The New Metrics for Success in Software Development

By on October 12, 2015

Understanding and measuring the success of any given software development project has always been a tall order for most businesses. The now almost defunct “waterfall delivery model” for software development had a handful of metrics which were somewhat easy to track and report on; once known as the “iron triangle” by Forrester, these metrics were chalked up to cost, scope, and deadline. It’s safe to say that waterfall delivery models typically wind up with late deliveries and budget-eating scope creep.

Image by: amesis

Image by: amesis

In today’s complex software development market, these broad metrics simply no longer cut it. Software delivery models have evolved to meet the needs of today’s aggressive first-to-market pace; now an iterative approach has been adopted industry-wide. This new methodology is called “agile”, and it’s a methodology well understood by clients of software development services from Corporate Interactive.

Agile what?

Yesterday’s success metrics just don’t cut it compared to today’s Agile Methodology. Agile is defined simply as a new, more aggressive method of project management that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases (or iterations) and frequent re-assessments. A software development project being produced under this process allows for new adaptive changes and adjustments of plans on the fly, as new efficiencies are identified during the software development cycle.

Simply put; you no longer need to get all the way to the end of a software project before knowing whether it will be a flop or not. This method of software development is quite common in ecommerce software development and other large-scale development projects.

In this new dispensation of corporate software development, speed becomes a big part of how a business can measure success.

Time to Stable Velocity

Businesses simply do not have time to sit around and wait for development teams to accomplish individual project goals –or wait to see a project to completion to discern whether it was successful. Today’s market is incredibly cut-throat, and even a matter of days can be the difference between your business beating your competition to market (or the other way around). Tasks broken down into bite-sized pieces allow a development team to achieve goals faster, and will provide greater confidence as to when crucial features will be added to any given product.

A stable velocity is when a software development team is done experimenting and fiddling around with parts of a project, and it’s able to execute sprints efficiently and on time. Measuring the consistency of each sprint once your stable velocity is reached is another way to measure success.

The following factors will determine a stable velocity has been reached:

No more unnecessary “manual” work

  • No more unplanned work
  • Continuous integration and new, small iterations can be produced daily
  • There is a base product that can begin user acceptance testing with each daily build

Velocity by Individual Team Member

Albeit controversial to some, and loathed by those less efficient, the Agile process also makes it easy to identify particular members of your development team that could be more efficient. Being able to quickly identify human inefficiencies can also allow you to swap out production resources where they are needed the most, for the greater good and increased opportunity for success on a particular project.

About The Author

Louise Cruise is a software development expert who has created various software projects for businesses. By writing informative articles, she is able to share her knowledge not only to her fellow developers but also to those who are aspiring to be part of the software development field.

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