Software companies create value to their customers by implementing new applications, new features and new code. And they capture the value from their customer by various business models ranging from licensing to projects.
How could they increase the value-add, and revenues, of their value-generation machine: product development, maintenance of products and customer support.
A study conducted in hundreds of organisations in the US software industry (Capers Jones, 2010) reveals that in a 220-day working year:
– Only about 47 days (21%) were actually spent on developing planned features of new applications by software engineering personnel
– About 70 days (32%) were spent on testing and bug repair
– The rest of the year was spent on meetings, administrative tasks and dealing with changing requirements
Improving quality via a combination of defect prevention and more effective defect removal (i.e. static analysis before testing, automated testing, more build-test cycles etc.) is the key. Smaller staff can perform the same work as larger staff without any reduction in operational efficiency, customer satisfaction or productivity. And indeed, development schedules would improve because they normally slip more during testing than at any other time, due to excessive defects.
Software developers create value by implementing new features, new code. Customers do not get value from software vendor’s testing and bug fixing activities, but from using the new features of the application.
If you can reduce the time used for lower value activities, like testing and bug hunting by automating those activities and use more days to implement new features, it will significantly impact your top-line. By moving 20 days from testing and bug fixing to new feature creation, your developer productivity will increase by 42%. Also more accurate project schedules and on time projects improve your top line, because revenues are not deferred due to delayed projects, but can be cashed in on time.
Higher defect removal efficiency will lead to lower development costs, accurate development schedules, lower maintenance costs and lower customer support costs. It is a snowball effect leading to higher top-line, as well as bottom-line, if implemented right. Our value proposition is to provide automated fast build and test environment for our customer to gain higher developer productivity and improve their ability to deliver. That will lead to higher revenues. And all this with zero investments in supporting infrastructure.