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Articles

New Article: Counting Function Points for Agile / Iterative Software Development

Counting Function Points for Agile

Function points are proven to be effective and efficient units of measure for both agile/iterative and waterfall software deliveries. However, inconsistencies come to light when comparing function points counted in agile/iterative development with those counted in waterfall or combination development . These inconsistencies can create confusion for cost, productivity, and schedule evaluations that span multiple software delivery methods. This paper, recently published on IFPUG's Beyond MetricViews by QSM Consultant Carol Dekkers, seeks to marry International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) definitions with equivalent concepts in agile/iterative processes in order to create a basis for consistent comparison. 

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Agile Articles Function Points

New Article: Traits of Successful Software Development Projects

Traits of Successful Software Development Projects

Enough already with Healthcare.gov and the many (many) other high-profile IT project failures; let’s talk about government software projects that actually worked. Successful software projects are no accident. Best-in-class government IT projects share common traits that agencies can use to ensure success. In a recent article for Government Computer News, QSM's Larry Putnam, Jr. leverages data from from the QSM Database to identify best practices for successful government projects.

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Articles Project Management

New Article: Set the Stage for Software Project Success

Set the Stage for Software Project Success

Management decisions made before a software project is underway are a significant factor in determining whether it succeeds or fails. In a recent article for Projects at Work, QSM's Don Beckett identifies seven principles, based on comprehensive studies, that leaders must support and uphold to help create an environment in which projects can succeed. Ignoring them practically guarantees failure.

Don Beckett has 18 years of experience in software project estimation, measurement, and analysis. His responsibilities at QSM include research, consulting, and customer support. Don was an analyst/co-author of the 2006 QSM Software Almanac and has contributed articles to Crosstalk and Software Tech News.

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Articles Project Management

New Article - Software Estimation: How Misperceptions Mean We Almost Always Get It Wrong

In a recent, highly-discussed article for Dr. Dobb's, QSM's Carol Dekkers asks a tough question: why are we so woefully poor at estimating software projects? It's a tough pill to swallow considering software developers are among the smartest people on the planet, often boasting advanced degrees in mathematics, engineering, or computer science. Yet study upon study cites that less than one-third of projects are delivered on time or on budget. The problem of software project estimation is not straightforward. To get the heart of the issue, Carol Dekkers takes us through the five top misperceptions about software estimating, and what we can do to address them.

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Estimation Articles

New Article - Big Agile: Enterprise Savior or Oxymoron?

We know agile works well for small teams and small projects, but monster enterprise projects often require greater capabilities than a small team can provide. So why not scale up agile teams to maintain the cost and efficiency benefits of the agile process while accessing the necessary manpower to pursue complex global projects? On the surface, it makes sense, but what if agile only works when teams and projects stay relatively small? That's the question most CIOs want answered before investing scarce time, energy, or resources chasing the big agile paradigm. In this article recently published on Agile Connection, QSM's Larry Putnam, Jr. turns to cold hard data from completed projects in the QSM database to determine whether big agile is "enterprise savior or oxymoron."

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Agile Articles

New Article: Project Clairvoyance

Software Project Clairvoyance Article

Can advances in data-driven estimation turn software project failure into a distant memory? Well, if learning from experience is the key to success, imagine what you could do with real-time access to three decades of research, thousands of projects and more than 600 industry trends. In this article, originally published on Projects at Work, QSM's Larry Putnam, Jr. identifies key benefits of employing estimation best practices for project success.

As Co-CEO for QSM, Larry Putnam, Jr.'s has more than 25 years of experience in software measurement, estimating and project control. He joined QSM in 1987 and has worked in every aspect of the business, including business development, customer support, professional services and now executive management.

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Estimation Articles Project Management

New Article: Constant Velocity Is a Myth

Constant Velocity Is a Myth

Is your agile team’s velocity constant from sprint to sprint? No? That’s not a surprise. Many teams assume that their velocity will be constant. In this article, the third in a series recently published on Projectmanagement.com, QSM's Andy Berner explains why that’s not the right expectation--and how that affects how you use this metric.

Andy Berner is a software engineer and methodologist. He came to QSM in 2012 after over 25 years in both large and small software organizations, including, among others, EDS (now HP), Rational Software and IBM. Based on his experience in almost every role in software development, Andy has consulted with numerous organizations on using software development methods and tools to improve productivity and quality.

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Agile Articles

New Article: Ready, Set, Go...and Ready Again: Planning to Groom the Backlog

Planning to Groom the Agile Backlog

In an agile project, the backlog (the prioritized set of requirements) is the main input to iteration planning. For an agile project to progress smoothly, the backlog must be groomed and ready for each sprint. That work must be included in your project plan. In this article, the second in a series recently published on Projectmanagement.com, QSM's Andy Berner gives you five points to consider when planning that work.

Andy Berner is a software engineer and methodologist. He came to QSM in 2012 after over 25 years in both large and small software organizations, including, among others, EDS (now HP), Rational Software and IBM. Based on his experience in almost every role in software development, Andy has consulted with numerous organizations on using software development methods and tools to improve productivity and quality.

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Agile Articles

New Article - All In: Collaborative Software Estimates

Collaborative Software EstimationSoftware projects often commit to unrealistic schedule and budget expectations due to little or no information about the size and scope or productivity. Yet the business reality is that projects must be estimated early in the life cycle to support business goals and strategic planning. These challenges can be overcome with a transparent and collaborative estimation process. It depends on metrics collection, analysis, risk comparison, and a structure for sharing the right information with the right people at the right time.

In an article recently published on Projects at Work, Laura Zuber explores the benefits of collaborative software project estimates and identifies best practices for implementing them.

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Estimation Articles

New White Paper: An Analysis of Function Point Trends

Function point analysis has played an important role in software measurement and analysis for 30 years, but what will be the role of function points in the future? Will they have staying power? Expanding off of a recent article for IFPUG's Metrics Views, Don Beckett looks at the QSM software project database and examines a set of validated projects counted in function points that have completed since the year 2000 to see what they tell about productivity, schedule, and staffing. We are fortunate to have several thousand projects in this sample to work with as this allows us to parse the data many different ways and still have enough projects to be statistically significant. For this study only unadjusted function points were used.

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Articles Function Points White Paper