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For my business studies, I need to explore the financial side of software engineering projects, but I am rather a technical person myself. What would be good place to start? What are the important financials (net-present-value does this make sense for software?) or performance-indicators of "good" software projects? What type of person in an organization I should contact? Thanks for any help.

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3 Answers 3

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There isn't a great body of work backing up the theory/gut instinct of well run agile projects being more financially efficient than traditional waterfall (in terms of bang for your buck as it were).

One of the hardest tasks many of us face is persuading clients when they say "Show me the scientific papers".

It would be nice to be able to start pointing at some real case studies with proper scientific analysis that show how TDD for example saves on QA costs and medium to long term bug fixes in real dollars and cents.

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+1 I would be very interested in that too. –  user2567 Dec 14 '10 at 10:11
    
thanks... that sounds like a good topic indeed, budgets, costs, salaries are all influenced by the development process and maintenance costs. –  poseid Dec 14 '10 at 10:27
    
@poseid Let me know if you need any participants in London, UK - I'm part of the Agile meetup community here :) –  Martijn Verburg Dec 14 '10 at 10:30
    
@martijn thanks for the offer. I might contact you in January/February.. the research would take 3-4 months. Also, do you think there is a technological shift involved behind waterfall and agile? in case yes, I could bring some theory in about innovation shifts, as explained by Christensen. This podcast is great: districtleaderspodcast.org/wordpress/2009/04/22/… –  poseid Dec 14 '10 at 15:47
    
@poseid There have definitely been technical changes - much of what I pass on to clients is programming/development techniques that happen to fit in nicely with Agile. It means you don't have to use the dirty 'Agile' word ;p. So thigns like TDD, BDD, Continuous Integration, Version Control etc –  Martijn Verburg Dec 14 '10 at 15:58

I like Martijn's answer, but I thought I would add my own (because having a choice is good).

How about an analysis of consultancy in different scenarios. For a reasonably-sized project (a website for a large company, for example), what are the analysis costs, what are the costs of changes in the specification, how much does fixed vs variable costing affect the overall net expendature, and what kind of long-term support is likely to be required?

For another scenario, what about if a software development organisation wants to out-source a project. What are the costs involved here vs just doing it themselves?

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thanks for your suggestion. cost estimations will be part of the work quite likely. also, make-or-buy is an interesting area for business decisions indeed. that one gets also interesting with respect to open-source –  poseid Dec 14 '10 at 10:28

Scrum is a one of software project management thesis topics. They are dependent upon the standards of constant assessment, adjustment, self administration, and improvement. Improvements are allowed to get his objectives and the most vital work is tried to get this targets, without agonizing over whatever else might be available. Obviously each individual of the work group can survey or get the work of the other part in light of the fact that the venture is noticeable for every living soul.

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how does this answer the question asked? –  gnat Oct 4 '13 at 12:09

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