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To mature software engineering, we must learn from history, and to learn from history, we must define what we do when we develop software and how we do it. When we produce a process specification and define measures for the key process parameters, we are beginning to build the basis for reliably and consistently recording and learning from history. That is why the process revolution is so important. Judging by the history of other fields, software engineering and computer science are still in their infancy. We have yet to build an accepted foundation of proven and generally followed principles, and there is little in the way of defined and widely taught practices to guide working professionals. When new problems arise in the software field, the tendency is to invent some new language, tool, or method to solve them. The full article by Watts S. Humphrey, from Softwar... (more)

Seven Things You Need to Know About Development Project Estimations

Whether you are a project manager planning for a smooth implementation of a plan or a project sponsor on whose decisions a project depends, you cannot escape from the fact that project estimation is essential to its success. In the first place, there are three basic requirements that a project must satisfy: schedule, budget, and quality. The need to work within these essential project boundaries poses a huge challenge to everyone in the central management team. There are various aspects that affect project estimates, such as team skills and experience levels, available technolog... (more)

Five Ways to Incorporate CMMI with Agile Methods

There is a common misconception that CMMI and Agile are polar opposites. One relies on institutionalization and documentation of processes and methodologies, while the other emphasizes interaction among workers and “working software over comprehensive documentation” (Agile Manifesto). Process documentation and institutionalization is the lifeblood of CMMI, and it is often used in critical software development life cycles. On the other hand, the Agile approach is called into action when a project features incremental changes, particularly those that have not been included in ini... (more)

Waterfall, RUP and Agile: Which is Right for You?

Despite signs of life in the economy, the realities of software development persist. Most companies and customers need their software yesterday with the most advanced features at the lowest possible cost. To accomplish these seemingly contradictory goals, developers seek to streamline production with fast, effective processes that can give the customer what he/she wants in the shortest time possible. These realities and past development failures have led to a shift in software development thinking from the more structured, sequential methods of software development of the past, ... (more)

Seven Questions to Ask Before Building an IT Strategy

Even as modern economic activities rely heavily on sound IT strategies, many organizations fail to take advantage of the many opportunities that technology can provide. For instance, some types of can improve processes and profit margins. Clearly, there is a gap between the availability of infrastructure, and what enterprises actually need to overhaul at their place of business to benefit cash flow. Before formulating your company's IT strategy, there are a few questions that you should ask. Is the strategy too generic? IT organizations hardly cater to just one type of need, on... (more)