Software development productivity measurement is the activity of recording the metrics and attributes of a software endeavour for comparative purposes.

How productive are our software developers?

Would you like to know if your team is more productive than another or than industry norms?     If these are the questions that you are asking yourself then you’ll want to look more closely at benchmarking.

You might want to compare the development productivity of one organisation over another.  You might want to assess whether your software activities are sufficiently staffed.  You might want to compare how productive one team is over another.

When you compare the activities of one team vs another within an organisation, that’s internal benchmarking.  Comparing against another similar organisation is referred to as external benchmarking.

A reliable way of assessing developer productivity

We recommend that the core metric used for all software benchmarking work is the COSMIC Function Point.  (IFPUG FPs are fine too).

One of the many reasons we strongly recommend using COSMIC Function Points is the very high correlation between effort and CFP, as proven by this study results shown in this graph.

Software benchmarking lets you demonstrate the productivity, cost-effectiveness and quality of your software development and maintenance work.  Once you know your numbers versus the benchmarks of highly productive teams, you can then start to look at improving how you work and make changes to deliver better quality software, faster and cheaper.

Using ScopeMaster we can help you assess how your team(s) perform against industry norms.

We favour the use of the Productivity Index devised by Putnam & Myers.

Software development benchmarking

Software development productivity benchmarking – assess your team

If you have a great team, why not publish your productivity index, maybe it will help you win development work?

All you need is a set of user stories from a previous project, about 1 hour and access to ScopeMaster.

  1. Take a set of requirements from a recent project.  Upload them into ScopeMater. Let the analyser, work out the size.
  2. Add to the productivity calculator, the total effort it took (in person days), the duration (in months), and defect removal that you achieved, you can:
  3. It will then determine the productivity index of your team.

And that’s all there is to it.

If you are above average, say 6+ for a web team, then you are on the track to greatness.  If you like, we will publish your team’s productivity index on our league table.

Beware misleading metrics

In this article 10 experts provide their opinions on what should be the way to measure productivity.  It’s curious that they are all different.  Alas none of them refer to measurement based on a consistent, reliable engineering metric of  productivity based on functional size/time or its’s equivalent reciprocal of hours per COSMIC function point.