Software and Systems Development Analytics

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I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have – Information”

(with apologies to Matthew Boulton 1728 - 1809)





Your organization is alive with data.

It can give you an edge – if you can extract useful information from it. The more answers you will find, the better decisions you will make.

Contemporary software development and knowledge working environments now depend on diverse tools, from requirements management and project management tools, to development environments, configuration management systems, and test tools, to change logs, defect trackers and quality assurance tools. They are widely used, essential even, for generating, refining, sharing and amplifying information.

They also capture data.

These data are an unregarded and rarely used resource. But they contain within them a multidimensional and largely undistorted picture of your organization's activities, its character and capability, and of your system's and product's characteristics, capacity, and value.

This isn't a 'flatland' view, like that presented by so many project management metrics sets, with their focus on schedule and budget (which is rather like flying a plane over difficult terrain using only a watch and the fuel gauge). Neither does it view systems quality as a matter of defect counts. These data - your data - reflect the multifaceted aspect of your unique and complex organization, and its systems, that those working within it recognize and work with every day.

These data, specific to your organization and containing the signals and patterns that matter, are available now. They are being collected, by default, as a by-product of your software development and management activity.

(And this suggests that the need for expensive and limited measurement programmes, scorecards or clumsy KPIs, with the costs and overheads inherent in data collection and delay in analysis, is declining as these information rich data sets accumulate – if the information they contain can be extracted and used.)

With information taken from your own development environments and systems empirical models become powerful management tools: you know that adding people to a late project makes it later – but how late is late? Commercial imperatives may demand early delivery. Do you reduce the scope, or attempt to increase reuse, or attempt to increase productivity? Which is the best option? What are your least risky or most effective acceleration measures? What is it worth to know?

Software and systems development data is now so rich and pervasive it can answer previously unanswerable questions, to reveal, share and communicate valuable insights. Guesswork and opinion can be transformed into facts supported by data to give significant advantages:

…how effective are your development activities? Which ones are essential? Which one add value? How much? Where should improvements be focussed? Which activities don't add value but are never-the-less essential (enabling and ensuring conformance, say). And which ones are irrelevant and can be discarded?

...are your organization's technical staff and managers working to best effect? Are they able to communicate effectively, getting the information they need to help them do their job, or are they distracted or overloaded with inappropriate or irrelevant information? your organization building up a technology 'bow wave', or are you delivering unnecessary functionality, or both?

You already have the data that can answer these questions. But you have to extract the ‘technical intelligence’ - and act on it.

Software systems and software products too contain enormous quantities of data (in fact they are data). Using emerging analytical techniques and tools valuable information about critical software attributes is revealed that will, if acted upon, transform software performance and value.

These data sources have the potential to provide you with the information to make technical staff and managers more successful with:

         a real understanding the development and support capability of your organization;

         an ability to make credible development commitments;

         effective management of complex developments, with sound activity distribution management, earned value management, and scope and quality management;

         the information to align and tune software and systems to business needs and commercial imperatives;

         critical and searching analysis of the impact of change initiatives or improvement programmes using specific, credible, and accountable data to assess changes, rather than reliance on synthetic targets or industry hype.

Whatever success means in your organization; whether you are looking to:

         gain insights into your organization's development capability;

         characterize and manage your software systems performance and value;

         validate assessment or audit findings and recommendations;

         resolve development or support problems;

...we are here to help you get to the information you need.


Our software development and management experience, together with our statistical and analytical background uniquely equips us to help you access the information and gain the insights you need.












To find out how we have helped others and how we can help you please do contact us .

CCS July 2011, March 2012












Copyright OSEL 2012
This page was updated on 23/03/2012
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