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Productivity Measurement of Agile Teams – Overcoming the Issues with Non-Functional Requirements

Harold van Heeringen, Theo Prins and Edwin van Gorp
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Harold van Heeringen: METRI B. V. Schiphol-Rijk
Theo Prins: Sizing, Estimating & Control
Edwin van Gorp: Sizing, Estimating & Control

Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, 2017, issue 43, 117-134

Abstract: Nowadays, as the software industry is slowly becoming more mature, software measurement and performance measurement are becoming increasingly important. Organizations need to know their productivity and competitiveness in software development projects for various reasons. In many software development contracts, targets are set for the suppliers to reach. These targets are based on software metrics like productivity, speed of delivery and software quality. In order to check if the targets are reached, it is necessary to measure the functional size of the software product that is delivered and also the functional size of the software development project that is carried out, as there is usually a difference between these two sizes. To be able to use the functional size in contracts, it must be measured in an objective, repeatable, verifiable and therefore defensible way. That being the case, the industry’s best practice is to use an ISO/IEC standard for functional size measurement, e.g. Nesma, COSMIC or IFPUG function points. However, these methods only measure the functional user requirements from the total software requirements to be delivered. In activities like project estimation and productivity measurement, the influence of the non-functional requirements is expressed in the Project Delivery Rate (PDR) which is expressed in effort hours per function point. If more than the average number of non-functional requirements need to be realized in a project (or more severe non-functional requirements), the PDR used should also be higher. In the industry it is customary to set productivity targets based on an average (or calibrated) influence of non-functional requirements and this works quite fine in traditional software projects. In software development projects that are executed in an agile way, this is not always the case. When working agile, there are forces that influence the traditional way of performance measurement significantly, resulting in a number of serious issues. In this paper these issues are explained and a method to overcome these issues is proposed.

Keywords: agile development; story points, outsourcing, performance measurement, functional requirements, Nesma, ISBSG, non-functional requirements, Agile normalized size (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:sgh:annals:i:43:y:2017:p:117-134