Metrics-based Management of Software Product Portfolios

This paper targets organizations that develop and support a broad portfolio of software products or applications. We discuss a metrics framework to assist in managing such a portfolio, with implications to the financial, developmental, and support aspects. This framework is based on a heuristic grouping of products into three categories: Emerging, Growth and Stable and a set of product characteristics as captured by the observed trends in market share, functionality, development cost, support cost, quality, customer cost of ownership, etc. We focus mainly on one characteristic, namely quality (as represented by software defects and customer reported/field problems) and its impact on service costs. We analyze actual data for 27 software products to illustrate the basic ideas and highlight some lessons learned. We discuss various business scenarios for exploiting this framework that managers can use.

By: Sunita Chulani; P. Santhanam; Brent Hodges; Kelley Blacksten

Published in: RC23990 in 2006


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