Evaluating Project Decisions: Case Studies in Software Engineering

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Effective decisions are crucial to the success of any software project, but to make better decisions you need a better decision-making process. In Evaluating Project Decisions , leading project management experts introduce an innovative decision model that helps you tailor your decision-making process to systematically evaluate all of your decisions and avoid the bad choices that lead to project failure.

Using a real-world, case study approach, the authors show how to evaluate software project problems and situations more effectively, thoughtfully assess your alternatives, and improve the decisions you make. Drawing on their own extensive research and experience, the authors bridge software engineering theory and practice, offering guidance that is both well-grounded and actionable. They present dozens of detailed examples from both successful and unsuccessful projects, illustrating what to do and what not to do.

Evaluating Project Decisions will help you to analyze your options and ultimately make better decisions at every stage in your project, including:

  • Requirements–Elicitation, description, verification, validation, negotiation, contracting, and management over the software life cycle
  • Estimates–Conceptual solution design, decomposition, resource and overhead allocation, estimate construction, and change management
  • Planning–Defining objectives, policies, and scope; planning tasks, milestones, schedules, budgets, staff and other resources; and managing projects against plans
  • Product–Proper product definition, development process management, QA, configuration management, delivery, installation, training, and field service
  • Process–Defining, selecting, understanding, teaching, and measuring processes; evaluating process performance; and process improvement or optimization

In addition, you will see how to evaluate decisions related to risk, people, stakeholder expectations, and global development. Simply put, you’ll use what you learn here on every project, in any industry, whatever your goals, and for projects of any duration, size, or type.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dr. Carol L. Hoover is president and chief executive officer of BiznessLegion, LLC, a consulting company that is currently developing innovative strategies and technology to help organizations manage the software change lifecycle. Mel Rosso-Llopart and Gil Taran are associate teaching professors for the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. There, Rosso-Llopart is the associate director of the Master of Software Engineering program and the director for distance education development in the Information Networking Institute. Taran holds the position of chief executive officer for iCarnegie, Inc., an educational affiliate of Carnegie Mellon providing modern academic curricula and professional certifications all over the world.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Authors xxiii

Chapter 1: Managing Decisions 1

1.1 Chapter Objectives 1

1.2 Context 1

1.3 Decision Model for Software Engineering 5

Case Study: Software Test Rerun Problem 7

Case Study: California Bridge Problem 10

Case Study: Unfamiliar Legacy Code Problem 12

Case Study: Data-Processing Problem 14

1.4 Summary 18

Chapter 2: Managing Requirements 19

2.1 Chapter Objectives 19

2.2 Context 19

2.3 Case Studies 39

Case Study: The New Account Project at HBC 39

Case Study: On Time, Within Budget, but Wrong 54

2.4 Summary 65

Chapter 3: Managing Estimates 67

3.1 Chapter Objectives 67

3.2 Context 67

3.3 Case Studies 77

Case Study: Estimation as a Tool 78

Case Study: When a Team Runs a Race 84

3.4 Summary 92

Chapter 4: Managing Plans 93

4.1 Chapter Objectives 93

4.2 Context 93

4.3 Case Studies 108

Case Study: To Replan or Not to Replan? 109

Case Study: Managing Plans Is in the Details 125

4.4 Summary 137

Chapter 5: Managing Product 139

5.1 Chapter Objectives 139

5.2 Context 139

5.3 Case Studies 146

Case Study: New Technology–Is It Always the Best? 147

Case Study: Why Is This Product Wrong? 159

5.4 Summary 165

Chapter 6: Managing Process 167

6.1 Chapter Objectives 167

6.2 Context 167

6.3 Case Studies 174

Case Study: Bank on the Verge 175

Case Study: Damn the Process, Full Speed Ahead 189

6.4 Summary 193

Chapter 7: Managing Risk 195

7.1 Chapter Objectives 195

7.2 Context 195

7.3 Case Studies 201

Case Study: SEWeb and Russoft Technologies 201

Case Study: Falcon Edutainment and the RiskSim Project 223

7.4 Summary 231

Chapter 8: Managing People Interactions 233

8.1 Chapter Objectives 233

8.2 Context 233

8.3 Case Studies 242

Case Study: To Be or Not to Be: A Sense of Urgency at TestBridge 243

Case Study: A Friend or Foe at Hanover-Tech 258

8.4 Summary 264

Chapter 9: Managing Stakeholder Expectations 267

9.1 Chapter Objectives 267

9.2 Context 267

9.3 Case Studies 275

Case Study: TCP Enhancements at Gigaplex Systems 275

Case Study: Tough Sell at Henkel Labs 292

9.3 Summary 304

Chapter 10: Managing Global Development 305

10.1 Chapter Objectives 305

10.2 Context 305

10.3 Case Studies 311

Case Study: Globally Distributed Team: FibreNet Project

Case Study: Managing Global Software Development at FibOptia 330

10.4 Summary 341

References 343

Index 355

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