Companies are in business to maximize the return on their investment. Unfortunately, most software professionals lack the skills to evaluate the business impacts of the technical choices they make – which can lead to waste in time, money, and personnel. Grounded in engineering economics and business decision making, this seminar teaches you the essential concepts and techniques that will help you make technical decisions that positively impact the all-important bottom line. 2-day seminar

This seminar is taught by Steve Tockey and is based on his book, Return on Software


You'll learn:

  • Fundamentals of for-profit business decisions
  • The time value of money
  • How to compare cash-flow streams
  • Methods for developing mutually exclusive alternatives
  • Techniques for evaluating decisions based on profit

Who Should Attend

This class is intended for practicing software professionals who are (or will be) involved in making significant technical and managerial decisions. This may include project managers, product managers, software
architects, technical leads, designers, developers, QA managers, QA leads, and testers.

Certification Information

14 PDU
 PDU Reporting Instructions



All of our public classes are held at the Construx Training Center

Introduction and Foundations

  • Business on purpose
  • Harsh realities
  • Seminar goals
  • Roadmap

Fundamentals of Business Decisions

  • Business decision-making process
  • Selection criteria
  • Proposal
  • Cash-flow instance
  • Cash-flow stream
  • Cash-flow diagram
  • Developing cash-flow streams

Interest: the Time Value of Money

  • Time is money
  • Interest
  • Naming conventions in interest formulas
    • Simple interest
    • Compound interest
    • Compound interest formulas

Comparing Cash-Flow Streams

  • Simple comparison of two proposals
  • Equivalence
  • Bases for comparison
    • Present worth
    • Future worth
    • Annual equivalent
    • Internal rate of return
    • (Discounted) payback period
  • Project balance

Developing Mutually Exclusive Alternatives

  • Independent proposals
  • Dependent proposals
    • Co-dependent proposals
    • Mutual exclusive proposals
    • Contingent proposals
  • Developing mutually exclusive alternatives
  • "Do-nothing" alternative
  • Cash-flow streams for alternatives

For-profit Decision Making

  • Minimum Attractive Rate of Return
  • Basic for-profit decision process
  • Example for-profit decision
  • Rank on rate of return

Allowing for Inaccuracy in Estimates

  • Knowledge drives accuracy
  • Common ways to allow for inaccuracy
    • Increase MARR
    • Shorten planning horizon
  • Better ways to allow for inaccuracy:
    • Use ranges of estimates
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Delay final decisions

Multiple Attribute Decisions

  • Introducing multiple attribute decisions
  • Different kinds of "value"
  • Measurement scales
  • Techniques for multiple attribute decisions
  • Additive weighting

Steve Tockey

Steve Tockey is the Principal Consultant at Construx Software. During more than three and a half decades in the software industry, he has worked as a programmer, ...