How can I manage a project’s productivity or should I even try?

by: Sheila Dennis

In this report, we look at productivity primarily through a project management perspective.  That said, we consider the strategic or top-down perspective and the tactical or bottom-up perspective separately.

How can I manage a project’s productivity?  While the question may invoke a complex answer, the rationale for asking the question is quite simple: increased productivity reduces costs.  Of course, this assumes that all other things stay the same and the report considers the interactions between cost, quality and time to market.  It has been estimated that increasing global software productivity by even small percentages would translate into billions of dollars in savings and/or increased profitability.  It is no small matter that organizations are constantly looking to improve their software delivery performance.

Should I even try?  While on the surface this question may seem rhetorical and the response superficial, the real answer lies in the choice of goals for the project – we assume in this report that productivity is a high priority or else the question is moot – and the degree to which managing for high productivity can be achieved without compromising secondary objectives, the most difficult of which might be customer satisfaction. 

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