Monday, October 17, 2011

Benchmarking for Agility (paper review)

Benchmarking for Agility (paper review)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14635770110389816

Benchmarking in the software engineering industry becomes an issue. Companies want to compare their operations across sectors and see whether they can be better. Telecom companies want to benchmark their practices against automotive companies, aerospace companies against telecom companies, and so on.

I've looked at this article to see what kind of aspects are important in benchmarking. I must say that the title does promise much, but does it deliver?

In general - yes - but in particular - no. I expected to see metrics which one could use for benchmarking, but instead I've read that one should have "appropriate metrics" and "approppriate tools". In order to find the tools, I needed to look at the sources - and there they were.

However, I must say that the paper offers a number of measures in the categories like:
  • Technology: market shares
  • Demand: Product variety - number of product line families
  • Process change: levels of management or cost to relocate processes
I recommend this paper when one needs "food-for-thought", but not as a definitive guide. It is way too abstract for that.
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