What percentage of your organizational time is spent on business-driven projects? In other words, how much time is spent working for customers?
Even a one-man operation must worry about this number – this percentage of customer-driven time. Every organization has projects they do for customers, and projects for in-house development. The balance between them is what I’m talking about. Do you know your percentage? Do you track your project time?
I’d like to think that 90-95% should be customer-related. Any lower, and you’re probably spending too much time fiddling with non-marketable work.
I once worked for a company that wrote all their own software development tools. At the time, Microsoft was selling full-featured compilers for $300. Yet this company wrote all their own. In their case, I would guess their customer-drive project time was less than 80%. That’s too much time fooling around with internal tools.
A company with that much time on their hands won’t do well. What say you?