Articles

Release Management and Deployments: Why Is This So Important?

Why do we wait to discuss releases and deployments until the last minute? Is this a result of our lack of planning and knowledge, or is there a deeper reason why we fail to plan properly? Joe Townsend digs into the release and deployment portions of the SDLC to try to shed some light on why we tend to neglect these crucial steps.

Joe Townsend's picture Joe Townsend
Five Minutes Ahead of the Boot

"There's that same kind of bug I found last week. When will they learn? When can I apply my energy to preventing bugs instead? Isn't that a more noble profession?" says the disgruntled tester. You may think that Quality Assurance is the next logical step in your testing career, but Danny Faught has been down that path and he begs to differ. In this week's column, we find out he's not the only one who feels that way.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
The Goldilocks Parable: How Much Process Is Just Right

Getting process improvement "just right" is difficult. Go too far in the definition of processes, and it really does get too hot, with the heat coming from the people trying to use the processes. On the other hand process definitions that are too short to contain anything of value will leave users in the cold, and then there will be no improvement in the organization. Ed Weller states that a useful process improvement activity develops a set of process artifacts that meets the needs of the user. This helps the organization capture "tribal lore" and cast it into a set of process definitions that eliminates waste and improves time-to-market.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
QA Preventing Failure Suffering for Success

One of the most valuable services a QA group provides is preventing failure. Ironically if the group succeeds at this, QA might find themselves unpopular or out of a job. Linda Hayes reveals how typical methods of measuring success can actually cause failure. Especially if success is achieved at the loser's expense.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Impossibility of Estimating Software The Impossibility of Estimating Software

Estimating software schedules must be an art, not a science. With so many techniques published on the subject, why is it so difficult? It has to do with the human element and past project knowledge.

Monetization 2.0: The Evolution of Software Licensing

The cloud and the rapid migration to mobile devices and the Internet of Things have made traditional software licensing schemes obsolete. Omkar describes new software monetization based on business, pricing models, and usage.

Omkarnath Munipalle's picture Omkarnath Munipalle
Can Test Estimation Be à la Carte?

In this installment of FAQ, Rob Sabourin discusses the benefits of providing stakeholders a "menu" of past projects to help better estimate their current project's testing needs.

Robert Sabourin's picture Robert Sabourin
Piece By Piece: Test Estimation and Planning in Agile Teams

The iterative agile methodology provides a clearer vision, smaller time scale, and closer planning horizon. The authors look at approaches to estimation and planning, from product backlog grooming to task-estimating tables and more.

Interviews

Larry Putnam Jr. discusses software estimation and project planning From Proposal to Project: An Interview with Larry Putnam Jr.
Video

Larry Putnam Jr., co-chief executive officer at QSM, sits down to talk about the importance of the proposal when executing a successful project, five key questions that should be answered before any project starts, and how software estimation ties into the proposal process.

Conference Presentations

Estimating in Software Development: No Silver Bullets Allowed
Slideshow

What do poker, Greek oracles, an Italian mathematician from the Middle Ages, and the path of hurricanes have in common? Given the title of this presentation, chances are it has something to do with estimation, and you'll have to attend this session to get the full connection. Kent McDonald explores the challenges and realities of trying to estimate software-related knowledge work-analysis, testing, development, and the entire project effort. A major challenge is that there are no guaranteed ways to arrive at perfectly accurate estimates, which not surprisingly is why they are called estimates. Kent introduces and gives you a chance to practice quick and practical estimating techniques that will work in different situations-guesstimating, break it down and add it up, and planning poker.

Kent McDonald, Knowledge Bridge Partners
Lessons Learned from Forty-five Years of Software Measurement
Slideshow

Counting is easy. However, what makes measurement really valuable-and really hard to get right-is knowing what to count and what to do with the results. If your organization is mostly tracking resource usage, costs, and schedule data, it is making a big mistake. What about the users? The customers? The overall business strategy? Sharing the lessons he has learned from fighting-and surviving-many software measurement battles, Ed Weller offers a step-by-step approach for implementing a practical and valuable metrics program. After understanding what measures are most important to the business strategy and all stakeholders, the next step is to decide what data supports those measures and how to capture it. With data in hand, you can create simple and informative ways to make the resulting metrics visible and easy to digest. The biggest challenges-avoidance, disbelief, and rationalization-come next.

Edward Weller, Integrated Productivity Solutions, LLC
Not an Estimating Problem
Video

In this lightning talk from STAREAST 2011, Dale Emery takes a look at some common issues we encounter when estimating and explains why they aren't actually estimating problems.

Dale Emery, DHE
Estimating Business Value

Agility focuses on delivering business value to the customers as rapidly as possible. So, how does the team assure the business that it’s delivering the most value possible in the right priority? It’s more than prioritizing user stories or estimating development effort with story points. Through presentation and interactive exercises, Ken Pugh explains how to estimate and track business value throughout an agile project. He presents two methods for quickly estimating business value for features and stories, and shows the relationship between business value estimates and story point estimates. Ken illustrates how to chart business value for iteration reviews and demonstrates what estimates really mean in both dollars and time. On a larger scale, Ken shows business value as a portfolio management tool for prioritizing feature development across many projects.

Ken Pugh, Net Objectives

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