Business Goal: Reduce Cost
Note! These 'goal-pages' are initial thoughts. Work is in progress. I'm open for comments.

Why that goal?

The goal "reduce cost" are often mentioned by managers. Organizations are always keen on reducing any cost. This can be out-of-pocket money, license cost, human capital etc.

Observation is that often the cost of maintenance (e.g. labor to setup or labor for maintaining integration software) are not measured or unknown. Setting goals on improvements, like reduce 2%, do need a starting point to quantify.

Maybe you can't directly measure involved cost (or it might not be a correct variable to steer on related to you goal!). You could measure hours spend on tasks. Where hours will have direct relation to cost and time to market. So maybe better measurements are:

  1. Hours spend (or even estimated)
  2. Number of test run
  3. Reduce number of manual tests
  4. ...

Where are we now?

If there is a set of directives to reduce cost you might have insight in which direction the savings have to go.

  1. Labor cost
  2. License cost
  3. Cost of production

Or can we use a derived measurement?

What's the target?

Clearly if you can't measure, you can't have a target. "Cost must down 2%", how to accomplish if you don't have the tools to measure.

How to accomplish

Basically it often dripples down in "reduce manual labour". Everybody knows that this has to be translated into "reduce manual labour for repetitive work, use manual brains and human-power for creative and engineering work!". Having that said, evaluate your processes and where people are working on. Why are we doing that? Is it possible to automate? Can we do it differently?

Still some well accepted approaches with supporting tools to reduce cost:

  1. Team Collaboration
  2. Services Virtualization
  3. Test Automation
  4. Reporting