To improve the efficacy and efficiency of developing an application
Most of the large companies invest hugely into developing applications. There is a coercive reason behind this, i.e. a good part of their future depends on the same. Software has gradually become critical for the performance of almost every company. Hit her to according to our personal experience and knowledge, some of the organizations have a feasible means of measuring their development project’s output. Rather, they depend upon input-based metrics, which include the hourly cost of developers, budget variance, or the percent of delivery dates achieved. These metrics are useful as they indicate the effort level involved into application development. However, these do not truly answer the question about the software functionality (productivity) of the development team, in a given time.
Measuring productivity, without a metric in place
With a company’s big money and competitiveness at risk, why do many organizations into application-development fly blind? Firstly, with every metric accompanies a certain level of overhead to calculate and track it. With some metrics, the overhead proves a lot bigger than the benefits it can afford. Another reason is the lack of standardized practices for calculation of metrics. Finally, perhaps the most important reason is a certain amount of resistance from the app developers themselves, which is a usual thing to see. IT professionals, who are highly skilled, do not necessarily enjoy if held accountable to productivity metric, especially when they feel the metric does not equitably consider the relevant differences among development projects. Thus, as a result, a number of organizations believe that there is no practicable ‘productivity metric’ to address all of these issues.
Although, it can be a challenging task to implement all output-based metrics, considering their pros and cons, the best solution to the problem is a combination of Use-Cases (UCs) with the Use-Case Points (UCPs). Use case is a method for information gathering, whereas Use case point is an output metric to capture the amount of the delivered software functionality. Let us understand each of these in detail now.
• Use-cases: Most organizations do not have a robust way of gathering and organizing their development project’s functional and technical requirements. Because of which, they find it difficult to capture the requirements fully and precisely. Thereby, the projects have to suffer the inefficiencies of last-minute change requests, the shifting priorities, and the dissatisfaction of the business users. ‘Use-cases’ are a logical and structured way to organize the functional requirements of your app-development project. A use-case is like describing a scenario, where the user interacts with the application.
Both, the business leaders and developers, find UCs easy to comprehend, as they focus first on business objectives and functional requirements, rather than technical specifications. UCs also makes it easy to write the functional test cases, expediting the process of testing at the back of development.
• Use-case points: UCP calculation is a representation of total count of transactions performed by an app, and the actors interacting with the app in question. These are raw data, that one can adjust for the application’s technical complexity and the code percentage modified. UCPs require a lot of training to calculate. They are thus useful for retrospective performance evaluation, project planning and in-flight performance management.
The journey toward the development of dynamic web applications by integrating requirement gathering and establishing a reliable output metric, may not be without its own set of difficulties. However, their rewards are well worth of, in the world of Custom Web Application Development, where developing efficient and effective apps is a significant success key for any large application-development company.
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