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What is the "industry standard" ratio of new development to maintenance?

By seanseverson ·
I am an application developer for a regional insurance provider. I work on "new projects" but also work with the maintenance team who maintains and enhances all legacy applications. One frustration that the business units, and some of the developers, have is that management and the pm's believe that maintenance/enhancement items should make up only 20% of development time. The list of maintenance items and new enhancements to existing systems continues to grow. What is the "industry standard" ratio of maintenance to new development?

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Depends on how you define maintenance

by KenCostello In reply to What is the "industry sta ...

If you look at effort expended on a project across its entire lifetime, then the average percentage of the total effort spent on maintenance is 60-80%. This includes corrective, adaptive, perfective and preventive maintenance.

When you speak of maintenance and "new projects" are the new projects completely new projects or upgrades to a current system? Are you trying to ask how much of a person's time should be spent on a new project versus maintaining some other project? Are you asking how much of a person's time should be split between developing new stuff on a new project and maintaining what is current in place on the new project?

There are a number of different ways to look at all of this...and I am just not certain if my original answer is what you were looking for or if perhaps it is a different perspective.

Ken

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Clarification of "Maintenance"

by seanseverson In reply to Depends on how you define ...

Ken,

By maintenance I mean fixing of bugs that are discovered in the production environment, making "minor" enhancements like simple UI formatting changes, and "tweaking" the app to get it to work correctly due to a change in business requirements or changes in business process.

Sean

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