The 2023 Application Development Benchmarks, Europe report is now available. This document mirrors the global 2022 Application Development Benchmarks so that European tech execs can read both in conjunction and get an even better picture of application development costs and practices around the world. In this blog, we give some recommendations to consider after reading the Application Development Benchmarks reports.

Benchmarking As A Means To An End

Benchmarking your application landscape is a means to an end, not a goal. Focus on doing the right things for your business rather than just trying to be on par with the rest of your industry. If the rest of your industry is immature, that’s not a great target to aim for. Use benchmarks diligently, and measure your application development efforts with metrics that really matter that are focused on business value. This helps you build a more effective business case while you adopt a modern application development model. Tech execs should take the following actions for their application development activities:

  • Make the business case to migrate from traditional command-and-control models. Modern application development (MAD) business funding is value-stream-driven and has three dimensions: Platforms form the foundation; practices hone development around objectives and key results; and partners create networks that break down traditional command-and-control models. Use these to continuously improve applications and their delivery processes, measure success in terms of customer impact, and prioritize investments based on customer lifecycles and value streams.
  • Adopt Forrester’s Modern Application Development Model. This model is uniquely positioned to improve software development and delivery by focusing on key tasks and differentiators. At the center is business value: Value streams, in a development and operational context, convert business hypotheses into digitally enabled solutions delivered to the customer. Around this core, form a cycle of analyzing, ideating, and planning; designing, prototyping, and “MVP-ing” (MVP = minimum viable product); building and maintaining; and delivering. Augment the cycle by leveraging value stream management, collaborative work management, low-code, and continuous testing.
  • Choose metrics that capture business outcomes rather than measure activity. Forrester’s MAD metrics framework has five key metrics categories: quality, efficiency, engagement, progress, and the business value delivered. Best practices include tailoring metrics to each team’s context; measuring both product and team health; enabling individual benchmarking (but keeping it private); using digital pulse metrics to monitor engagement; correlating telemetry through analytics and machine learning; measuring the flow of your value streams; and driving everything toward the ultimate outcome metric: business value.

We will be continuing the series on European IT spending benchmarks later in the year, with a focus on service-desk benchmark metrics. Forrester clients can book a guidance session or inquiry with Diego or myself to dive further into the results.