Critical Practices for Software Projects
The Airlie Council8 has developed a list of “critical software practices for performance-based management.” These practices are “consistently used by, and considered critical by, highly successful software projects and organizations whose ‘bottom line’ performance is consistently much better than industry averages” [AIR99]. In an effort to enable a software organization to determine whether a specific project has implemented critical practices, the Airlie Council has developed a set of “QuickLook” questions [AIR99] for a project:
Formal risk management. What are the top ten risks for this project? For each of the risks, what is the chance that the risk will become a problem and what is the impact if it does?
Empirical cost and schedule estimation. What is the current estimated size of the application software (excluding system software) that will be delivered into operation? How was it derived?
Metric-based project management. Do you have in place a metrics program to give an early indication of evolving problems? If so, what is the current requirements volatility?
Earned value tracking. Do you report monthly earned value metrics? If so, are these metrics computed from an activity network of tasks for the entire effort to the next delivery?
Defect tracking against quality targets. Do you track and periodically report the number of defects found by each inspection (formal technical review) and execution test from program inception and the number of defects currently closed and open?
People-aware program management. What is the average staff turnover for the past three months for each of the suppliers/developers involved in the development of software for this system?
If a software project team cannot answer these questions or answers them inadequately, a thorough review of project practices is indicated. Each of the critical practices just noted is addressed in detail throughout Part Two of this book.
Frequently Asked Questions
- THE EVOLVING ROLE OF SOFTWARE
- Software definition, characteristics and Software Applications
- SOFTWARE - A CRISIS ON THE HORIZON?
- SOFTWARE MYTHS
- SOFTWARE ENGINEERING- A LAYERED TECHNOLOGY
- THE SOFTWARE PROCESS
- SOFTWARE PROCESS MODELS
- THE LINEAR SEQUENTIAL MODEL
- THE PROTOTYPING MODEL
- THE RAD MODEL
- SOFTWARE PROCESS MODELS - Incremental Model, Spiral Model, WINWIN Spiral Model, Concurrent Development Model
- COMPONENT-BASED DEVELOPMENT
- THE FORMAL METHODS MODEL
- FOURTH GENERATION TECHNIQUES
- PRODUCT AND PROCESS