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Application developers not using hard metrics, Forrester says

Cliff Saran

Application developers are relying on subjective estimates to measure the success of an IT project rather than hard metrics, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting for Borland Software.

The study, which was based in interviews with 20 development managers and executives in charge of application development at companies worth over £500m found that developers were reluctant to improve their application development metrics.

Those companies that attempted to put metrics on software development often selected the wrong metrics and used inefficient methods for collection, according to the Forrester study.

Forrester Research has previously urged businesses to use a balanced scorecard to measure the performance of application development.

Marc Brown, vice-president of product marketing at Borland, said, "This study underscores that application development is the weakest link in the chain. Software delivery continues to be a 'black box', which means IT is lacking the information it needs to improve its performance, understand its delivery capacity and respond to changing business demands."

"Without metrics about business value, application development organisations are unable to communicate with their customers about their contributions to the bottom line or even prioritise the work in a way that makes real business sense."

Over the next 18 months, Borland is planning to introduce products and services designed to provide business intelligence for software developers. The products will aim to optimise development processes by using real-time metrics to help IT managers responsible for software development to understand key performance indicators - risk, cost, impact and value.





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