development?  Too many executives are prepared to treat software development as too complex to measure (or manage?). Instead, they operate in a state of continuous dissatisfaction based on occasional unsuccessful forays into the software development team which rarely yield significant change.  This is both uncomfortable and, potentially, illegal.  For example, as Davenport and Harris remind us in "Competing on Analytics," the Sarbannes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires executives and other users of corporate data to demonstrate that their decisions are based on trustworthy, meaningful, authoritative and accurate data.  The act also requires executives to sign off that the data provides a clear picture of the business, major trends, risks and opportunities. Can you or your colleagues really say this about your software development metrics?  Do you need help? Consider the following 5 questions that you should ask yourself:

  1. Is our software development data relevant?
  2. Do we know where it came from (is it auditable)?
  3. Do we have enough data (or too much)?
  4. How can the data be made more accurate and valuable for analysis?
  5. What rules and processes do we have in place to manage our software development metrics dat from its creation to its retirement?
Written by Michael D. Harris at 19:13

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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG President

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