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SPaMCAST 426 marks a milestone!  SPaMCAST 426 is the end of Year 10.  The Cast features our second annual round table.  Almost all of the SPaMCAST contributors gathered virtually to discuss a number of topics, including:

  1. Is software quality really one of the most important focuses in IT in 2017?
  2. Even though people are adopting agile, is agile a as principle-driven movement over?
  3. In 2017 will security trump quality and productivity?

The multiway discussion was exciting and informative! This was a great way to finish year 10 and get the motor primed for year 11!

Re-Read Saturday News

This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book.   I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).  

I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday.  I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets.  Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book  I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.

Next week we start in on Chapter One of the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, buy a copy this week.

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

Next SPaMCAST

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 427 begins Year 11 with an essay on the Post-Agile Age.  It is coming and it is a bed that human nature and commercial pressures has created. (Not sure what I mean?  Tune in, stream or download )  We will also have columns from Jon Quigley, Jeremy Berriault, and Kim Pries.  SPaMCAST 427 will celebrate the new SPaMCAST year in style!

Shameless Ad for my book!

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.

 

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 423 builds  on our interview from last week with Philip Lew.  This week we lead with a discussion of measuring quality.  Quality is related to risk, productivity and customer satisfaction.  

Next Jeremy Berriault brings his QA Corner to the Cast to discuss the impact of certifications in software testing.  Want a bit of foreshadowing?  The answer is not cut and dry. Visit Jermey’s new blog at https://jberria.wordpress.com/

The Software Sensei, Kim Pries , answers a question he was recently asked by one his students, “why do we have so many computer languages?” This a question I have often asked, usually when I have to learn the basics of a new language. Reach out to Kim on LinkedIn.

Jon M Quigley, brings his column, the Alpha and Omega of Product Development to the cast.  In this installment, the 2nd in a 3 part series on configuration management, Jon continues the cycle of configuration management which begins with requirements and travels across the whole lifecycle. One of the places you can find Jon is at Value Transformation LLC.

Re-Read Saturday News

In this week’s re-read of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team  by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass, Copyright 2002, 33rd printing), we talk about two sections, An Overview of the Model and Team Assessment. There are two more weeks left before moving to the next book. If you are new to the re-read series buy a copy and  go back to week one and read along!

I am running a poll to decide between Carol Dweck’s Mindset, Thinking Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman) and Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).  I have also had suggestions (in the other category) for Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (Adam Grant) and Management Lessons from Taiichi Ohno: What Every Leader Can Learn from the Man by Takehiko Harada.  I would like your opinion! 

Takeaways from this week include: (more…)

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 422 features our interview with Phil Lew.  Phil and I talked about the topic of Agile risk management.  We explored how risk can be managed in Agile projects and the barriers to effective risk management.  As important as the mechanics of Agile risk management are, Philip and I also explored the relationship between quality and risk, which may be more important in the long run.

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On a scale of fist to five, I'm at a ten.

On a scale of fist to five, I’m at a ten.

Quality is partly about the number defects delivered in a piece of software and partly about how the stakeholders and customers experience the software.  Experience is typically measured as customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is impacted by all three aspects of software quality: functional (what the software does), structural (whether the software meets standards) and process (how the code was built).

Surveys can be used to collect customer- and team-level data.  Satisfaction is used to measure if products, services, behaviors or work environment meet expectations.  (more…)

Find the defects before delivery.

Find the defects before delivery.

One of the strongest indications of the quality of a piece of software is the number of defects found when it is used.  In software, defects are generated by a flaw that causes the code to fail to perform as required. Even in organizations that don’t spend the time and effort to collect information on defects before the software is delivered collect information on defects that crop up after delivery.  Four classic defect measures are used “post” delivery.  Each of the four measures is used to improve the functional, structural and process aspects of software delivery. They are: 

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Bug Case

It is all about the bugs!

Many common measures of software quality include defects. A collection of defects and information about defects can be a rich source of information to assess or improve the functional, structural and process aspects of software delivery. Because of the apparent ease of defect collection and management (apparent because it really is never that easy) and the amount information that can glean from defect data, the number of defect-related measures and metrics found in organizations is wide and varied.  Unfortunately, many defect measures are often used incorrectly or are expected to be predictive.

Defect measures that are useful while work is in process (or pretty close) include: (more…)

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Software quality is a nuanced concept that requires a framework that addresses functional, structural and the process of the software delivery understand.  Measurement of each aspect is a key tool for understanding whether we are delivering a quality product and whether our efforts to improve quality are having the intended impact. However, measurement can be costly. To balancing the effort required to measure quality versus the benefit, you first need to understand the reasons for measuring quality.  Five of reasons quality is important to measure include: (more…)