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Business alignment: Measurement-based alignment of software strategies and business goals

: Münch, Jürgen; Heidrich, Jens; Mandíc, Vladimir


Bomarius, Frank (Ed.); Oivo, Markku (Ed.); Jaring, Päivi (Ed.); Abrahamsson, Pekka (Ed.):
10th International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement, Profes 2009. Proceedings : Oulu, Finland, June 15 - 17, 2009
Berlin: Springer, 2009 (Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing 32)
ISBN: 978-3-642-02151-0
ISBN: 3-642-02151-4
ISSN: 1865-1348
International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement (PROFES) <10, 2009, Oulu>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software measurement; project management; strategic management; it-strategy; business strategy; goal question metric approach

Most of today's products and services are software-based. Organizations that develop software want to maintain and improve their competitiveness by controlling software-related risks. To do this, they need to align their business goals with software development strategies and translate them into quantitative project management. There is also an increasing need to justify cost and resources for software and system development and other IT services by demonstrating their impact on an organization's higher-level goals. For both, linking business goals and software-related efforts in an organization is necessary. However, this is a challenging task, and there is a lack of methods addressing this gap.
The popular Goal Question Metric (GQM) approach has served the software industry well for several decades in defining measurement programs. However, it does not provide explicit support for motivating and integrating measurement at various levels of the organization. On the other hand, approaches such as Balanced Scorecard address mainly business-level goal-setting activities, and do not support the alignment of objectives at different levels of the organization with an integrated methodology. To fill this gap, we propose GQM+Strategies: an integrated approach that is based on GQM and adds the capability to create measurement programs that ensure alignment between goals and strategies at different levels, from the highest strategic levels of the business to the level of individual development projects. The approach is based on rationales for deciding about options when operationalizing goals and for evaluating the success of strategies with respect to goals. The tutorial will illustrate the GQM+Strategies approach using practical examples from industry, present related approaches (like BSC, PSM, and Co-BIT), and provide practical exercises on how to actually apply the method.