The importance of software project productivity
Improvements to software productivity can help to produce better project outcomes. This is achieved through: lower costs and increased revenue, successfully meeting delivery dates, improved quality, greater project control and opportunities for innovation and improvement.
Many C-level executives lack the experience to understand the value produced by their (agile) teams. They don’t know which teams are high-performing and which have room for improvement. When productivity, is measured objectively, it can’t really be used to compare two teams that develop software in different programming languages. For instance, team A develops in Cobol and has an average Project Delivery Rate (PDR) of 10 hours per functional size unit. Team B develops in Java and has an average PDR of 9 hours per functional size unit. It looks like Team B is more productive, as its PDR is 10% better (lower PDR is better). When compared to industry data, however, another picture arises. The industry average of Cobol projects is more than 15 hours per functional size unit, while Java projects are usually developed against a PDR of around 8 hours per functional size unit. This means that the Cobol team outperforms the industry, while the Java team has room for improvement.
The ISBSG data allows you to gain these insights by comparing to industry data. The ISBSG data contains information on New Development and enhancement projects, releases and (agile) sprints.