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Making the Software Business Case:Improvement by the Numbers

by: Donald Reifer

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On-line Price: $55.95 (includes GST)

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Retail Price: $63.95

Publisher: ,24-Aug-01


ISBN: 0201728877
ISBN13: 9780201728873

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  'Just the understanding and insights you will pick up about how people encounter and cope with combinations of technical, social, political, and economic opportunities and challenges make the book a joy to read and worth much more than the price of it alone.'

--Barry Boehm, from the Foreword

  This practical handbook shows you how to build an effective business case when you need to justify--and persuade management to accept--software change or improvement. Based on real-world scenarios, the book covers the most common situations in which business case analyses are required and explains specific techniques that have proved successful in practice. Drawing on years of experience in winning the 'battle of the budget,' the author shows you how to use commonly accepted engineering economic arguments to make your numbers 'sing' to management.

  The book provides examples of successful business cases; along the way, tables, tools, facts, figures, and metrics guide you through the entire analytic process. Writing in a concise and witty style, the author makes this valuable guidance accessible to every software engineer, manager, and IT professional.

  Highlights include:

How and where business case analyses fit into the software and IT life cycle process

Explanations of the most common tools for business case analysis, such as present-value, return-on-investment, break-even, and cost/benefit calculation

Tying the business process to the software development life cycle

Packaging the business case for management consumption

Frameworks and guidelines for justifying IT productivity, quality, and delivery cycle improvement strategies

Case studies for applying appropriate decision situations to software process improvement

Strategic guidelines for various business case analyses

With this book in hand, you will find the facts, examples, hard data, and case studies needed for preparing your own winning business cases in today's complex software environment.


  Author Bio

      Donald J. Reifer is the president of Reifer Consultants, Inc., a firm that specializes in helping clients implement changes that are financially justified. During his more than 30 years of industry and government experience, he has grown businesses, managed major projects, led recovery teams, and implemented improvement strategies globally. Most important, he has helped clients sell change based on the numbers. His numerous other publications include several popular books on software management.


Table of Contents





      1. Improvement Is Everybody's Business.

  Viewing Software as a Business.

Change Is the Nature of Software.

Making the Giant Leap Forward.

Success Is a Numbers Game.

  Improvement Cycles and Tricycles.

Improvement by the Numbers.

      Business Versus Technical Cases.

Why Change?

  Are You Ready to Change?.

Getting Your Boss to Commit.

      How This Book Can Help You.


      2. Making a Business Case.

  The Whats, Whys, and Whens of Business Cases.

  Relating Improvement Goals to Metrics Via Questions.

Developing Business Cases: The Front-End Process.

Tying the Business Process to the Software Development Life Cycle.

      Business Cases: Stepping Through the Life Cycle.


      3. Making the Business Case: Principles, Rules, and Analysis Tools.

  Tooling the Process.

  Business Case Principles.

Present Value and Future Worth.

A Smorgasbord of Analysis Techniques.

      Tools of the Trade.

Packaging the Business Case for Management Consumption.

Avoiding Taxes and Tax Revolts.


      4. Business Cases That Make Sense.

  The Parable of the Chinese Emperor.

Improving the Process.

  Cost Avoidance.

Capitalizing Software.

Quick-to-Market Strategies.

      Architecting Products.

Make Versus Buy Analysis.

Moving to a Web-Based Economy.



          5. Playing the Game of Dungeons and Dragons: Process Improvement Case Study.

  Setting the Stage.

  Current Business Climate.

Developing a Game Plan.

      Process Maturity: Are the Investments Justified?.

Quantifying the Return-on-Investment.

Getting Everyone Involved in Playing the Game.

Reinventing and Refreshing the Organization.


      6. Quantifying the Cost/Benefits: Capitalizing Software Case Study.

  You've Got a Problem.

  Organization Profile.

Initial Operational Concept.

      Capital Decision-Making Process.

  Make-Versus-Buy Analysis.

Putting Software Cost Models to Work.

Performing Risk Analyses.

Addressing 'What If' Questions.

      Making Your Numbers Believable.


      7. Making Your Numbers Sing: Architecting Case Study.

  The Grand Proposal.

Developing a Strategy.

Readying the Financials.

Determining the Numbers.

  Trimming the Fat.

Justifying Your Recommendations.

      Why Pursue Architecture in the First Place?.


      8. Maneuvering the Maze: Web-Based Economy Case Study.

  For Openers.

  Finding a Likely Candidate.

Determining the 'Value' of a Firm.

      Computing How Much to Pay.

  To Buy or Not to Buy.

Avoiding the Traps.

      Going Global.

Timing Is Strategy.



          9. Overcoming Adversity: More Than a Pep Talk.

  The Wary Traveler.

You Can Be Successful.

  Change Tactics Abound.

Avoid the Many Bear Traps.

Focus on the Things That Count.

      Other Interesting Uses of Numbers.

Where's the Technology Heading?.


      Appendix A: Recommended Reading List.

Appendix B: Compound Interest Tables.