Our client, a large automotive group, was facing a continuous growth of complexity especially in the domains of application and technology architecture. The rising complexity had elevated IT costs and impaired service quality as IT projects had increasingly failed to meet their objectives.
Our mandate was to develop a management reporting for our client to monitor architecture complexity and it's development over time adequately using appropriate complexity measures (KPIs). Ultimately, an active management of complexity including the systematic detection and removal / prevention of complexity with no added business value ("Complexity Surplus") was to be enabled.
Starting from a catalog of complexity measures provided by Scape, a client specific management reporting was developed. The selection of the KPIs used was based on the client's strategic objectives which had been validated and extended through a stakeholder analysis. As primary objectives, the reduction of technologies and the decoupling of application systems (esp. across domain boundaries) were determined. For practical reasons, the availability, actuality and quality of the required architecture data was considered as well with the architecture repository being selected as the primary data source.
Based on the developed concept, an initial reporting was created calculating the selected measures and presenting them in a comprehensible way. A comparison with similar data from peer organizations (in terms of a benchmarking) provided further insight and was supportive in the interpretation of the data. Finally, recommendations were derived to limit and actively reduce complexity in the future.
By the end of the project, a management reporting had been set up comprising over 20 measures related to complexity and a corresponding visualization to be used within a periodic reporting. All KPIs had been initially calculated and enriched by additional information obtained through a drill-down analysis. For about half of the KPIs comparitive data was available from peer organizations. As a result, the client had been enabled to measure and manage the complexity of it's architecture systematically and continuously to improve the overall efficiency and quality of IT.
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