Posted by: ahmedashfaque | August 13, 2015

Economic considerations in software development


Technical people working on software projects do not worry about economic impact on any decision making for software development. For example, if a decision is to be taken for programming language selection then consideration for technical viability for implementing a solution is the only consideration. Off course the project team also considers expertise available on hand by seeing the skill set of the project team. However the project team never considers the economic aspects about any decision taken on the project. Off course the technical team has no idea about economics of the given project; however someone on the project must consider the economic aspect when selecting technology for a project or considering software design.

Generally the project managers themselves are not well versed with economics. For example in the decision to select a suitable programming language for the project, a project manager may consider factors like difficulty level, available skill sets, technical viability etc. but never about productivity gains.

Due to this shortcoming, decision making on software projects is always faulty. What is the solution then? Well We have various types of organization structures under which software projects are executed. Some of them include program management, portfolio management etc. Most of these organization structures take care of aspects like resource utilization, customer management etc. Unfortunately none of them seriously take into account the economic factors.

While considering a programming language if the project team thought about amount of code reuse which the specific programming language will allow? What about special functions already defined in the programming language which can be used to do many computations without writing those functions from scratch? How much time and effort can be saved using these features of the programming language?

These questions should always be asked and hard facts should be tried to be found before a programming language is selected.

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