A balance of features, effort and quality on the way into the unknown

Talk OOP conference 2020 – 05.02.2020

A balance of features, effort and quality on the way into the unknown

Egon Wuchner und Konstantin Sokolov are giving a talk on the following topic:

Projects going ‘into-the-unknown’ are characterized by an uncertain feature set making R&D hardly planable and software maintainability a high-end goal. How to achieve a high business value of software without wasting a lot of development effort? This talk shows how to create the balance between focussing on the development of business-relevant features and effective quality improvements of these features. Value, effort and code quality has to be measured, monitored and estimated along the axis of features. 

We introduce new concepts and analysis methods to focus all efforts and quality improvements along features. We will talk about feature modularity instead of code modularity only and the concept of feature quality debt. And show how it helps to align business with quality goals, by turning heated subjective discussions into data-driven, fact-based collaboration despite the “unknown”.

We are going to show how managers, product owners, engineers are able to answer the following questions in order to deal with the unknown variables of projects today.


  • What is the effort distribution along features/functionality? Is it supposed to be this way? Is the main effort spent on features with high business value? Do current features have a high business value?
  • How  well can you extend existent features? How well can you add new features to your system? Which parts of your system are not well suited? Which of these parts are worth improving at all?
  • Where is it possible to predict upcoming errors and high maintenance efforts based on previous feature implementations? Where is it a necessity to act proactively to avoid exponential maintenance effort later?
  • How can you reliably estimate the effort it takes to address the aforementioned hot spots?
  • What are the risks of your knowledge distribution in your team(s)? Where are the knowledge islands and knowledge tangles (with the latter leading to bugs later)?


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