Books & Reports
IT Measurement: Practical Advice from the Experts
Foreword by Ed Yourdon
With Contributions by Lawrence Putnam, Michael Mah, Howard Rubin, David Garmus, Elizabeth Clark and others.
Written by the world’s leading authorities in the field, IT Measurement showcases state-of-the-art in software metrics and provides the practical knowledge that practitioners need in order to take full advantage of software metrics technology. The book’s collected articles offer important perspectives on the role of metrics in the development process, and show how metrics directly enhance software quality and output efficiency.
5 Core Metrics
Lawrence H. Putnam, Ware Myers
Collaboratively written by Lawrence H. Putnam (President of the software management consulting firm Quantitative Software Management) and Ware Myers (a professional independent consultant and contributing editor of “Computer” and “IEEE Software”).
Five Core Metrics: The Intelligence Behind Successful Software Management is a “reader friendly” instructional how-to guide to utilizing the reliable development processes and techniques that help software managers efficiently allocate limited resources and carefully track progress, ensuring optimum quality software with a minimum of wasted effort. Five core metrics of Time, Effort, Size, Reliability, and Process Productivity are introduced as a means to measure and adjust ongoing processes to constantly changing real-world conditions.
An exceptional business guide in its field, Five Core Metrics is highly recommended reading for anyone charged with the responsibility of using and creating software projects using or incorporating metric measurements.
Industrial Strength Software: Effective Management Using Measurement
Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers
For managers, supervisors, technologists and testers. Gives a firm grasp of the three phases of software: project management, reliability, and process improvement phase. Helps overcome the chaos associated with poorly managed, ill defined and undisciplined software processes. 304 pages, soft cover.
READER’S COMMENT: “I am the owner of a software reliability consulting and research and development company. I have read your book and consider it to be the best and most interesting book that I have read on the subject.”
Executive Briefing: Controlling Software Development
Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers
Helps senior executives sort out the knowledge they need to operate effectively at a high level. Covers two aspects of software development: progress and control of individual projects, plus the long-run improvement of the software process. 80 pages, soft cover.
READER’S COMMENT: “I find your work cuts to the chase and provides a clear framework for the job at hand. Project management is, no doubt, the most critical component of customer value and satisfaction, not to mention profitability. Keep up the good work.”
Measures for Excellence: Reliable Software on Time, Within Budget
Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers
Excellent text for measurement and estimation professionals. Describes in detail the theories and data underlying SLIM (Software LIfecycle Model). Addresses size estimation, schedule and effort estimation, schedule/manpower trade-offs, productivity measurement, defect forecasting, project control and adaptive forecasting. Includes appendix with equations and processes for a simplified version of the SLIM model. 378 pages, hard cover.
READER’S COMMENT: “The book I recommend is one which I came across during a period of research which focused on understanding the nature of apparently unquantifiable aspects of software projects. To me it was as if things which I had always been told were a “black art” became suddenly clear and coherent, adopting a form and texture which I could work with. [That book is] Measures for Excellence by Larry Putnam and Ware Meyers.”
Reports from Cutter Consortium
by Michael Mah
Over the past decade, the concept of outsourcing has become a “mega-business.” As Michael Mah points out in Outsourcing: Strategies for Measurement and Alliance Management, outsourcing is expected to generate over US $150 billion in revenues by 2003.
But as organizations entrust more and more critical functions to outsourcing vendors — from running data centers to developing, integrating, maintaining, and operating the IT infrastructure — the risks have grown and the management challenges have become more complex.
Based on special issues of Ed Yourdon’s Cutter IT Journal and Jim Highsmith’s e-business Application Delivery, this report is designed to help you make the right decisions on whether to outsource, what to outsource, which outsourcing vendor to choose, and which outsourcing relationship is right for your enterprise.
Does outsourcing mean losing your enterprise’s intellectual capital and control of core activities?
Why are 30% of outsourcing projects “unsatisfactory” after 24 months?
The importance of using the Software Engineering Institute’s CMM or other formal engineering process
Key guidelines for choosing an outsourcing vendor
Why measurement and benchmarking are critical to an effective outsourcing contract
Lessons learned from real outsourcing projects at BellSouth and a Fortune 50 corporation
The Agile IT Executive and Outsourcing, by Michael Mah
In the report “The Agile IT Executive and Outsourcing”, Cutter Consortium Senior Consultant Michael C. Mah examines how an agile IT executive employs a combination of skills in software measurement and effective negotiation to prevent alliance failures and create productive outsourcing relationships.
Mah asserts that these skills are especially crucial across client-supplier boundaries, since projects that miss their dates or have functionality removed as deadlines loom can inspire costly and time-consuming litigation.
Why your IT governance strategy needs to include ownership of key measures and analysis
The eight key project metrics and nine negotiation skills for agile managers
How you can avoid litigation in outsourced projects
How “project scenario brainstorming” can strengthen your team
5 secrets to help you produce better estimates, and
3 estimation torpedoes you need to watch for
Plus, you’ll explore the 10 key capabilities of successful relationships and the six stages of growth where they occur. And you’ll benefit from numerous illustrations of key points.
The ever-increasing speed of business requires IT executives to have command of the information that enables quick and sound decision making. Take the first step toward increasing your agility — order “The Agile IT Executive and Outsourcing” today.
The Making of the Agile IT Executive, by Michael Mah
IT professionals are under constant pressure for information about the systems they build from both their managers and peers, and often they can not provide confidence-inspiring answers. End user indecision makes cost estimates into guesses and delivery time frames are based on external deadlines. And all the while, users demand ever-increasing levels of functionality.
Though much of the development community has embraced agile methodologies, in order for an organization to achieve maximum efficiency, its IT executives must also be agile.
In the Executive Report “The Making of the Agile IT Executive”, Senior Consultant Michael Mah shows how the use and command of metrics, along with modern practices of effective negotiation, can combine to create an agile, effective IT executive.
Learn how agile IT executives can:
instantly report the productivity achieved on the most recent projects
explore how productivity varies across the project portfolio, and know how it’s changed over the past year
measure productivity for inhouse versus outsourced projects
estimate cost and schedule with up to 90% accuracy
have an air-traffic control view of all “in-flight” projects
be an empowered negotiator with both internal parties and outsource suppliers
uncover your counterparts’ hidden goals and interests
efficiently negotiate fair deadlines, staffing and budgets
make financial reporting and budget planning nearly automatic
employ breakthrough strategies in the face of stalemates
By mastering the information about IT project productivity, you can implement practices to makes your organization efficient. Take the first step toward agility — order “The Making of the Agile IT Executive” today.
For more Agile Management advice from Michael Mah, see the second Executive Report in the series, “The Agile IT Executive and Outsourcing”.
by Michael Mah
From the pages of IT Metrics Strategies … a crash course in benchmarking for IT professionals, with guidance from Michael Mah and three other metrics authorities.
Everyone talks about the importance of benchmarking, but few explain clearly just what benchmarking is good for, what kind of benchmark data you need, and how you can get started with an effective benchmarking program.
IT Organization: Benchmark Thyself offers clear and lively answers to these questions. This special report brings together the title article and others by Michael Mah, plus articles by Stan Rifkin, Jim Mayes, and James T. Heires, as published in issues of the monthly journal IT Metrics Strategies. Here’s what you’ll find:
• How metrics can help turn your enterprise into a learning organization, and raise your performance to the next level
• The four core metrics, and how to measure them
• How to start and maintain your data collection process, without hiring a consultant
• Whether to measure output or outcome, and what the difference is
• How metrics can support the customer-intimate and product-innovative traits that spell success
• The challenge of balancing time, cost, and quality
• How to cope with the common misfit between organizational strategy and software measurement
• Using mini-postmortems to make better business decisions and show the value of process-improvement initiatives
by Michael Mah
Organizational learning,” says Michael Mah in his report Metrics and Organizational Learning for Software Defect Management, “is truly where companies succeed or fail.”
“When metrics emerge, companies can act in a productive, learning way and improve. Of course, if they don’t like the numbers, they can kill the messenger or the message with cover-ups, denials, and antilearning defense mechanisms. Some companies choose the latter, but you don’t have to.”
Metrics and Organizational Learning examines how forward-looking companies can use organizational learning to overcome metrics fears, organize a metrics function, and leverage collective thought processes to learn faster than their competitors and compete more effectively.
Metrics and Organizational Learning then takes the theory into practice from a defect management perspective.
“Many firms think about quality in terms of testing out bugs toward the end of a project,” Michael Mah says. “But if you implement inspection processes earlier, IT reliability can be improved by not injecting defects in the first place.”
Metrics and Organizational Learning features an in-depth look at a real-life West Coast systems software company that spent considerable resources on an inspection process. Mah shows how the company dealt with the many objections raised to the program, and explains the bottom-line benefits that resulted, including cross training, rapid feedback to developers, removal of systemic defects, and the phenomenon of the “phantom inspector.”