How much can you save by using a multi-sourced delivery team, where some of the work is done offshore?
Depending on whom you ask, the answer can vary wildly. The reason is that a truly accurate answer from a mature IT organization takes more into account than simply multiplying ‘rates’ by ‘body count’. Mature IT organizations look at the bigger picture and ask, in simple terms: “What does it cost me to deliver a particular business function or collection of features from a particular delivery ‘channel’?”
But the answer is not so simple to come by – for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, even many mature IT organizations do not have an established process or metrics in place in their organization. Most often, the perception of development efficiency is based on ‘gut feel’, or at best through loose correlations to historical budgetary numbers. In short – there is no standard process to compare delivery teams to one another.
Second, the performance of a delivery team tends to change over time. We’re all aware of the ramp-up time needed to get a team operating efficiently, but few ever discuss (or manage) the natural decay in productivity that occurs over time. Additional oscillations can occur due to a variety of outside influences and factors as well, further clouding the true operating value.
Third, industry standards and rules of thumb are often outdated, misquoted or misused with regard to efficiency, sparking theoretical arguments that bring you no closer to being able to make proper adjustments as well as enact wholesale change in an IT organization.
Finally, having teams that are geographically, chronologically and culturally dispersed further complicates the picture. Faced with these concerns, many organizations simply throw up their hands and proclaim the problem ‘too hard’ or ‘not worth it’. But in this day where the business scrutinizes every dollar of IT spend, it’s more important than ever for IT organizations to become analytical about how well they are performing and improving as a delivery-oriented organization.
This paper takes a thoughtful and analytical approach to the following topics:
- The challenges of measuring performance in software delivery
- How Agile methodology can enable more accurate and timely measurement of performance
- What dimensions of performance are most important to measure?