This by far the hardest problem I’ve run into in this field. I’ve tried waving the calculations around, but there’s clearly something I’m not getting right. I’ve demonstrated cost savings in the millions at companies, but couldn’t convert that into more devex resource spend or even significant merit increase. Last year I spent four weeks on a problem that all on its own saved $300k annually just in lost dev hours, not to mention avoiding a whole slew of other expensive side effects. These stats historically have gotten me nowhere.
Where I’ve finally come down is that at root this is a wisdom problem, not a spreadsheet problem — where “wisdom” here simply means “having had more opportunity to make mistakes than other people”. Whatever speadsheet number I give you, chances are someone else will be able to spin a better ROI calculation. Until you’ve actually left blood and tissue on the floor because you didn’t invest in devex/platform, I’m going to have a hard time selling you on investing in it. In the meantime, I try to work for management with a little more “wisdom”. This is discouragingly difficult to find.