Productivity: A Misguided Measurement in Software Systems?

Chennai Chapter

Ramkumar is an experienced program manager with12+ years of success in leading all phases of diverse technology IT projects in retail, e-commerce, insurance and pharma market research industries.

Productivity helps us measure success in all projects, whether traditional or agile. Project managers use productivity metrics to be successful not only internally in their organization, but to keep customers happy by staying on (or under) budget.

The traditional ways of measuring productivity (through lines of code, defects, amount of work done in a fixed time, etc.) are becoming less pronounced with the agile or startup way of developing projects and products. Customers are expecting value out of features delivered in product development that can greatly increase ROI. Constant innovation is needed as customer tastes and expectations change—and new technologies and trends emerge.

Teams need to have an entrepreneurial mindset that can adapt, learn and measure success through feedback. Cloud and open source tool adoption can greatly reduce the cycle time and enable developers to be effective and efficient.

Background
The measurement of productivity in manufacturing or material production is simply the quantity of units produced and sold to consumers. More quantity means more customers served, eventually increasing revenue and profit.

The concept of measuring productivity in maximum units made by a worker applies well to tangible products in the manufacturing and production industries. This process of measurement looks simple, so there is a broad tendency to …

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