The Economics of Iterative Software Development: Steering Toward Better Business Results

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Pearson Education, Mar 23, 2009 - Computers - 192 pages
3 Reviews

Results-Based Software Management: Achieve Better Outcomes with Finite Resources


Effective software development is no longer merely an IT concern: today, it is crucial to the entire enterprise. However, most businesspeople are not ready to make informed decisions about software initiatives. The Economics of Iterative Software Development: Steering Toward Better Business Results will prepare them. Drawing on decades of software development and business experience, the authors demonstrate how to utilize practical, economics-based techniques to plan and manage software projects for maximum return on technology investments.


The authors begin by dispelling widespread myths about software costs, explaining why traditional, “engineering-based” software management introduces unacceptable inefficiencies in today’s development environments. Next, they show business and technical managers how to combine the principles of economics and iterative development to achieve optimal results with limited resources. Using their techniques, readers will learn how to build systems that enable maximum business innovation and process improvement—and implement software processes that allow them to do so consistently.


Highlights include

  • How to repeatedly quantify the value a project is delivering and quickly adjust course as needed
  • How to reduce software project size, complexity, and other “project killers”
  • How to identify and eliminate software development processes that don’t work
  • How to improve development processes, reduce rework, mitigate risk, and identify inefficiencies
  • How to create more proficient teams by improving individual skills, team interactions, and organizational capability
  • Where to use integrated, automated tools to improve effectiveness
  • What to measure, and when: specific metrics for project inception, elaboration, construction, and transition

The Economics of Iterative Software Development: Steering Toward Better Business Results will help both business and technical managers make better decisions throughout the software development process—and it will help team and project leaders keep any project or initiative on track, so they can deliver more value faster.


What people are saying - Write a review

economics of software for managers

User Review  - Jeanne Boyarsky - Borders

The title of “The Economics of Iterative Software Development – Steering Toward Better Business Results” jumped out at me since I'm a software developer at a bank. Software and economics in the same ... Read full review

Review: The Economics of Iterative Software Development: Steering Toward Better Business Results

User Review  - Ben Linders - Goodreads

The book covers iterative development, and how companies can apply it. It didn't give me real new insights or ideas. Also, in a book with "economics" in the title I would expect more data or examples on how to define the business case for iterative development. Read full review


The Challenge of Software Project Management
The Case for Software Economics
Reducing Software Project Size or Complexity
Improving Team Proficiency
Improving Automation Through Integrated Tools
A Practical View of Software Development Metrics
What to Measure in the Inception Phase
What to Measure in the Elaboration and Construction Phases
What to Measure in the Transition Phase
Measuring Projects Embedded in Programs
Appendix Getting Started with Iterative Project Management
Suggested Reading

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About the author (2009)

Walker Royce is the vice president of IBM’s Worldwide Rational Lab Services. He has managed large software engineering projects, consulted with a broad spectrum of IBM's worldwide customer base, and developed a software management approach that exploits an iterative life cycle, industry best practices, and architecture-first priorities. He is the author of Software Project Management: A Unified Framework (Addison-Wesley, 1998) and a principal contributor to the management philosophy inherent in Rational’s Unified Process. He received his BA in physics from the University of California, and his MS in computer information and control engineering from the University of Michigan.


Kurt Bittner is chief technical officer for the Americas at Ivar Jacobson Consulting. He has worked in the software industry for more than 26 years in a variety of roles, including developer, team leader, architect, project manager, and business leader. He has led agile projects, run a large division of a software development company, survived and thrived in several start-ups, and worked with clients in a variety of industries including insurance, banking, and energy. He is the co-author of two books with Ian Spence, Use Case Modeling (Addison-Wesley, 2003) and Managing Iterative Software Development Projects (Addison-Wesley, 2007), as well as many articles, especially in the areas of improving requirements and software development management practices.


Mike Perrow is a writer and editor for the Rational organization within the IBM Software Group. He is the founding editor of The Rational Edge online magazine. In that role, he has worked closely with Rational methodologists and thought leaders, including Walker Royce, Kurt Bittner, and many others, to explain the concepts of iterative software development that underlie the Rational Unified Process and related toolset. He began his career as a technical writer on mainframe systems while teaching technical writing at Old Dominion University. Since then, he has taught periodically and served as an evangelist and marketer for Imagination Systems, Powersoft, and Sybase, Inc. In his parallel life as a creative writer, he has published poems in leading literary journals, including The Southern Review, Shenandoah, and Boston Review

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