Increased Frequency of Releases – Financial Benefit?
- January 8, 2018 at 2:23 pm #55910
Hi all, recently our organization has moved from a waterfall development to SAFe (Agile) which has allowed the organization to release software more frequently. In some ways you can say we have lowered our ‘feature WIP inventory’ by getting the features and functionality out the door and into the hands of our customers more quickly. Note, this is also a SaaS, subscription based technology where we are NOT increasing pricing today or charging per feature.
I was asked to help quantify the benefits this has had to the org. I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you on how to translate this increase of “release velocity” into the language of business / financials. Our customers are more satisfied as this is an area they have been satisfied in past years, but I’m finding it difficult to quantify a real financial impact.January 9, 2018 at 6:29 am #202123
Always good to get ideas but unless a financial rep and business partner is involved….no credibility will be given to $ saved or $ revenue etc.
Consider getting metrics which can translate to a $ benefit. Is there a benefit of reduced expense by IT or CSR’s or someone getting customers updated on your product without intervention?January 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm #202140
Thanks Chris – I work at a company with a well defined financial validation process so we’re all good. In this case, it was our VP of Development who asked me for help on a non-Six Sigma driven project. Since we measure the outcomes of all of our Six Sigma projects he came to me for assistance.
I agree with you on expense reduction and case reductions (assuming you mean Customer Support Requests = CSR?). After normalizing for customer count, we have seen a reduction in inbound help desk calls so that’s one area we will capture. Additionally, The team recently went through a significant reorg that adjusted their cost structure, but it had more to do with budget-constraints than efficiencies-gained, so I am hesitant to quantify those savings as direct outputs of the increase release frequency. One area we are looking into though is reduction in hot-fixes. We don’t have to deploy as many ‘fixes’ since we can put those into one changes into the next major/minor release. We are doing more deployments per year, which has an increased cost, but they are for new functionality, not fixes, which delivers more value to the customer.
Lastly we are looking a some quality metrics. Because of the move to Agile the teams are communicating better and translating functional requirements into technical requirements into code much better. Our % of time (and dollars) spent on re-work is down significantly. This is another area we are working with finance to align on.
Any other suggested metrics to evaluate would be appreciated. Typically I have though of Agile as producing more value for the cost vs. reducing costs themselves so I’m looking other metrics to help quantify the improvements of delivering value. Has anyone else made the jump from Waterfall to Agile/Scrum/other? Did you measure the before and after effects? If so, how?January 16, 2018 at 5:26 pm #202147
You might research Jeff Sutherland, one of the originators of the Agile Manifesto, who has published important work on before and after metrics. Also Alistair Cockburn. Here’s a quick overview of the most common agile metrics https://www.atlassian.com/agile/project-management/metrics
The problem with these is that you’re very unlikely to have comparative data prior to adopting agile, simply because we measure different things.
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