Software Productivity

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    I work in the quality dept. of a software firm, which caters to the TTL domain. I have been assigned with a task to do a study on the measurement of s/w productivity and implement ways to improve software productivity.
    Some of the suggestions, which came up from, the projects were:
    1. Ensure effective usage of the internal discussion databases (technical, business, suggestions etc..)
    2. Collecting and sharing of best practices from projects
    3. Improving the business knowledge expertise within projects.
    4. Strengthen defect prevention activities in the projects so as to reduce rework and improve productivity.
    I would like to get your valuable inputs based on your experiences as how to go about this task and also please suggest an effective way to measure s/w productivity.
    Thanks & Regards,



    Can you give more details on measuring software productivity.



    Hi Renuka,
    I belive two most important things to improve the S/W Productivity are
    1) Improve the Domain Expertise
    2) Improve defect Prevention Rate.


    Ed Barkley

    What methodollogy are your developers following? What are they given in terms of requirements? In the Agile & SCRUM worlds these are often Use Cases or “Features” to be developed. Properly described, these provide a “unit of measure” that are to be produced and thus a measurement of productivity as they are completed. See:



    Hi Renuka,
    Software Productivity Improvement :
    1) Knoweledge Sharing : Created a knoweledge database where the Sr.employees can put in all the rare case experiences and other stuff which can be used by the new ppl in the project.
    2) Have a KEDB(Known Error DataBase) in place. and get the known errors and resolutions documented in it. Make sure that the KEDB is reviewed and controlled by a very Senior team member.
    3)Organize a weekely /  By weekely  technical discussion session where the Sr team members can answer the questions and doubts raised by the other team members and in the same session u can educate the team about the inportance of quality and productivity.
    These are the points that came into my mind as of now ..will let u know if  in case i come accross any related stuff. 



    To measure software productivity you would need 2 factors – what is delivered and time taken to deliver. Time taken to deliver is easy to obtain since the effort spent on a project would be recorded either in a Time management tool / excel etc. What is delivered can be measured using Function points or perhaps  LOC.
    So productivity would be Size of what is delivered / Effort.
    Productivity of a project gets impacted negatively often by the following factors :
    – Poor or unstable requirements.
    – Too many changes to the requirements – especially if the changes are asked during the Testing phase it may impact the project immensely
    – Attrition – This is obvious since attrition would mean bringing in new people to the project and hence there would be a learning curve
    – Inadequate skill level of the team – this could include domain expertise, technology expertise and perhaps project management expertise too.
    – Little or no peer reviews done at the various stages of the project thereby allowing defect leakage and hence increases rework
    – Resources shared across more than 1 project would lead to lack of focus on the project
    – Resource ramp up –  ramp down not followed
    The above is not an exhaustive list  – if the project team consciously tries to avoid the above from occurring or have a good mitigation plan , the project would see improved productivity and quality



    Hi All,
    Can any body tell me how  to calculate the (Human) Resource Productivity? What are the various methods by which we can calculate and analyse the data?



    Productivity involves effort invested / spent. So irrespective of any industry this parameter will play a crucial role. Now wrt every industry / domain, what is that resources perform is the key. Say for transport number of trucks loaded, say for oil, number of barrels filled,for software number of user requirements developed & tested or number of lines coded etc…
    Any of this activity per hour can be productivity. Most of the industries have standardised this unit of measurement. For IT it is conventionally Lines of code / Hour or number of function points per hour or month is the unit of measuring productivity



    The sun goes round the earth. Simple, obvious and wrong. To benchmark software process productivity divide the software size by the development effort. Simple, obvious and (unfortunately) wrong.How do we understand the earth goes round the sun? Collect data and analyze. How do we understand and set up realistic benchmark measures of software process productivity? Interestingly there are two ways:1. Common sense (it really is obvious and not rocket science)
    2. Collect data and analyze to put numbers on the common sense, that’s the rocket scienceCheck out the paper “Software Benchmarking: Common Sense and Rocket Science” on the SEI web site.



    Do you apply this in your Sprint teams ? How do you look at the productivity across sprint teams ? Do you have an aggregate productivity metric for all of IT ?

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