product development

Outsourcing or Innovation

  I was reading An Elder Challenges Outsourcing’s Orthodoxy, yet another discussion about the merits — or not — of outsourcing. (You may have to register to read the article.) Whether you think outsourcing is an economic good or evil, here’s my perspective. You can choose to turn your products into commodities or you can …

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Producing Software is the Art of Requirements Refinement

Well, that’s certainly a provocative title. Let’s see if I can back it up 🙂 First, read Keith Ray’s Engineering post, where he says “software development is a cooperative “game” in creating and deploying “knowledge” and various people-oriented practices help make that work” Some of my recent posts about requirements show the problems when software …

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Implement by Slice

  Martin Fowler recently posted PreferFunctionalOrganization. Here, his functional organization means “organize around the business functions,” what management would call a project-based organization and his technical organization means “organize around the technical functions,” what management would call a functional-based (development, test) organization. There’s another option, that I didn’t see on Martin’s site, the matrix organization. …

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Survey About New Product Development Practices

  A colleague of mine, Brad Goldense, does a biannual survey about new product development practices. It’s time for another one. Here’s what he says: Is Product Development important to you and your company?

People Need Immediate Feedback

We’re getting ready for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and my sister decided a scrapbook of family pictures would be a great present. She’s right, it will be wonderful. Mark and I were looking for pictures of us and our children, so we pulled out all of the pictures from the last 20 years. We …

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Extended Random Regression Testing

I’ve been at the STAR conference this week, and Cem Kaner’s keynote talk yesterday discussed the idea of extended random regression testing — take all your programmatic tests, and run them in random sequences for a long time. You’ll find defects you cannot find just running the tests by themselves. Here’s the logic behind this …

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Product Lifecycle Management and Project Management

Based on yesterday’s comments, it’s past time for me to define what I mean when I talk about product management, product lifecycle management, lifecycle choices, and project management. Here goes: Product management: The activities that plan the product’s evolution from birth to obsolescence. In a product company, product managers perform these roles. In an IT …

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Why Defects/KLOC Doesn't Supply Enough Information about Product Quality

  A colleague emailed me a few days ago, and asked “for a code base with a [given size], what can we expect to see for numbers of defects per KLOC (given the actual industry average or given what the industry believes we should expect). We need some way of gauging whether or not our …

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The Difference Between Project Managers and Developers

  Joel’s discussion of project managers (MS calls them program managers) and developers got me to thinking about the differences between project managers and developers. The difference between project managers and developers is where they deal with complexity and decision-making. PMs deal with complexity and decision-making between people. Developers deal with complexity and decision-making in …

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