I often find myself wondering why I look at many of the newsletters and press writings that I do. I was reminded again yesterday that the reason I do so is that I look for those jewels of information that apply not only to a large project or operation, but are as applicable to the small businesses that I work with as they are for large operations. I am signed up for many weekly newsletters, and I go many weeks sometimes before finding one of those “jewels” that I’m looking for. I found such a jewel in a recent newsletter from Jennette Mullaney of SearchSoftwareQuality.com.
In her newsletter she makes reference to an article by Capers Jones Entitled “Software Tracking: The Last Defense Against Failure”. This article is a must read in my estimation, at least for anyone involved in application software development. Capers article concentrates “…on four worst practices or the factors that most often lead to failure and litigation…” — I believe these are applicable to all but the very shortest term software development projects, and even then there is some applicability.
Her article also makes reference to a couple of other articles which have recently appeared which deal with control of a software project. Kevlin Henney in his article “Using iterations to help balance priority and risk” sums up software application this way “…Software development is a multivariable challenge. Estimates are estimates, not predictions, and there are many surprises…” — Thank you Kevlin for that wisdom! I couldn’t agree more.
In “Developing use cases that support business goals” Rob Apmann recommends “…to initially focus on the specific areas of value you want the system to provide…” — This is also a highly recommended read regardless of the size software development project you work with.