According to a Deloitte survey, distributed and remote collaboration is expected to grow across multiple functions, particularly IT, in the coming years. The survey reveals that the share of subcontracted functions increased by 31% in 2016, compared to 26% in 2014. The numbers show that leading organizations choose remote resources to drive transformational change and improve business results, especially when it comes to software development. To achieve their transformational goals, they expect a high level of custom software development predictability from their partners – on par with results they can get from in-house teams. These companies want to leverage the advantages of remote collaboration, but also escape from the following concerns:
- The result not complying with the initial requirements,
- Unsatisfactory product quality,
- Low level of productivity,
- Communication difficulties and overheads.
To meet these concerns effectively and ensure predictability of distributed projects, IT providers need to adjust their approach to service delivery. The framework, referred to as Predictive Software Engineering (PSE), addresses the bottlenecks and reconstructs the reliable approach to delivering software development services.
PSE advocates the development of custom software products in a way that is transparent by involving all stakeholders. The framework is specifically tailored for using a global pool of talented professionals. As result, clients receive a high-quality software product within a guaranteed timeframe and intended budget. Today companies use it to ensure that the software development process is precise and predictable.
Why push for predictability?
In today’s world of analytics and connectivity, it is increasingly more expected that services are delivered in a predictable timeline. Traditionally, software development services include collaboration and team-work focused practices such as SCRUM and Agile, where project managers are developing products dynamically and involving multiple stakeholders. Nevertheless, existing processes fall short of being a “science”, despite the major of most stakeholders would lay with some computer science.
While the current strategies of managing and delivering software development are functional, they often focus only on technical (aka ‘coding’) aspects of software development. Agile tries to make the custom sooftware development process visible, while leaving out the bigger business goals. Predictive software engineering is one of the few frameworks that attempts to encompass the whole spectrum of business activities surrounding software development.
The framework consists of seven specific concepts. Together they ensure transparency, as well as render the process controllable and predictable in its essence.
Seven concepts of Predictive Software Engineering
- Meaningful Customer Care provides a well-defined governance structure and ensures clear communication of all stakeholders at every stage of the process and communication level, from CEO who builds a strategic vision, to software engineers who implement an efficient technical solution. The concept involves the use of an online customer portal containing various project dashboards, contract details, escalation paths, feeds to various systems, stats and instant feedback.
- Proven Productivity involves organization of centers of excellence, benchmarking, propagation of best practices, expert reviews and project inspections to ensure that the team takes right decisions in every project stage and delivers top output.
- Efficient Distributed Teams are created by focusing on elaborate communication mechanisms and distributed development processes to utilize the best for the task talent available.
- Disciplined Agile Delivery is an Agile methodology scaled to enterprise level and adapted for distributed teams. It is solution-focused, takes business goals into account, and provides a scientific and measurable approach to software development.
- Technical Debt Reduction Platform (TETRA) as a techno-methodological system of processes, practices and software tools aimed to drastically reduce technical debt and improve quality of the software by means of an automated measuring of key software quality metrics. It consists of controlling and measuring of eight dimensions of every software product, namely: source code quality; solution architecture and data model; documentation, usability and UI; security; performance; implementation of business logic; data quality; and use of third-party code.
- Transparent End-to-End Control focuses on stimulating productivity and proactivity of the team. The client defines how strict it can be. Along with default opportunities to track task completion, timesheets and attendance logs in secure environment, the client can request adding video streaming, time usage and data control systems.
- Sound Human Development emphasizes the importance of retaining and growing talent through individual programs for personal and professional development of all team members.
The suggested framework proved to be a reliable way to deliver a guaranteed end-result by combining these seven principles of software development into one model. With this framework, software development gets much closer to a precise and scientific discipline.
Do companies need PSE?
The Predictive Software Engineering framework assists companies with forming a development team most suitable for their project, i.e. equipped with required set of skills, experience and knowledge, as well as achieving the best overall efficiency, both financial and productivity-wise. Additionally, it guarantees getting a product that fully meets business objectives with the least technical debt possible. Companies that leverage this model will be able to eliminate uncertainty in software development projects and transform product development into the process that guarantees results, making software development predictable, and business results easier to attain.
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