Justifying UCD: cost benefits at IAI

Cost-benefits were calculated using the recommended guidelines.

Maturity assessments

The maturity briefings and assessments cost $5K in staff time

Development cost/benefits

IAI estimated that all the methods used (except Style Guide) resulted in savings in development costs of between $5K and $70K for each method, with a total saving of $330K. The cost of using the methods was only $22K, giving a cost-benefit ration of 1:15.

Sales cost/benefits

Increased sales because customers would be more likely to buy the product were estimated to be $400K

Support cost/benefits

Reduced costs of training and support were estimated at £50K.

Overall cost benefits

The overall costs of the maturity assessments and use of methods was $27K. The total estimated savings and increased sales is $780K, giving a cost-benefit ration of 1:29.


The techniques were assessed as very cost effective and low cost. Usually introducing changes into an organisation is a lengthy, costly and complicated process. It requires convincing many people to invest time and money and then demonstrate the benefits versus costs. In the recent years it became even more difficult due to staff shortage and the requirement to reduce the time to market.

TRUMP was the exception due mainly to its low cost, and obvious benefits. When the developers only have to invest a few days in applying the methods and see the results on the spot, convincing the managers is very simple and performing cost-benefit analysis is simply not needed.

In view of the short time and effort it took to practice these techniques and the strong impact they had on the quality of the system, they are being incorporated in LAHAV’s development process. The expertise available at LAHAV to practice these techniques is not great. Nevertheless the techniques are fairly intuitive and should be easy for new facilitators to learn.

Other parts of the IAI case study

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