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Software War Stories: Case Studies in Software Management

Overview

A comprehensive, practical book on software management that dispels real-world issues through relevant case studies

Software managers inevitably will meet obstacles while trying to deliver quality products and provide value to customers, often with tight time restrictions. The result: Software War Stories.

This book provides readers with practical advice on how to handle the many issues that can arise as a software project unfolds. It utilizes ...

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Overview

A comprehensive, practical book on software management that dispels real-world issues through relevant case studies

Software managers inevitably will meet obstacles while trying to deliver quality products and provide value to customers, often with tight time restrictions. The result: Software War Stories.

This book provides readers with practical advice on how to handle the many issues that can arise as a software project unfolds. It utilizes case studies that focus on what can be done to establish and meet reasonable expectations as they occur in government, industrial, and academic settings. The book also offers important discussions on both traditional and agile methods as well as lean development concepts.

Software War Stories:

  • Covers the basics of management as applied to situations ranging from agile projects to large IT projects with infrastructure problems
  • Includes coverage of topics ranging from planning, estimating, and organizing to risk and opportunity management
  • Uses twelve case studies to communicate lessons learned by the author in practice
  • Offers end-of-chapter exercises, sample solutions, and a blog for providing updates and answers to readers' questions

Software War Stories: Case Studies in Software Management mentors practitioners, software engineers, students and more, providing relevant situational examples encountered when managing software projects and organizations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118650721
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/18/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

DONALD J. REIFER is one of the thought leaders in the field of software engineering and management with over forty years of progressive experience in industry, government, and academia. He has founded software companies, operated as a senior executive official in the government, and was a visiting associate at a collaborative research center at USC. The author of ten books and over 200 publications, Mr. Reifer is the recipient of such industry and government awards as the AIAA Aerospace Software Engineering Award, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, and the Friedman Award, among others.

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Table of Contents

FOREWORD by Roger S. Pressman xiii

PREFACE xv

CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 1

Goals and Scope 1

Understanding the Enterprise 2

Review of Software Management Fundamentals 3

Theory versus Practice: Which Is It? 6

Emphasizing Practitioner Roles 7

Setting Realistic Expectations 8

How Do You Know Whether You Will Be Successful? 13

Recognizing Bad Smells and Trusting Your Blink 13

Separating the Controllables from the Noncontrollables 14

Surveying the Tools of the Trade 15

Line Management Tools and Techniques 16

Project Management Tools and Techniques 17

Digging Deep to Find the Root Cause 18

Questions to Be Answered 18

Summary of Key Points 19

References 20

Web Pointers 20

CHAPTER 2 INDUSTRIAL CASE: ORGANIZING FOR ERP WITHIN A LARGE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SHOP 23

Learning Objectives: Putting Project Management to Work 23

Setting the Stage: The Three-Headed Dragon 23

Options, Recommendation, and Reactions during the Transition to ERP 26

Outcomes and Lessons Learned When Introducing Matrix Management 32

Exercise: If You Were King, What Organizational Changes Would You Make to Breakdown the Silos? 33

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 35

References 35

Web Pointers 36

CHAPTER 3 INDUSTRIAL CASE: WHAT IS A REASONABLE COST AND SCHEDULE FOR A TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROJECT UPGRADE? 37

Learning Objectives: Establishing Realistic Cost and Schedule Goals 37

Setting the Stage: Can We Do It for the Target Cost? 37

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions While Striving to Satisfy Key Clients 41

Outcomes and Lessons Learned Using Incremental Development 49

Exercise: How Do You Get Your Bosses to Believe Your Estimates? 50

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 51

References 52

Web Pointers 52

CHAPTER 4 INDUSTRIAL CASE: GETTING BACK ON TRACK WITHIN A MANUFACTURING ENVIRONMENT 55

Learning Objectives: Getting Back on Track 55

Setting the Stage: Recognizing and Addressing the Trouble Signs 55

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions While Attempting to Restore Order 57

Outcomes and Lessons Learned Associated with Your Get-Well Plan 63

Exercise: When Trying to Get a Software Project Back on Track, What Do You Focus On? 64

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 69

References 69

Web Pointers 70

CHAPTER 5 INDUSTRIAL CASE: STAFF TURNOVER HAVING AN IMPACT IN FINANCIAL FIRM 73

Learning Objectives: Addressing Staffi ng Issues 73

Setting the Stage: Understanding the Learning Curve 73

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions While Building a

Modern Test Organization 76

Outcomes and Lessons Learned While Addressing Test Issues 81

Exercise: What Nonfinancial Incentives Would You Use to

Reduce Staff Turnover? 82

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 83

References 84

Web Pointers 85

CHAPTER 6 INDUSTRIAL CASE: ACQUIRING SOFTWARE FOR PIPELINE OPERATIONS 87

Learning Objectives: Developing Requirements Using Multidisciplinary Teams 87

Setting the Stage: How to Avoid Gold Plating and Other Common Maladies 87

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions When Specifying

Requirements 89

Outcomes and Lessons Learned Relative to the Use of Feature-Based Specifications 97

Exercise: When Managing Requirements, What Are the Traps to Watch Out For? 97

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 99

References 100

Web Pointers 100

CHAPTER 7 INDUSTRIAL CASE: LAUNCHING SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS SALES ON THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA 102

Learning Objectives: How Do You Transition a Start-Up from R&D to Doing Business? 102

Setting the Stage: Capitalizing on the Opportunities 102

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions as You Get Ready for Your Product Launch 104

Outcomes and Lessons Learned as Your Product Hits the Street 111

Exercise: How Do You Satisfy Business and Customer Needs When Selling Software? 112

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 114

References 115

Web Pointers 115

CHAPTER 8 GOVERNMENT CASE: MANAGING THE ACQUISITION OF A LARGE DEFENSE PROJECT 117

Learning Objectives: What to Do When a Contractor Is behind Schedule, over Budget, and Performing Badly 117

Setting the Stage: Who Do We Blame? 117

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions Resulting from an Independent Assessment 121

Outcomes and Lessons Learned When the Truth Is Exposed 126

Exercise: When Addressing Software Cost and Schedule Problems, How Do You Determine Their Root Causes? 127

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 129

References 129

Web Pointers 130

CHAPTER 9 GOVERNMENT CASE: TOO MUCH GOVERNANCE/OVERSIGHT HINDERS PROGRESS IN HEALTH CARE 132

Learning Objectives: How to Handle Extreme Governance Requirements Under Pressure 132

Setting the Stage: Governance and the Competitive Environment 132

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions Aimed at Validating the Architecture of a New Pharmacy System 136

Outcomes and Lessons Learned When Dealing with Customer Demands for Change 139

Exercise: How Much Oversight Is Enough within a Constrained but Competitive Contractual Environment? 141

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 143

References 144

Web Pointers 144

CHAPTER 10 GOVERNMENT CASE: NEW CONCEPTS FOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL 147

Learning Objectives: Making the Transition to Agile Methods 147

Setting the Stage: Change Management within Conservative Organizations 147

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions during the Transition to Agile Methods on a Large Project Being Developed Globally 149

Outcomes and Lessons Learned as You Scale Agile Methods for Use 154

Exercise: How Do You Mechanize the Agile Notion That Software Requirements Are a Learning Exercise Rather Than a Specification Process? 155

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 158

References 159

Web Pointers 160

CHAPTER 11 GOVERNMENT CASE: ADDRESSING CYBER CRIME ON THE INTERNET 163

Learning Objectives: How to Get Help in Covering Unbudgeted Tasks 163

Setting the Stage: The Quick Update Cycle 163

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions to Approaches to Handle Frequent Requests to Refresh Network Defenses 165

Outcomes and Lessons Learned Related to Getting Budget Relief 170

Exercise: How Do You Quickly Change a Software Product and Keep Customers Happy at the Same Time? 171

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 175

References 175

Web Pointers 176

CHAPTER 12 ACADEMIC CASE: HOW BEST TO EDUCATE THOSE ENTERING INDUSTRY 178

Learning Objectives: Getting New University Hires Up-to-Speed Quickly 178

Setting the Stage: What Does Industry Need from Universities? 178

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions When Recruiting at Universities 182

Outcomes and Lessons Learned Based on Recruiting Results 184

Exercise: What Education and Training Do You Provide for New Software Hires? 186

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 189

References 190

Web Pointers 190

CHAPTER 13 ACADEMIC CASE: RESEARCH AGENDAS THAT MATTER TO INDUSTRY 191

Learning Objectives: Sponsored Research Agendas 191

Setting the Stage: Research versus Teaching: A Dilemma? 191

Fact-Finding 193

Options, Recommendations, and Reactions Based on Research Discussions 193

Organization 194

Project 194

Process 195

Product 196

Recommendations 196

Outcomes and Lessons Learned Based on University Performance 197

Exercise: How Do You Stimulate Pursuit of Software Research

in Academia That Has a Near Rather Than Far-Term Impact? 199

Summary of Key Points and Lessons Learned 201

References 202

Web Pointers 202

CHAPTER 14 PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER 205

Software Management Secrets of Success 205

Gaining Insight and Advantage in Practice 206

Ten Management Techniques to Rely On 207

Ten Problems to Be Wary of When Pursuing Success 211

Things You Can and Cannot Do in General 212

If I Were King: My Six Wishes 213

Summary 214

References 214

Web Pointers 215

APPENDIX A ACRONYMS AND GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS 217

Acronyms Used within the Book 217

Key Terms Used within the Book 221

APPENDIX B RECOMMENDED READINGS, REFERENCES, AND RESOURCES 227

Recommended Readings 227

References 228

Other Resources 229

APPENDIX C SAMPLE SOLUTIONS 231

Chapter 2: Industrial Case: Organizing for ERP within a Large Information Technology Shop 231

Chapter 3: Industrial Case: What Is a Reasonable Cost and Schedule for a Telecommunications Project Upgrade? 233

Chapter 4: Industrial Case: Getting a Project Back on Track within a Manufacturing Environment 236

Chapter 5: Industrial Case: Staff Turnover Having an Impact in Financial Firm 240

Chapter 6: Industrial Case: Acquiring Software for Pipeline Operations 243

Chapter 7: Industrial Case: Launching Software Applications Sales on the Internet and Social Media 245

Chapter 8: Government Case: Managing the Acquisition of a Large Defense Project 248

Chapter 9: Government Case: Too Much Governance/Oversight Hinders Progress in Health Care 251

Chapter 10: Government Case: New Concepts for Air Traffi c Control 253

Chapter 11: Government Case: Addressing Cyber Crime on the Internet 256

Chapter 12: Academic Case: How Best to Educate Those Entering Industry 258

Chapter 13: Academic Case: Research Agendas That Matter to Industry 260

INDEX 261

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