Did you know that published studies cite rework as being over 40% of software development effort? It’s incredible when we put this into realistic terms – it means that every Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday we make bona fide progress in software development, and then every Thursday and Friday – we get to redo that work!
Naturally there are the unpredictable legislative or business changes that happen after the requirements have been set (in waterfall development) or after the sprint was released (in agile), but often the rework concerns changes or clarifications to existing specifications. In other words, there is substantial rework even when there are no unanticipated changes such as when:
– Requirements are incomplete;
– Requirements are inaccurate;
– Requirements didn’t include enough stakeholders;
– Scope didn’t include quality requirements;
– Requirements were excluded (because they may have been system requirements that were not going to be solved with software);
– User sponsor changed and new stakeholders changed the direction;
– Communications went astray;
– There was no communication (i.e., lack of understanding).
When any non-value added task on a project consumes so much effort (and cost) it makes sense to take steps to remedy it. While there are opportunities to streamline the processes involved in developing software — much has already been done in this area through the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and other initiatives. More gains can be made by working closely with customers as a customer advocate – such as the new set of tasks proposed for the Certified Scope Manager – a new job role ideal for QA specialists, Project Managers, developers, program experts, metrics specialists and others. Scope management has already proven itself to provide outstanding communication and project governance in Australia and Finland, isn’t it about time that you took a serious look at this new approach?
To your successful projects!