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In Control: Measuring and Managing Software Economics

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Hi, I’m Walker Royce, Vice President, IBM Rational Software Services ... and I'm going to talk about measuring and managing software economics.

Contrary to popular belief ... software management is more akin to an economic discipline -- like managing a movie -- than it is to an engineering endeavor ... like managing construction of a bridge.

It is less governed by laws of physics or materials ... and bound mostly by human creativity and is inherently unpredictable.

Because of this, software best practices -- including agile methods -- have a strong basis in reducing uncertainty and steering projects towards moving targets.

This ability to steer is critical ... but many organizations struggle with defining their guideposts -- or measures -- that are useful in linking their software development processes with their business objectives.

The more linkage points that can be found between ...

- measures of software processes and quality, - and the business objectives ... the more effective the organization will be in steering towards their business goals.

In scientific terms, measurement is defined as a set of objective observations that reduce uncertainty.

This is where measurement and control frameworks play a critical role, especially frameworks that are adaptive to an organizations needs.

Finding the right mix of predictive measures and prescriptive solutions is challenging ... but over time, IBM's research and field experience with clients have resulted in a proven set of practices and a framework that we call the Measured Capability Improvement Framework.

MCIF helps organizations assess their current processes and identify areas where they can incrementally reduce complexity, then provide practices that they can use to improve their processes, improve team collaboration, and add automation support.

Process improvement is enabled through closed-loop measurement solutions that provide the linkage to business objectives ... and help us identify and quantify the value of one improvement over another.

Incremental checkpoints provide objective feedback that the expected value will be realized.

For more information and to consult the process solutions eKit which includes related resources and whitepapers on this topic ... I encourage you to go to

Stay tuned as Rational Talks to You all year long!

Thank you

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