Gartner Research

Rightsizing the Software Development Process

Published: 03 February 2009

ID: G00203618

Analyst(s): Kirk Knoernschild


As part of their efforts to produce consistent and reliable development outcomes, organizations attempt to mitigate software development risk through adoption of a repeatable software development process. But many factors influence a software process that optimizes risk mitigation. There is no magic method. No universally applicable combination of roles, responsibilities, practices, and work products applies to all software development efforts. Unique project dynamics affect the optimal software process. In this Application Platform Strategies overview, Analyst Kirk Knoernschild examines various project influences that impact the degree of process formality and ceremony necessary when rightsizing the software development process.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • No Magic Method
  • A Process Strategy
  • Maturity, Formality, and Ceremony
    • People Optimization
    • Practice Optimization
    • Product Optimization
    • The Optimal Software Development Process
  • Influential Factors
    • Project Type
    • Team Size
    • Geographic Distribution
    • Existing Development Methods
    • Personnel Experience
  • Recommendations
    • Baseline Process Essentials
    • Avoid Large Process Improvement Initiatives
    • Adopt Optional Practices to Mitigate Risk
    • Favor Minimalism over Inclusivity, Formality over Ceremony
    • Reassess the Process Regularly
    • Aspire to Continuous Process Optimization



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