Troy Magennis has recently written a paper on economic impact of Agile calculations using a variety of cycle-time analysis and Monte Carlo techniques. We would like feedback on this paper and especially contrary views.
IT executives initiate software development process methodology change with faith that it will lower development cost, decrease time-to-market and increase quality. Anecdotes and success stories from agile practitioners and vendors provide evidence that other companies have succeeded following a newly chosen doctrine. Quantitative evidence is scarcer than these stories, and when available, often unverifiable.
This paper introduces a quantitative approach to assess software process methodology change. It proposes working from the perspective of impact on cycle-time performance (the time from the start of individual pieces of work until their completion), before and after a process change.
This paper introduces the history and theoretical basis of this analysis, and then presents a commercial case study. The case study demonstrates how the economic value of a process change initiative was quantified to understand success and payoff.
Cycle-time is a convenient metric for comparing proposed and ongoing process improvement due to its easy capture and applicability to all processes. Poor cycle-time analysis can lead to teams being held to erroneous service level expectations. Properly comparing the impact of proposed process change scenarios, modeled using historical or estimated cycle-time performance helps isolate the bottom line impact of process changes with quantitative rigor.
This paper will be presented at the HICSS Conference in January 2015.