The Economy and Software Measurement…


Every day I ponder just what power we, as individual homeowners and workers, can do about the mess our economy is in. As the owner of a small business who is reliant on having a steady stream of consulting and speaking clients, business is predictably UNpredictable. Entrepreneurs (like me) get used to the ups and downs of the business and its idiosyncracies and the dysfunctional behavior of corporate leaders.

For example, when the economy is good and business is up, companies will invest heavily in training and process improvement efforts. Yet, when the economy lags or economic growth slows, these same corporations cut out training as an excess “expense”, and drop the non-mandatory (so called optional) programs such as process improvement! This is the opposite of what we do in personal life: when our income drops or the future looks less than positive, we typically start to look for a second job, cut back on non-essential spending, and go back to school for retraining. We certainly don’t stop looking for ways to eliminate waste, find ways to improve, or to do things more effectively – we know that to survive we need to do just the opposite!

Yet business acts uncharacteristically to our personal lives, and does so over and over – each time anticipating different results. (Einstein called this “insanity” — doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!) Software measurement – the process of gauging and reporting just how well your IT department is performing in order to determine how much better we can do (through process improvement opportunities) – is perceived as “unnecessary overhead” and “not real work”. Yet it is this very evaluation and measurement process that will uncover wasteful processes thereby saving the corporation time and money in the long run. Doesn’t it seem like a downturned economy is the perfect time to determine where there is waste and rework hidden in your systems and software process?

I ask you this, what is a better time than today to figure out how to do things better? When our companies are losing money and squeezing workers ever harder to perform better, wouldn’t that be the ideal time to figure out what NOT to do? It seems logical that major corporations need this information even more urgently in today’s downturned economy. Companies NEED to know how to leverage those processes they do well on — across the corporation, and cease doing (or change how they perform) those processes that result in underperformance and rework.

Everyone is talking about how the bleak outlook on our economy harkens back to the Great Depression, yet a few realists are actually talking about “opportunities” – acan you imagine? The optimists with an outlook toward positive change and opportunities are going to survive and thrive in this new “economy” and will lead the way in showing the remaining majority how business should be done!

Could it be that this is the perfect time to do things right – and focus on getting our corporate houses in order through measurement and comparison of methods? I believe that there has been no more POSITIVE time than now to invest wisely in software measurement rather than spending money the same way we have always done. There is a saying “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Isn’t today the first day of an improved corporate life?.

Call me (727) 393-6048 office or email me dekkers@qualityplustech.com if you’d like to talk further about how we can work together to improve the bottom line of your IT business. Stay positive, remain resilient, and live for today – and somehow, someway in the silence, common sense and sane solutions will emerge. Software measurement is one of these!

p.s., My newest book was published last week in Germany and is now available in the U.S.! Visit www.qualityplustech.com/books.html to read reviews and link to Amazon.com to order The IT Measurement Compendium: Estimating and Benchmarking Success with Functional Size Measurement.

Best wishes for resiliency and success,
Carol
http://www.qualityplustech.com/
http://www.caroldekkers.com/
Carol Dekkers, PMP, CMC, CFPS, P.Eng.
International software and systems industry expert on ISO standards, estimating, IT measurement. Consultant, Workshop leader, Speaker, Author.

———–COPYRIGHT 2008 Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED————————

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