According to McKinsey research* the cost of software development in large companies has increased from 13% to 50% of total IT spending.
This is an interesting observation because it is really counter intuitive. The web 2.0 revolution and the adoption of software-as-a-service as a major trend do not seem to be reflected here.
If a company spends up to 50% of their IT budget developing their own software this is probably an indication that unique business processes are part of the competitive advantage to please customers and become a critical part of the company’ s knowledge assets. Internally developed software code gains a new strategic importance under this perspective.
This study from McKinsey also shows that most large companies know well how much they spend on software development (number of hours spent on each line of code) but know very little about how to measure the effectiveness of the effort (how much satisfaction have I generated with this new code?).
Business managers and software developers can enter on a collision path when confronted with the need to better measure the productivity of software development and the effectiveness of the code that is being written down.
Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) tools and professional group facilitation are of paramount importance to find a common ground between these two potentially clashing perspectives about user needs. In this well written article McKinsey recommends Use Cases (UC) and Use Case Points (UCP) as a viable solution to generate both software user requirements and a mean to evaluate the effectiveness of the product that is being developed.
Again, an appropriate use of GDSS such as MeetingSphere can make a difference. Especially in teams that include both business managers and software developers, MeetingSphere can save huge amounts of time and effort in implementing such a solution by clarifying up front the ‘why’questions before going to the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of UCs and UCPs. Learn more?