This white paper discusses how to transform the PMO into a strategic partner to deliver business value.
This white paper discusses the importance of collaboration between the business unit and IT to identify the value a software development initiative can offer your organization. Michael D. Harris, author and speaker on the Value Visualization of IT, describes a 5-step “value visualization” concept that can help IT departments and business units join forces to set, measure and track goals based on value.
This white paper demonstrates how a value visualization culture - one where all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the goals of the project and expected business value - should and can transform the IT department from a cost or profit center to a value center.
"By leveraging the proper metrics, all stakeholders can visualize the value and work toward the same set of goals on a project, helping transform IT from a cost or profit center to a value center."
As a direct result of the difficulties of measuring software development, the success of development tends to be measured in input metrics. For internal software development (and any outsourcing that is included in that), organizations tend to manage this output measurement problem at a macro level, by allocating a “reasonable” budget for software development (an input), estimating what projects can be delivered for that budget, and then prioritizing according to the organization’s strategic and tactical needs (outputs at a macro level). But, this macro approach does not really work for outsourcing contracts.
In this article, Mike Harris offers a solution via vested outsourcing.
This article discusses the difficulties many companies are facing in moving enterprise applications to the cloud. It discusses some common issues that are encountered, as well as what applications make for good candidates for migration and what challenges should be expected.
Software Project Managers have many responsibilities, ranging from managing customer expectations to directing internal resources towards a successful software build. That said, their easiest path to a quiet life is to design, develop and deploy software on time, on budget and with a high degree of quality. Why, then, do industry publications continue to unveil stories about failed projects and the financial impact they have had on the organization? Of course, not all projects fail. When we do read about successes, we learn that these projects were well managed and effectively controlled. So, what is missing or what is the gap between project success and project failure? This article discusses that gap and how to close it.
There has been much said and written about the mythical “conflict” between the values and principles of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and those of Software Process Improvement embodied in models such as CMMI. However, there is increasing experience (and evidence at SEPG and other conferences) that shows that both sets of values and principles can be combined to deliver more value to an enterprise than either one on its own. A lesser-known descendant of the Agile Manifesto is the Declaration of Interdependence (DOI) (www.pmdoi.org), which seeks to extend the Agile Manifesto to non-software products, project management and management in general. This article discusses the Declaration of Interdepence.
Outsourcing is about adding a competitive link to your ‘VALUE CHAIN,’ not just a cheap cog in your supply chain. At the end of the day, you must have added value that supports your business objectives. This article talks about avoiding mistakes common to organizations that are new to outsourcing.
This is an abstract from The Business Value of IT: Managing Risks, Optimizing Performance, and Measuring Results.
In this abstract, you will learn: 1) How information technology (IT) adds value to your
business; 2) How to measure and demonstrate that value; and 3) Why your business
personnel and your IT team members must have a close working relationship.
This document describes the steps that are necessary to successfully complete the Measurement RoadmapSM . The Measurement RoadmapSM is a propriety framework, developed by DCG Software Value.
The multi-step Performance Benchmark Process facilitates an organization, or a line of business, in coming to a consensus on the most important goals and values for IT to focus on. This is done by measuring a sample of project-related data and analyzing the information for comprehensive insight into your IT organization’s productivity and quality performance.
If you’re not healthy, you’re not going to perform well. Simple enough. The same thing applies to your Agile team. Not healthy? Good luck getting anything done (or at least done well).
But, like many of us skip our routine physical exams because we’re “too busy,” we also skip our Agile team checkups, leaving “well enough” alone. It’s time to evaluate the health of your Agile team, starting with the most important component, the heart of the team, the retrospective.
To get your team’s health back on track, you need a powerful, deep-dive strategic retrospective that focuses on the top areas that affect team performance and health. This presentation from Denver Startup Week discusses the 5 dimensions of team health: Clarity, Performance, Leadership, Culture, and Foundation, including how to monitor and track them, and how to make sure they stay at a high-performance level over time.
Learn actionable steps for maximizing the flow of business value from software. This is Mike Harris' presentation from the 2016 CIO Forum.
There are many levels of estimation, including budgeting, high-level estimation, and task planning (detailed estimation). We can link a more classic view of estimation to the Agile planning onion - strategic planning is the outer layer and the planning that occurs in the daily sprint meetings is at the core. Each layer closer to the core relates more to a team’s day-to-day activity. The #NoEstimates movement eschews developing story or task-level estimates, and as you get closer to the core of the planning onion, the case for #NoEstimates becomes more compelling.
This presentation discusses the differences between budgeting, planning, and estimation, as applied to testing in an Agile environment, and when each technique makes sense, when they don't, and in what combination for testing.
The presentation discusses the importance of retrospectives.
A retrospective must provide a platform for an Agile team to reflect on its performance and determine how it can achieve more. The retrospective technique should be driven both by the team and the project at hand.
Learn various retrospective techniques and how to select the right one.
This presentation discusses how providing IT with the economic data for software development initiatives can lead to improved decision making and ultimately impact an organization’s bottom line. Learn how you can use the 5-step Value Visualization Framework (VVF) to promote collaboration between the business units and IT in order to prioritize projects based on their value.
This presentation is useful for anyone struggling with how to scale their Agile teams. It describes how one organization tackled a complicated scaled Agile transformation, modifying the model to meet the team's needs.
This presentation discusses how social media, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) affect software development. It focuses on how organizations should prepare for these changes, particularly in terms of improving the flow of business value.
This presentation, from the 2015 ITFMA conference, shares simple techniques for optimizing the flow of economic value and bringing economic value metrics into the tactical decision-making of the software development process.
In early 2014, Mike Harris took on an Agile training and coaching engagement for a small team with a big project - building a new website for the mayor and assembly of a major city in the UK. This short case study describes the context, the challenges, the successes and the failures of the engagement. It explains the easy and difficult aspects of working within a traditional project management framework, PRINCE2.
Mike presented this at the AgileDC conference in October 2014.
Learn more about DCG Software Value, a global provider of Function Point Analysis, Software Value, and Software Estimation services.
This presentation reviews the most frequently used financial and non-financial measures of IT value. All measurements, including IT value measurements, are only useful and worth making if they are used to guide decisions. This means that all measurements have to be available to decision makers. The presentation proposes some ways of presenting value information for decisions.
This presentation, from DCG and Michelin, discusses four major steps for software cost savings.
This presentation, from the 2009 UK Software Metrics Association (UKSMA) Annual Meeting, discusses IFPUG tool certification requirements, the introduction of counting capabilities in the market, a report of Zurich Insurance’s experiences with tools and suggestions on how to best utilize automated function point counting. This presentation was delivered by Mike Harris and David Kempsity from Zurich Insurance.
Presented at the Best Practices Conference (Paris, France; Nov. 2009), this presentation focuses on the state of the industry regarding automated function point counting and options available to companies looking to leverage this best practice method.
The IT Capability Management Framework (IT-CMF) changes the way IT contributes to the business. Don't let the cloud and commoditization limit your technology horizons. Learn how IT can contribute at every step of the value chain. These slides are a companion to the webinar.
Many venture capitalists, investors, and managers have experienced unforeseen and unnecessary losses due to hidden challenges in a target company’s software. Excessive enhancement requirements stemming from the size and/or complexity of a software asset can lead to significant upgrades and maintenance costs – or worse – non-performing functionality. These, sometimes large, issues can remain unidentified until very late in the development lifecycle. If your company is acquiring another company, you can plan to integrate their software with yours by working with the M&A team as early as possible to gather information about the risks and challenges that you are likely to face during the due diligence process.
This report investigates how changes to the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) can improve the delivery of demonstrable value to the business. We consider how we might measure “demonstrable value” in a way that the business will understand. We review the theory of “Lean Software Engineering” and we suggest some ways that the theory can be applied to optimize different SDLC’s. Finally, we discuss the importance of Value Visualization – requiring each story or requirement in the SDLC to have a demonstrable and highly visible set of business value criteria to drive tactical decision making.
This report is not about ROI of agile methods versus other SDLC’s. Instead, we consider if the traditional approach to producing business cases for projects or programs by predicting financial outflows (project costs) and financial inflows (new income of savings) is still appropriate or even meaningful for agile software development based on scrum and/or enterprise wide extensions of scrum such as SAFe or DSDM.
This report provides a definition of Lean Software Development and explains some key characteristics. It explores the similarities and differences between Lean Software Development, Lean Manufacturing and Lean Six Sigma. Finally, it considers the extent to which traditional waterfall and agile (primarily scrum) approaches to software development can be considered as “Lean Software Development.”
IT Governance is about defining what decisions need to be made, who should make them and how they should be made. One of the biggest decision areas that business and IT providers should exercise strong governance over is outsourcing.
Many books and articles have been written about IT outsourcing. The business and social impact of outsourcing and, particularly, offshoring have been huge in the 21st century. It seems that for every success story, there is a story of a painful transition. In 2008, when we published “The Business Value of IT”, we believed that there was no turning back and that the future masters of IT would necessarily be masters of outsourcing. Six years later, we still believe that there is no turning back although we would modify that stark assertion today with the observation that companies including some of our clients have recognized “Total Outsourcing” of software development represents a significant corporate risk to some business.
This report reviews the most significant risks of outsourcing software development and offers up some mitigation strategies.
This report seeks evidence that agile software development methods have had a positive impact on traditional performance metrics such as productivity, quality and time-to-market. We consider the assertion that this is not a fair question because, for agile, customer satisfaction is the primary metric. We also consider the possibility that the reported data is skewed by not considering the failure rates of agile projects and/or self-serving optimism from the large and vociferous agile coaching/consulting community (in which we must include ourselves). Finally, we provide the data.
There are a variety of ways to look at this question. The first response that comes to mind is to simply say, it depends. It depends on who is asking the question. For example, quality may be far more important than productivity if you are talking about a customer who is using the software. It depends on how we define quality and define productivity. Finally, it depends on what we mean by important.
Everyone has a different definition of Software Analytics and so it is fair to say that this is a broad topic. Hence, this report defines Software Analytics as much by the examples it gives as by one single formal definition. In answering the “who should care?” part of the question, the report seeks to identify roles that should be using Software Analytics already and/or could be using it more. We also look into the future to see how Software Analytics might change software development in organizations in the way that business intelligence has impacted some organizations.
Delivering software systems and services has always been a balancing act between delivering on time and delivering “best practices." Every so often, compromises are made on each end and, whether intentional or unintentional, technical debt is created in the process. If left unmanaged, technical debt can hinder, debilitate, and even render an entire organization obsolete. This report identifies some root causes of technical debt and then outlines what can be done to identify and manage it.
This Trusted Advisor report explores the genesis of Agile, current best practices and the three future trends clearly seen in today's marketplace.
This report examines the Agile software development framework and how it compares to other SDLCs.
This report looks at what we consider to be current software development outsourcing best practices and then speculates on future directions.
This report examines why software development teams may have a separate Project Management Office, as well as the benefits and issues associated with that decision.
For the purposes of this report, we will adopt and test the hypothesis that Agile development and iterative development are different, look at the characteristics they share and don’t share, and then, either accept or reject the hypothesis.
This report reviews the role of IT governance with regard to leadership, management, clients and users of IT. It also reviews effective organizational structures to establish governance that seeks to achieve business goals and the contributions to those structures of the practitioners within IT Providers.
This report examines if automated function point counting is useful and/or effective in today's IT industry.
This report explains how to successfully use both waterfall and Agile in combination.
The average cost to fix a defect at the end of the lifecycle is 400-800 times greater than if it were addressed earlier. On average, poor requirement practices account for 60 percent of a project’s time and budget. Organizations with well-defined, closely managed, and effectively measured quality activities succeed and continuously improve. Yet, in a recent survey, 77 percent of managers reported that bad decisions have been made due to a lack of accurate information.
This presentation outlines the TMMi model, the de facto international standard to assess and improve test maturity, featuring independent best practices from more than 14 quality and test models. It explores how TMMI can be used in conjunction with the GQM model to ensure that upper management is provided with the information they need to make informed business decisions.