_With today’s budget crises, your company needs to hang on tighter than ever to your most valuable assets: your customers. You and others in your IT department are well poised to make this feat a more easily achievable reality.

As a development manager, how can you meet these expectations? One proven strategy is to ensure that the development team meets your expectations. Pundits have determined that nearly 40% of redundant rework is attributed to poor enforcement of a company’s policies pertaining to development projects: well-defined, pre-established business policies and rules that specify how software should be developed.

Policy automation in the development environment can save the day! Automated policy enforcement and monitoring brings law and order to the development environment, reducing rework and focusing limited resources by ensuring that your expectations are enforced in a standardized way across the development group. It is a low-hanging fruit for development managers under pressure to deliver more cutting-edge technology, faster and cheaper than ever.

There is no question that some people will balk at the idea of introducing a new technology that costs the company money at a time when many organizations are implementing budget freezes or laying off employees. But the fact is that automation and enforcement of management policies put the development organization on track to deliver against the company’s business requirements. When development policies and rules are enforced, this eliminates weeks of discussion on how requirements will be met. It also enables relatively new development employees to transition from project to project with ease.

If you are sold on the merits of policy automation but still wonder how to do the tough sell to your manager, here is a simple step you can take: Estimate how much development rework would be cut if you had automated development policy enforcement and monitoring.

Once you have a basic number to work with, present your finding and justify the budget expenditure needed by showing how much rework will be eliminated in one year, three years, and five years, and estimate how much your company will save in time and money while improving productivity and speed.

Hats off to you if you are already picking up the phone and calling your team to pin down how much development rework actually costs your organization! You may very well be on your way to your next raise because you are demonstrating that your problem-solving skills are now more needed at the company than ever before. And that’s what your job is all about, isn’t it? By eliminating the guesswork in the development environment, you will be able to demonstrate that you are on top of the situation, and that you and your development organization are on track to deliver against the company’s business expectations.

Wayne Ariola is vice president of strategy at Parasoft, which sells policy automation tools.