Reuse Needs Assessment


Overview
The Lombard Hill Group offers a reuse needs assessment which 1) benchmarks an organization's current reuse practices; 2) qualitatively evaluates the potential for reuse; and 3) identifies the organizational reuse areas for improvement. For further information, please contact services@lombardhill.com.

The Reuse Needs Assessment
The Reuse Needs Assessment is an analytical and diagnostic tool for collecting both qualitative and quantitative benchmark data on software development with reusable assets. The assessment benefits the reuse program by analyzing the management, personnel, metrics, technology, process, and reusable asset aspects of the reuse infrastructure; qualitatively identifying roadblocks to reuse as well as further reuse opportunities; benchmarking the costs/benefits of reusable assets, and determining the current levels of reuse by artifact in the organization. A representative sample of the deliverables from this Assessment follows. (Note: Unless otherwise noted, the data shown below is hypothetical but representative of actual data from past Assessments.)

Reuse Needs Analysis
Using hypothetical data, the keviat chart in figure 1, Reuse Needs Assessment Results, compares the respondents' ratings of how important an area is to software reuse to how well the organization has performed in this area.


Figure 1

The chart in figure 1 is based on responses to standardized questions answered by the target organization staff during the Reuse Needs Assessment process. The information from this chart provides an overview of the target organization and summarizes quantitative findings of the reuse needs assessment.

Further information on the organization's status within each of the six areas of software reuse is also available and presented when relevant. For example, in figure 2, more detailed ratings are provided for a subset of the management category, the overall investigation. Shown are the ratings for two of multiple questions that constitute the overall investigation subcategory.


Figure 2

Reuse Gap Analysis
Gap analysis is useful as a tool to identify reuse areas which require attention. As shown in figure 3, the performance rating of a given area is mapped against its importance rating. For example, the reuse areas in the northwest quadrant of the matrix are areas which are rated highly in importance but rated low in terms of current performance. These are the areas on which an organization's efforts should be focused, in order to migrate them to the northeast quadrant.


Figure 3

Reuse Metrics and Economics
If data is available from the organization, the Reuse Needs Assessment can optionally calculate the improved quality, increased productivity and shortened cycle time from reuse. For example, we determined for one reuse program that quality had improved by 24%, productivity had increased by 40% and the time-to-market had been reduced by 42% through software reuse. In addition, the Reuse Needs Assessment determines the cost/benefit of producing and reusing a reusable asset (not shown).

The Reuse Needs Assessment Process
Following are the steps of the Reuse Needs Assessment:

1) Identify target organization
2) Coordinate tasks with pilot project to undergo assessment
3) Gather initial information and deliver preliminary questionnaire and metric worksheets
4) Conduct assessment interviews
5) Analyze data and present findings
6) Create and deliver Reuse Needs Assessment report to organization (optional)

Benefits
The Reuse Needs Assessment benchmarks organizations that are considering or currently conducting reuse. When data is available, the assessment benefits the organization by: