Monday, June 07, 2004

Maintenance Costs

One thing that I never see on projects is attributing maintenance cost with the success of the project. I always see managers get bonuses because they delivered the project "under budget" (if they do deliver). Typically, the project is maintanence nightmare, but for a lot of organizations, I've seen, they never attribute back the maintenance costs per year back to the project. Why is this? I think its cheating to say a project is done and will cost nothing more. That's simply ludicrous. I wonder how development would change if we depreciated software like we do goods. But, instead of the value going down, the maintenance costs were assessed. If a piece of software started to cost more, then it would be depreciated. Now, why is this important? Because I an easy to maintain piece of software costs less because it was designed well. XP manages this quite well since a project is constantly in maintenance mode and there's no separation between development and after. It's all the same. Systems are grown instead of built. I think if management of IT departments looked at the maintenance costs (at a project level instead of a large sink hole for everyone) that we would see a turn to XP and dynamic languages. But, that's just my theory...=)

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