The ISBSG regularly releases special analyses covering topics of value to IT practitioners and IT customers. Local language versions of these papers may be available from the ISBSG Member in each country.
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Format: PDF via email
Cost: €49.95 EUR per report (Single User License)
The Performance of Business Application, Real-Time and Component Software Projects (2012)
An Analysis that compares the differences in development and enhancement projects for these three different software types.
This forty-eight page report provides valuable insight into the development and enhancement performance of three different types of applications: Business, Real-Time and Infrastructure.
The analysis results underline the importance of treating these three types of applications differently when estimating and benchmarking. Project Delivery Rates and Duration times are provided along with useful charts of the correlations of Effort, Productivity and Duration to software size. The productivity rates of different Programming Languages are compared, as is the impact of software size on productivity.
This report is especially valuable for people interested in Real-Time and Component Software Projects (Infrastructure).
Government and Non-Government Software Project Performance (September 2011)
This report compares government and non-government software projects; government out-sourced and in-house developed projects; and examines differences in productivity, team size, programming languages and other project characteristics.
The report answers the following questions:
1. How do software projects, undertaken to support the business of government, compare to non-government projects?
2. How do outsourced and in-house software projects undertaken for government organisations compare?
3. How do government software project teams compare to those operating outside of government?
Managing Your Maintenance & Support Environment (2012 Update)
With data on more than five hundred Applications in the Maintenance and Support repository we can now provide useful information to help with the planning and management of Maintenance and Support functions. This information can be used to better manage internal or outsourced maintenance and support.
This report provides insight into the following:
• The number of M&S staff being used by application size.
• The level of incident reporting by application size.
• The level of defects being encountered by application size.
• The median time to repair by application size.
• The proportion of time being spent of Maintenance and the proportion on Support.
• The percentage of time being spent on the different categories of maintenance: Corrective & Preventative; Perfective & Adaptive.
• The proportion of time being spent on the different categories of support: User help & Advice; Problem investigation; Queries and quick service.
Maintaining and Supporting New Software Applications (November 2010)
This report is for Maintenance & Support managers and personnel. It analyses software defects delivered into production by Software Development and Enhancement projects.
In many organisations the Maintenance and Support team is responsible for the support of newly delivered software products. The information in this report can be used to plan maintenance and support resources for new software deliveries and to benchmark your organisation against industry data.
Note that this report is a tailored version of the "Software Defect Density" Special Report.
Software Defect Density (August 2010)
This report provides an analysis of software defect density data from projects in the ISBSG Software Development and Enhancement Repository. The report is split in to two parts: an analysis of defects found in the first 30 days after software goes into operation and an analysis of defects found during software development:
The report also provides useful ratios of when and where defects are discovered and the severity of those defects.
The analysis data set is very broad with over 30 different organisation types represented and a hundred different application types. Analysis results are provided by: Organisation type; Application type; Development Platform; Language Type; Project Size; and Speed of Delivery.
The report can be used to benchmark against or to help with test planning and management.
Team Size Impact on Project Delivery Rate
Despite the legendary 'Mythical Man Month', software project estimation often ignores the impact of team size. Adding more people to a project can have a negative impact on productivity and duration. The ISBSG data clearly shows this.
This Special Analysis Report looks at the impact that both team size and software size have on productivity. The report provides data in tables and charts, and examples that you can use to produce more accurate estimates by taking into account the impact of team size and software size when you are estimating.
Project Durations by Size and Effort
Effort and duration are the two main factors that are sought from software estimation exercises. Customers for software want to know how long it will take to develop the software and how much it will cost. Cost can be derived once the effort is known.
This Special Analysis Report concentrates on project duration. The report provides useful information that can be used to obtain an approximate duration for a software project based on the known software size or effort; or to provide a “reality check” of an existing estimate of duration.
Outsourcing, Offshoring, Inhouse - How do they compare?
In this report we present the results of an analysis of the projects in the ISBSG R10 Development & Enhancement repository in order to answer the following questions:
1. How do outsourced projects compare to in-house projects? Are there any differences in the types of projects, the methods used, or the indicators of project performance?
2. How do onshore projects compare to offshore projects?
Early Lifecycle Software Estimation
Often, when a software project is simply an idea, you need to provide an indicative estimate of the possible cost and duration to provide an indication of whether the project idea is feasible. This paper describes an early lifecycle estimating technique that uses a combination of formulae and the ISBSG project delivery rate tables. Using the information in this paper you can produce an estimate range for the effort and duration of a proposed software development. Practical examples and the required tables are provided.
Package Customisation - What to expect
This ISBSG special analysis reveals that choosing and implementing a package has advantages over developing new software, provided that the implementation is either turnkey or utilises customistation facilities provided with the package. Package projects that involve changes to the package source code perform worse than development projects.
Planning Projects - Phase Effort Ratios
The ISBSG collects data about the effort for each of six phases of a project: Plan, Specify, Design, Build, Test and Implement. Knowing the percentage ratios of these phases is very useful for project estimation, project management and benchmarking. This report presents these phase ratios for both enhancement and new development projects and provides and example of their use.
Planning Projects - Role Effort Ratios
For this report we looked into the ISBSG data to provide a guide for the percentage effort that each role is likely to require during a project. The report lays out the findings of our investigation & statistical analysis and provides useful charts of the role effort ratios for all projects and then for outsourced and in-house projects.
Software Project Characteristics that impact Development Productivity
This report highlights that there are a host of project characteristics and risk factors to consider when estimating software projects or benchmarking their productivity. It is important to carefully analyse these to ensure that you are comparing “apples with apples” or to allow for them by adjusting any estimate derived from a broad range of projects.
Software Project Costs
In this report we look at costs per function point and costs per hour, and provide some useful rules of thumb.
Software Project Estimates - how accurate are they?
We look at estimates of size, effort, duration and cost; how people have gone about estimating their projects; the accuracy of the estimates and the relationships between estimates. Here are some of the findings:
Size estimates are usually based on a data model; functional specification or analogy with a previous project
Project effort estimates are only accurate for less than a quarter of projects
Despite effort being poorly estimated 51% of projects were delivered on time
When functional size-based techniques are used for a cost estimate, the estimate is within 20% of the actual cost 90% of the time.
Team Size Impacts Special Report
The ISBSG data shows that there are three main factors that impact software development productivity: programming language, development platform and team size. The first two have the most significant effect but it is also important to consider the impact of team size. The latest ISBSG Special Report reveals that teams of nine or more are significantly less productive than smaller teams. Project managers faced with larger teams should adjust their project estimates to reflect this lower productivity expectation.
Techniques & Tools Special Report II
In the first paper on techniques & tools we primarily reported on their impact on the Project Delivery Rate of projects. The research for that report led to more questions about what impact tools & techniques have on other aspects of projects. In this report we look beyond PDR to provide information about Speed of Delivery; Defect Density; Team Sizes and any changes in project Phase Ratios that have resulted from the use of a technique or tool. We also provide a comparison with research done by Capers Jones of SPR. What works and what doesn't? Are there any silver bullets?
Web Projects - how are they different?
In this paper we present the results of an analysis of the web projects in the ISBSG R10 repository and compare them to nonweb projects. The intent of this analysis is to gain an understanding of any factors that make web projects different, so that project estimation, planning and benchmarking of web projects can be better managed.
There are four main areas of analysis reported in this document:
1. A comparison of key project measures – web and non-web project data sets
2. Effort by development phase – a comparison – web and non-web projects
3. Use of techniques and tools – a comparison – web and non-web projects
4. Typical team sizes for web projects.