Case Study: From “Chaos” to “Repeatable” in Four Months

© 1997 Johanna Rothman. Abstract Recent writing in the software process improvement literature [1,2] discuss those organizations who start off at an ad hoc level (CMM level 1) and proceed to a repeatable level (CMM level 2) and higher. However, there are many organizations who cannot make progress towards level 2 until they have a …

Is Your Investment in Quality and Process Improvement Paying Off?

© 1997 Johanna Rothman. Abstract Organizations are spending more time and money on their testing and process efforts. But, how do you know whether or not the testing and process improvements efforts are paying off? One way is to define specific metrics to measure the effectiveness of your process, and the efficiency with which the …

Making Geographically Dispersed Development Work

Abstract If you manage software engineers, or software product development, sooner or later, you will be faced with a vexing problem: not all the people are in one place, or even in one time zone. This paper analyzes the problems associated with geographically distributed product development, and discusses possible solutions to reduce project risk. Real …

Software Quality Assurance: Should It Remain a Separate Organization?

© 1996 Johanna Rothman. This article was originally published in SQA Quarterly, May 1996. Product development teams are organized for one major purpose: to produce a product people will buy. Software product development teams have a secondary, but no less important goal- the ability to produce products again and again. To effect those goals, product …

Software Management Practices: Positive and Negative Practices for Quality

© 1996 Johanna Rothman. Introduction Many software organizations are working actively to improve their product and process quality. We can review their implicit and explicit management activities and ask: Which activities have had a positive impact on process and product quality improvement? Which activities have had a negative impact? We can then develop a list …

Applying Systems Thinking to the Issues of Software Product Development

Introduction Software product development is a difficult task. Not only is it mentally challenging, just to write and test software, but there are a number of interdependent problems when product teams attempt to create a product. Product teams have difficulties in these major areas: meeting the schedule, implementing the desired functionality, and removing enough defects …

Metrics to Reduce Risk in Product Ship Decisions

Traditionally, product shipment decisions were made based on how the software product “felt” to the tester or developer. After running the product for some period of time, the developer or tester would pronounce the product fit or unfit for shipment. Many organizations now recognize that decisions based on “gut feel” are insufficient. These organizations have …