Request an e-inspection copy. It provides models, metrics, and detailed case studies to improve current and future development projects, whether in house or outsourced, near shore or off-shore. One of the most effective things I discovered in software development was when we changed from layered development to vertical development in short iterations: Prioritizing well is a constant exercise in scope reduction and simplification. The book offers perspectives on how quality improvement through software quality assurance SQA testing, planning, and execution is a powerful and effective route toward maximizing return on investment. See how Retrace can help you find and fix application problems fast.
Your end business users and IT will be able to take advantage of a solution only to the extent that they are well trained and comfortable with it. Avoid software vendors that lack strong training for their software.
Relying on online FAQ sheets is not enough. Are your end users and IT staff satisfied with the overall solution, the expertise behind it, and the vendor's support and service staff? If there is dissatisfaction, meeting with the vendor to eliminate points of contention is essential to guarantee that you are getting the most out of your software investment. If the software isn't building revenue opportunities, lowering costs, creating operational efficiencies, reducing risks, or making other tangible contributions to your end business, it's time to step back and assess exactly what the software is doing for you.
How have you maximized the value of your organization's software investments?
Share your advice with fellow TechRepublic members. Shacklett is president of Transworld Data, a technology research and market development firm. Mary is a keynote speaker and has more than 1, articles, research studies, and technology publications in print.
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Toggle navigation Additional Book Information. One of the most effective things I discovered in software development was when we changed from layered development to vertical development in short iterations: Use a definition of done so that there is no unfinished work that accumulates and generates problems in the future. Dividing work into even smaller increments also helps to remove many low-value items from the scope that would otherwise have been developed as they were considered part of a whole.
Unless we are building a disposable prototype, each increment delivered must have the highest possible level of quality both internally and externally. And every detected error must be resolved immediately if possible. These practices together with the necessary refactoring are the minimum that a team should apply. The lack of internal quality generates technical debt and maintenance problems; the lack of external quality generates defects. Both end up being very expensive in terms of time and your relationship with the client, especially towards the end of the project.
By utilizing APM tools in development and QA, many performance issues and bugs can be identified before they make it to production.
When we work in an iterative and incremental way, in a few weeks we should be able to install a first version of the product in an environment accessible by the client and — if desired — by their users. Breaking the work down in a way that is compatible with the continuous delivery of small increments poses many challenges for those who are not used to it.
In general, all the teams are quickly faced with the impossibility of dividing something that — in less than a week — delivers value and can be validated by a user. However, if you devote enough time to research and practice the many existing ways to divide the work , it is always possible to achieve. So far we have seen the foundations to generate a helpful framework for project scope management and ROI maximization.
These practices in themselves have the ability to radically change the way we experience software development. In the next section, we will see how to use the benefits of this way of working and achieve a complete transformation of the framework to successfully finish our project. Usually, at the beginning of a project, there is a low level of awareness as to the little amount of time we actually have to develop our product. It is good then to always work on visualizing the limits of time or money that exist; only then will you work consciously on really prioritizing.
Revealing the limits helps to focus on effectively prioritizing, and can be achieved by showing, for example, the number of estimated sprints left to complete the budget or reach the required date. I practically have never seen a project finish before the estimated date or before the budget is used up.
One of the reasons why some people argue that Scrum does not work with fixed-budget contracts is a large number of change requests that it generates. Allowing the scope to change is not the same as letting it grow.
It is important to understand that the initial specification is nothing more than a set of hypotheses about how to provide value to users.