Value Metrics for Agile Governance

Value MetricsThe software development industry has made great strides in leveraging metrics to improve performance; however, the metrics being used in Agile implementations today are often focused on the team level and not on the organization as a whole. With the proper software value visibility metrics, an organization can better manage Agile software development initiatives to ensure these investments maximize the value potential.

An article I recently wrote that discussed these value metrics was published in Techwell’s Spring 2016 edition of Better Software magazine. In the article, I set the scene by discussing current practices, beginning with examples of metrics used in a waterfall organization: delivered as promised, productivity, timeliness, quality, and accuracy. Although these metrics can be tremendously valuable in many ways, they do not provide the necessary details for governance. I also discuss the metrics challenge for Agile and the differences between Agile and waterfall metrics. 

The significance of the article truly comes in the discussion of a solution that helps organizations implement value metrics that are useful to individual Agile teams as well as proving beneficial for executives. To learn more about my proposed solution, take a few minutes to read my Better Software article. I’d welcome your thoughts on the article or ideas you have to help improve software value.

Note: You can view the complete article by clicking on this link: Value Metrics for Agile Governance. You will be asked to subscribe to Better Software. It is quick and painless. You will then have access to the article, courtesy of Better Software magazine.

 

Mike Harris
DCG CEO

Written by Michael D. Harris at 08:49

About DCG Software Value

We provide numerous materials about ourselves and how we can help our clients. But, sometimes it's best to hear it straight from the top.

This video, from our CEO Mike Harris, explains, in his own words, who DCG Software Value is and why we're in this business.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to Mike directly at m.harris@softwarevalue.com. Of course, if you're looking for more information about the company, you can download our Corporate Profile or check out the About page of our website.

 

Written by Default at 05:00
Categories :

CMO and IT Collaboration = Higher Software Value

Mike HarrisChief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have become one of the most frequent internal customers of IT departments in recent years. There has been an explosion in the use of technology by marketers as they have had to turn to online channels to reach their target audiences.

Digital marketing techniques, such as: interactive websites, mobile marketing, videos, email campaigns, search engine marketing/optimization, among others have become instrumental for marketers to get their messages in front of the right audiences and achieve their target revenue goals. 

In addition to the numerous digital marketing practices, there has also been a significant increase in the use of marketing automation tools, such as Hubspot and Pardot, to manage all of the moving parts of a marketing program; and also in CRM solutions, like Salesforce.com, to help maximize the relationships of customers and prospects. Furthermore, marketers are relying on analytics to better understand how their programs are performing. With these tools, they know what’s working, what’s not working and are able to adjust appropriately throughout a campaign.    

As a result of this heavy reliance on technology, CMOs have had to turn to IT frequently to help determine which solutions best fit their needs. Whether purchasing a COTS solution or building a software application from scratch, the IT department can help the CMO clearly understand the technologies available to meet their objectives and maximize the business value from their software. 

To reap the most value from a software solution, the CMO and IT department need to collaborate. It is essential for IT to clearly understand marketing’s business requirements and ultimate goals in order to deliver a software solution that meets their value expectations. 

CMOs and IT are encouraged to utilize a methodology such as the 5-step Value Visualization Framework (VVF) to ensure they have a clear directive to discuss, define, measure, and prioritize their software development initiatives. The VVF process enables marketing and IT to jointly set goals, make data-based decisions and measure against those goals.  It drives greater alignment between IT and marketing through a common language about value and priorities; and can drive IT’s continuous alignment with marketing’s end objectives. 

What collaborative methods do you use to align your business units and IT?


Mike Harris
DCG President & CEO

 

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
Categories :

Why Everyone Should Care About Software Value?

Michael D. HarrisIn the majority of organizations today, it would seem that those most involved in a project (of any kind) would be the ones that care the most about its value. In the case of software development initiatives, the development teams and development managers are entrenched in the day-to-day. However, they are so focused on meeting deadlines, remaining within budget and maximizing utilization, software value is often not even on their radar. Yes, they should care about it, but the other factors tend to shift their priorities.

So, if they aren’t focusing on software value, who is? Should it be the CIO’s responsibility? Should the heads of the business units who are driving the requirements for projects be overseeing them to ensure maximum flow of the software’s value? In a perfect world, it should be both IT management and the business units working together to determine the business value of the software, develop goals, communicate those goals, and to measure against those goals to maximize value throughout the development effort.

It doesn’t stop with IT and the business units. Executives, and, yes, even the board, should care about maximizing software asset value and the flow of software value. If the software asset pool is not continually enhanced with new software, its value will decrease. If any aspect of an organization is declining in value, the upper echelon should care!

If the business value of software is realized and communicated from the top down in an organization to those who can impact the flow of the software value on a daily basis, more educated tactical decisions can be made to maximize the value. Therefore, everyone can play an important part and should care about the business value of software.

What do you think? Should software value be on the minds of the IT team, business units, as well as the c-level?


Mike Harris
DCG President & CEO

 

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
Categories :

Managing Business Value of Software as an Asset

Michael D. HarrisManaging software as an asset is critical for organizations that want to maximize the value of that software. There are a number of different ways that organizations (and individuals within those organizations) look at asset value when it comes to their software. These different viewpoints include: financial, software maintenance and portfolio management.

Those that look at software from the financial side, often the CFO and the accounting team, consider all software purchased from vendors or software that is developed internally to be a financial capital asset that is accrued and depreciated on the organization’s balance sheet. In today’s world, where more and more software is “rented,” the subscription fees are posted as expenses on the balance sheet. How a software asset is treated in the financial realm may significantly impact an organization’s decision to purchase software outright or license it from a vendor.

The CIO often looks at software from the software maintenance angle. The more software assets an organization has under one roof, the more there is to maintain. And, the more complex each software package is, the more likely there will be more problems that need to be fixed, significantly driving up maintenance costs. Much like the financial perspective, the software maintenance view comes down to dollars and cents. The more maintenance a software asset requires, the less value it will have. We know that every software solution is going to require some maintenance, but it is important to ensure that a software asset isn’t going to require so much maintenance that it becomes a negative value.

Portfolio management is the third perspective where software value is looked at on an individual basis and also collectively with the organization’s other software applications. Software is purchased (or rented) because it is going to provide benefits for the organization (i.e. productivity improvements, enhance customer service); however, in some situations, when that software is integrated with other applications, the value can increase exponentially. For example, when data can easily flow from one software solution to the next (i.e. an HR solution to a payroll application), it saves valuable time for staff and reduces the potential for errors. Therefore, when assessing the value of the various software assets, it is likely that the sum of the whole exceeds the sum of the parts.

All three viewpoints are valid and need to be considered when making software investment decisions and determining the actual value of a software asset for an organization.


Mike Harris
DCG President & CEO

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
Categories :

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Join over 30,000 other subscribers. Subscribe to our newsletter today!