Better Software Magazine Articles

A Cautionary Tale

Technical Editor Brian Marick uses a fairy tale format to warn software professionals against using easy-to-acquire numbers in place of human judgment.

Brian Marick
Measuring Up

You measure because you want to make better-informed decisions. But even simple, harmless-looking measures can be dangerous. For example, they can give you a nice, clear picture of an illusion. Do you want to base your decisions on illusions? Technical Editor Brian Lawrence advises that, before you dive into measuring anything, ask yourself, "Will measuring do more harm than good?"

Brian Lawrence
Software Measurement Programs

A metrics program is any planned activity in which you use measurement to meet some specific goal. If you do not have a clear technical goal for a metrics program, then you are almost certainly not ready for such a program. Here's how to design a measurement program that leads to decisions and actions.

Norman Fenton
Calculating the Value of Testing

From an executive's perspective, software testing is not a capital investment in the physical plant, an acquisition, or another readily accepted business expense. A Quality Assurance Manager describes how to present testing as a business-process investment.

James Bullock
Building Productivity Through Measurement

Collecting and analyzing some simple measures on your application development project will provide a set of building blocks that can be used to manage your projects. This data will improve your success rate and reduce project development risk. Here are some simple measures that can improve your development efforts.

Randy Numbers
Estimating Time, Effort, and Cost

Correctly judging project needs and scope is a challenging task. Here are some techniques and tools for accurately predicting project deliverables.

David Garmus
Finding the Signal through the Noise

A major challenge for software professionals interpreting data is deciding what's real and what isn't, what matters and what doesn't. A useful way to think about it is that you are trying to find the signal in the noise produced by random variation and error. Here is advice on how to extract the useful information from the "noise."

Jarrett Rosenberg
When Assessments Are Relative

Taking development and business contexts into consideration can mean the difference between a correct assessment and a useful assessment. Here's information on how to provide an assessment that's both correct and effective.

Bob King
Modeling Organizational Change

When you approach a process problem in the way your workgroup functions, you're implementing an organizational change. Organizations are systems of complex interrelationships. Explicit models can help you make strategic changes.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Measuring Process Improvement

Tracking your project goals lets you know how well your improvement program is going, provides visibility early to detect problems, and gives you data to make your future plans more effective. Here's how to measure improvement based on your project's goals and problems.

Mary Sakry

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