The more things change, the more they stay the same – especially when it comes to initiatives that involve cultural change. Measurement is a perfect example – and I’m not talking purely about “software metrics,” rather measurement in any industry.
When you take a business that has traditionally “flown by the seat of its pants” (in other words, it is a monopoly of sorts or it has made money in spite of itself) and start to keep track of what’s going on, people have issues. The first step often is to simply measure anything that moves – data that are easy to capture – and then try to figure out some sort of conclusions or action plans. In IT (Information Technology) the landscape is littered with discarded data from failed measurement initiatives. Data in and of themselves are not bad, IF the data are used appropriately and in the right context.
I recently wrote the following article for Projects at Work based on concepts I first observed nearly 20 years ago, and they are as valid today as ever before.
As a consultant, I LOVE to work with companies who want to succeed with measurement. If you are tasked with starting metrics for your company, give me a call – maybe I can give you some ideas to save you time and money – and succeed with metrics!
Send me an email or leave a comment – measurement is too important to leave to chance. (Let me know if you’d like a full copy of this article!)
Over the years I’ve been privileged to have articles included in compendiums with industry thought leaders whose work I’ve admired. This week, I had another proud moment as my article was featured in the QSM Software Almanac: 2014 Research Edition along with a veritable who’s who of QSM.
This is the first almanac produced by QSM, Inc. since 2006, and it features 200+ pages of relevant research-based articles garnered from the SLIM(R) database of over 10,000 completed and validated software projects.
Download your FREE copy of the 2014 Almanac by clicking this link or the image below.
Posted in Articles, certified scope manager (CSM), Designing software, software development, Software measurement
Tagged certified scope manager, CrossTalk, estimating models, estimating software cost, estimation, European Certificates Association, Global software development, metrics, software development, software estimating, Software measurement
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction – or children’s stories at least, and I’m hoping you’ll relate to the latest blog post I published on the QSM blog last week. I grew up on Dr. Seuss stories – and I think my four siblings and I shared the entire series (probably one of the first loyalty programs – buy the first 10 books, get one free…)
I’d love to hear your comments and whether you agree with the analogy that we seek to create precise software sample sets for benchmarking and in so doing, lose the benefits of the trends we can leverage with larger sample sets. Read on and let me know! (Click on the image below or here.)
One of the more interesting topics in software development (at least from my perspective) is the culture of the industry. Seldom does one find an industry burgeoning with linguistics majors, philosophers, artists, engineers (all types – classically trained to self-named), scientists, politicians, and sales people – all working on the same team in the same IT department.
This creates an incredible diversity and richness – and leads to sometimes astounding leaps and bounds in innovation and technological advancement, but it can also create challenges in basic workplace behavior. This post takes a look at the often overlooked soft skills (empathy, leadership, respect, communication, and other non-technical skills) together with technical competencies as an “opportunity” (aka challenge or obstacle to overcome.)
It was published first on the Project Management Institute (PMI) Knowledge Shelf – recently open to the general non-PMI public.
Added bonus here: I referenced the You Tube 2013 University of Western Australia commencement address by Australian comedian/actor Tim Minchin at the University of Western Australia in 2013 in my post (he shares his 9 recommendations to graduates, my favorite -and the one I quoted – is #7 Define yourself by something you love!) I believe it’s worth the watch/listen if you need to take a break and just sit back and think about soft skills during your technical day. (Warning to the meek of heart – it’s irreverent, offensive, and IMHO, bang on in his core sentiments. If you’re offended, I apologize in advance!)
If you’d like a pdf copy of the post above, please leave me a comment with your email address! (And even if you don’t, I’d love your opinion!)
Have a great week!
Posted in Communication, Designing software, software development, Software measurement
Tagged certified scope manager, Communication, consultants, estimating models, estimating software cost, European Certificates Association, globalization, northernscope, process improvement, The IT Measurement Compendium
With the support of QSM, Inc., I wrote and published this article on a new area of the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) website called “Beyond MetricViews.”
While the IFPUG already had published guidelines in this area, the key points to this article include:
- If you want to measure productivity (or anything else) consistently across two or more software development projects – where each was developed using a different approach (i.e., waterfall vs. agile) – one must be consistent in the definition and application of the measures (and metrics);
- Function points are defined in terms of elementary processes and agile methodologies deliver such functions iteratively (not complete in one iteration) – posing challenges to the uninitiated;
- Regardless of whether you measure productivity, defect density (quality), costs or other aspect of software delivery – it is critical to do an “apples to apples” comparison.
Here’s the article (click on the image) for your interest. (You can also visit the blog at www.qsm.com for details.)
Comments and feedback is appreciated!
I’d love to have comments on my latest QSM blog post of the same name… read more
One of the biggest (and not so obvious) reasons that software estimation goes awry is that amateur estimators don’t always realize how important it is to figure out the “object of estimation” – that is, what it is that we want to estimate.
I’ve addressed this issue on several occasions – through a set of 4 blog posts called “First see the elephant in the room (the what you are estimating…)”
This week, I did a blog post for QSM, Inc. on the same topic. Let me know what you think.
Dr Dobb’s online published my article on this topic this week… and quickly comments started pouring in. Some asked why I would publish an article with observations without solutions while others implied that this is really a customer problem or a human communications problem (I agree with the latter) – What do YOU think?
Read it, and PLEASE give me your feedback. Do you agree, disagree, don’t care? Inquiring minds want to know!
Here’s where the blog post was SUPPOSED to post… http://microbrewsusa.wordpress.com