What’s your software development capability? Try a Developer Foundation Assessment to find out.


Senior Application Development Managers, Pete Fuenfhausen and Paul Martissa spotlight how our Development Foundation Assessment can help identify areas of improvement in your development lifecycle.


Do you wonder how effective your team is at building applications?  Have you ever considered that you may not be taking advantage of the best practices available to development teams today?  Do you wonder if competitors may be leveraging these best practices to gain an advantage over you?

Today’s application development environment is insanely fast-paced, fiercely competitive, and changing constantly.  Meanwhile, your consumers expect, no, demand application quality and performance.  Having an effective, efficient, and flexible application lifecycle and the tools that support it has never been more important than now.  Knowing what to focus on in order to improve in your application lifecycle management processes can be a daunting prospect.  As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Microsoft Premier Support for Developers offers a streamlined, effective means of quickly and accurately assessing your development capability against the most up to date best practices in the industry.  The Developer Foundation Assessment or DFA is a fast, comprehensive method of assessing development team capability.  Based on our collective experience, the DFA provides scored findings and recommendations in 5 key areas of the development lifecycle: application design and project planning, development quality, testing, build and deployment (including DevOps) and security.  Premier Developer Application Development Managers (ADMs) conduct the DFA through hour-long interviews with the key roles on a development team: developers, testers, business analysts, project managers, and management.  The resulting report provides a visual of current development capability across the lifecycle, scored findings in each of 12 lifecycle areas, and recommendations for improving the development capability in each area.

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The Premier Developer DFA addresses many of the shortcomings of other development capability assessments in the industry.  Many other assessment methodologies are labor and time intensive, levying a hefty burden on the assessed organization and therefore reducing the optimal frequency at which assessments are conducted.  The results of most assessments are subjective in nature, lacking a reliable scoring mechanism, as well as the consequent ability to compare results with other teams and within a single team over time.  By design, the DFA presents a very light commitment of time and resources on an assessed team.  A moderately sized development team can be comprehensively assessed with the DFA in a single day.  Because of this efficiency, many of our DFA customers conduct multiple assessments during the year to track their lifecycle improvements and keep their management informed.  The DFA’s scored findings also allow organizations to compare the capability of different development teams and focus improvement efforts where they are needed most.

To get started with a Developer Foundation Assessment for your team or organization, contact your Application Development Manager (ADM) or email us to learn more about how Microsoft Premier Support for Developers can increase your development capabilities.

Comments (1)

  1. Jim Anderson, Senior IT Managing/Engineer HP says:

    I have leveraged the DFA assessment from Microsoft Premier Support for Developers. My ADM came in and spent about two days to interview the entire team (24 members in 3 time zones). The assessment revealed some very interesting findings in regards to the knowledge and skill of the team. We use the assessment to really drive focused training and education for some key roles in the organization. We also used the assessment to drive overarching principles and guidelines for the entire organization. As a senior IT development manager, the DFA assessment gave me a fact based view of the organization and where the team needed to strengthen skills. I find it a value added tool and will continue periodically reassessing the teams. — Jim Anderson, Senior IT Managing/Engineer HP

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