Establishing Key Performance Indicators for Measuring Software-Development Processes at a Large Organization
Developing software systems in large organizations requires the cooperation of various organizational units and stakeholders. As software-development processes are distributed among such organizational units; and are constantly transformed to fulfill new domain regulations, address changing customer requirements, or adopt new software-engineering methods; it is challenging to ensure, measure, and steer—essentially monitor—the quality of the resulting systems. One means to facilitate such monitoring throughout whole software-development processes are key performance indicators, which provide a consolidated analysis of an organizations’ performance. However, it is also challenging to introduce key performance indicators for the software development of a large organization, as they must be implemented at and accepted by all relevant organizational units. In this paper, we report our experiences of introducing new key performance indicators for software-development processes at Volkswagen Financial Services AG, a large organization in the financial sector. We describe i) our methodology; ii) how we customized and use key performance indicators; iii) benefits achieved, namely improved monitoring and comparability, which help to define quality-improving actions; iv) and six lessons learned. These insights are helpful for other practitioners, providing an overview of a methodology they can adopt to assess the feasibility of key performance indicators as well as their benefits. Moreover, we hope to motivate research to investigate methods for introducing and monitoring key performance indicators to facilitate their adoption.