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|Format:||Paperback / softback, 680 pages|
|Other Information: ||Illustrations|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 July 1996|
Corporate and commercial software-development teams all want solutions for one important problem how to get their high-pressure development schedules under control. In RAPID DEVELOPMENT, author Steve McConnell addresses that concern head-on with overall strategies, specific best practices, and valuable tips that help shrink and control development schedules and keep projects moving. Inside, you ll find: A rapid-development strategy that can be applied to any project and the best practices to make that strategy work Candid discussions of great and not-so-great rapid-development practices estimation, prototyping, forced overtime, motivation, teamwork, rapid-development languages, risk management, and many others A list of classic mistakes to avoid for rapid-development projects, including creeping requirements, shortchanged quality, and silver-bullet syndrome Case studies that vividly illustrate what can go wrong, what can go right, and how to tell which direction your project is going RAPID DEVELOPMENT is the real-world guide to more efficient applications development.
Table of Contents
Contents Case Studies ix Reference Tables x Preface xiii PART I EFFICIENT DEVELOPMENT 1 Welcome to Rapid Development 1 What Is Rapid Development? Attaining Rapid Development 2 Rapid-Development Strategy 5 General Strategy for Rapid Development Four Dimensions of Development Speed General Kinds of Fast Development Which Dimension Matters the Most? An Alternative Rapid-Development Strategy Further Reading 3 Classic Mistakes 29 Case Study in Classic Mistakes Effect of Mistakes on a Development Schedule Classic Mistakes Enumerated Escape from Gilligan s Island Further Reading 4 Software-Development Fundamentals 51 Management Fundamentals Technical Fundamentals Quality- Assurance Fundamentals Following the Instructions Further General Reading 5 Risk Management 81 Elements of Risk Management Risk Identification Risk Analysis Risk Prioritization Risk Control Risk, High Risk, and Gambling Further Reading PART II RAPID DEVELOPMENT 6 Core Issues in Rapid Development 109 Does One Size Fit All? What Kind of Rapid Development Do You Need? Odds of Completing on Time Perception and Reality Where the Time Goes Development-Speed Trade-Offs Typical Schedule-Improvement Pattern Onward to Rapid Development Further Reading PART III BEST PRACTICES Introduction to Best Practices 390 Organization of Best-Practice Chapters Summary of Best-Practice Candidates Summary of Best-Practice Evaluations 17 Change Board 403 18 Daily Build and Smoke Test 405 19 Designing for Change 415 20 Evolutionary Delivery 425 21 Evolutionary Prototyping 433 22 Goal Setting 445 23 Inspections 447 24 Joint Application Development (JAD) 449 25 Lifecycle Model Selection 465 26 Measurement 467 27 Miniature Milestones 481 28 Outsourcing 491 29 Principled Negotiation 503 30 Productivity Environments 505 31 Rapid-Development Languages (RDLs) 515 32 Requirements Scrubbing 525 33 Reuse 527 34 Signing Up 539 35 Spiral Lifecycle Model 547 36 Staged Delivery 549 37 Theory-W Management 559 38 Throwaway Prototyping 569 39 Timebox Development 575 40 Tools Group 585 41 Top-10 Risks List 587 Case Studies 2-1. Rapid Development Without a Clear Strategy 6 2-2. Rapid Development with a Clear Strategy 25 3-1. Classic Mistakes 29 4-1. Lack of Fundamentals 52 5-1. Lack of Contractor Risk Management 82 5-2. Systematic Risk Management 103 6-1. Wandering in the Fuzzy Front End 124 7-1. Ineffective Lifecycle Model Selection 134 7-2. Effective Lifecycle Model Selection 159 8-1. Seat-of-the-Pants Project Estimation 164 8-2. Careful Project Estimation 200 9-1. A Successful Schedule Negotiation 229 10-1. The Requirements Club 234 10-2. The Requirements Club Revisited 246 11-1. A Disheartening Lunch with the Boss 250 11-2. A Highly Motivational Environment 270 12-1. You Call This a Team? 274 12-2. A High-Performance Team 277 12-3. Typical Team-Member Selection 282 12-4. A Second High-Performance Team 294 13-1. Mismatch Between Project Objectives and Team Structure 297 13-2. Good Match Between Project Objectives and Team Structure 315 14-1. Managing Change Effectively 342 15-1. Ineffective Tool Use 346 15-2. Effective Tool Use 368 16-1. An Unsuccessful Project Recovery 372 16-2. A Successful Project Recovery 385 Reference Tables 2-1. Characteristics of Standard Approaches to Schedule- Oriented Development 18 2-2. Code-Like-Hell Approach Compared to This Book s Approach 24 3-1. Summary of Classic Mistakes 49 5-1. Levels of Risk Management 84 5-2. Most Common Schedule Risks 86 5-3. Potential Schedule Risks 87 5-4. Example of a Risk-Assessment Table 92 5-5. Example of a Prioritized Risk-Assessment Table 95 5-6. Means of Controlling the Most Common Schedule Risks 98 5-7. Example of a "Top-10 Risks List" 101 6-1. Approximate Activity Breakdown by Size of Project 122 7-1. Lifecycle Model Strengths and Weaknesses 156 8-1. Estimate Multipliers by Project Phase 169 8-2. Function-Point Multipliers 176 8-3. Example of Computing the Number of Function Points 177 8-4. Example of a Risk-Quantification Estimate 180 8-5. Example of a Case-Based Estimate 181 8-6. Example of a Confidence-Factor Estimate 182 8-7. Exponents for Computing Schedules from Function Points 185 8-8. Shortest Possible Schedules 190 8-9. Efficient Schedules 194 8-10. Nominal Schedules 196 8-11. Example of a Single-Point Estimation History 197 8-12. Example of a Range-Estimation History 198 9-1. Scheduling History of Word for Windows 1.0 208 11-1. Comparison of Motivators for Programmer Analysts vs. Managers and the General Population 252 11-2. Team Performance Ranked Against Objectives That Teams Were Told to Optimize 256 12-1. Practical Guidelines for Team Members and Leaders 295 13-1. Team Objectives and Team Structures 301 15-1. Example of Savings Realized by Switching from a 3GL to a 4GL for 50 Percent of a 32,000 LOC Project 361 15-2. Example of Savings Realized by Switching from a 3GL to a 4GL for 100 Percent of a 32,000 LOC Project 362 III-1. Summary of Best-Practice Candidates 396 III-2. Summary of Best-Practice Evaluations 400 26-1. Examples of Kinds of Measurement Data 470 26-2. Example of Time-Accounting Activities 472 28-1. Vendor-Evaluation Questionnaire 497 28-2. Contract Considerations 498 30-1. Differences in Office Environments Between Best and Worst Performers in a Programming Competition 512 31-1. Approximate Function-Points to Lines-of-Code Conversions 517 31-2. Approximate Language Levels 519 36-1. Example of a Staged-Delivery Schedule for a Word Processor 552 37-1. Project Stakeholders and Their Objectives 560 37-2. Steps in Theory-W Project Management 562 Preface Software developers are caught on the horns of a dilemma. One horn of the dilemma is that developers are working too hard to have time to learn about effective practices that can solve most development-time problems; the other horn is that they won t get the time until they do learn more about rapid development. Other problems in our industry can wait. It s hard to justify taking time to learn more about quality when you re under intense schedule pressure to "just ship it." It s hard to learn more about usability when you ve worked 20 days in a row and haven t had time to see a movie, go shopping, work out, read the paper, mow your lawn, or play with your kids. Until we as an industry learn to control our schedules and free up time for developers and managers to learn more about their professions, we will never have enough time to put the rest of our house in order. The development-time problem is pervasive. Several surveys have found that about two-thirds of all projects substantially overrun their estimates (Lederer and Prasad 1992, Gibbs 1994, Standish Group 1994). The average large project misses its planned delivery date by 25 to 50 percent, and the size of the average schedule slip increases with the size of the project (Jones 1994). Year after year, development-speed issues have appeared at the tops of lists of the most critical issues facing the software-development community (Symons 1991). Although the slow-development problem is pervasive, some organizations are developing rapidly. Researchers have found 10-to-1 differences in productivity between companies within the same industries, and some researchers have found even greater variations (Jones 1994). The purpose of this book is to provide the groups that are currently on the "1" side of that 10-to-1 ratio with the information they need to move toward the "10" side of the ratio. This book will help you bring your projects under control. It will help you deliver more functionality to your users in less time. You don t have to read the whole book to learn something useful; no matter what state your project is in, you will find practices that will enable you to improve its condition. Who Should Read This Book? Slow development affects everyone involved with software development, including developers, managers, clients, and end-users even their families and friends. Each of these groups has a stake in solving the slow-development problem, and there is something in this book for each of them. This book is intended to help developers and managers know what s possible, to help managers and clients know what s realistic, and to serve as an avenue of communication between developers, managers, and clients so that they can tailor the best possible approach to meet their schedule, cost, quality, and other goals. Technical Leads This book is written primarily with technical leads or team leads in mind. If that s your role, you usually bear primary responsibility for increasing the speed of software development, and this book explains how to do that. It also describes the development-speed limits so that you ll have a firm foundation for distinguishing between realistic improvement programs and wishful-thinking fantasies. Some of the practices this book describes are wholly technical. As a technical lead, you should have no problem implementing those. Other practices are more management oriented, and you might wonder why they are included here. In writing the book, I have made the simplifying assumption that you are Technical Super Lead faster than a speeding hacker; more powerful than a loco-manager; able to leap both technical problems and management problems in a single bound. That is somewhat unrealistic, I know, but it saves both of us from the distraction of my constantly saying, "If you re a manager, do this, and if you re a developer, do that." Moreover, assuming that technical leads are responsible for both technical and management practices is not as far-fetched as it might sound. Technical leads are often called upon to make recommendations to upper management about technically oriented management issues, and this book will help prepare you to do that. Individual Programmers Many software projects are run by individual programmers or self-managed teams, and that puts individual technical participants into de facto technical-lead roles. If you re in that role, this book will help you improve your development speed for the same reasons that it will help bona fide tech- nical leads. Managers Managers sometimes think that achieving rapid software development is primarily a technical job. If you re a manager, however, you can usually do as much to improve development speed as your developers can. This book describes many management-level rapid-development practices. Of course, you can also read the technically oriented practices to understand what your developers can do at their level. Key Benefits of This Book I conceived of this book as a Common Sense for software developers. Like Thomas Paine s original Common Sense, which laid out in pragmatic terms why America should secede from Mother England, this book lays out in pragmatic terms why many of our most common views about rapid development are fundamentally broken. These are the times that try developers souls, and, for that reason, this book advocates its own small revolution in software-development practices. My view of software development is that software projects can be optimized for any of several goals lowest defect rate, fastest execution speed, greatest user acceptance, best maintainability, lowest cost, or shortest development schedule. Part of an engineering approach to software is to balance trade-offs: Can you optimize for development time by cutting quality? By cutting usability? By requiring developers to work overtime? When crunch time comes, how much schedule reduction can you ultimately achieve? This book helps answer such key trade-off questions as well as other questions. Improved development speed. You can use the strategy and best practices described in this book to achieve the maximum possible development speed in your specific circumstances. Over time, most people can realize dramatic improvements in development speed by applying the strategies and practices described in this book. Some best practices won t work on some kinds of projects, but for virtually any kind of project, you ll find other best practices that will. Depending on your circumstances, "maximum development speed" might not be as fast as you d like, but you ll never be completely out of luck just because you can t use a rapid-development language, are maintaining legacy code, or work in a noisy, unproductive environment. Rapid-development slant on traditional topics. Some of the practices described in this book aren t typically thought of as rapid-development practices. Practices such as risk management, software-development fundamentals, and lifecycle planning are more commonly thought of as "good software-development practices" than as rapid-development methodologies. These practices, however, have profound development-speed implications that in many cases dwarf those of the so-called rapid-development methods. This book puts the development-speed benefits of these practices into context with other practices. Practical focus. To some people, "practical" means "code," and to those people I have to admit that this book might not seem very practical. I ve avoided code-focused practices for two reasons. First, I ve already written 800 pages about effective coding practices in Code Complete (Microsoft Press, 1993). I don t have much more to say about them. Second, it turns out that many of the critical insights about rapid development are not code-focused; they re strategic and philosophical. Sometimes, there is nothing more practical than a good theory. Quick-reading organization. I ve done all I can to present this book s rapid-development information in the most practical way possible. The first 400 pages of the book (Parts I and II) describe a strategy and philosophy of rapid development. About 50 pages of case studies are integrated into that discussion so that you can see how the strategy and philosophy play out in practice. If you don t like case studies, they ve been formatted so that you can easily skip them. The rest of the book consists of a set of rapid- development best practices. The practices are described in quick-reference format so that you can skim to find the practices that will work best on your projects. The book describes how to use each practice, how much schedule reduction to expect, and what risks to watch out for. The book also makes extensive use of marginal icons and text to help you quickly find additional information related to the topic you re reading about, avoid classic mistakes, zero in on best practices, and find quantitative support for many of the claims made in this book. A new way to think about the topic of rapid development. In no other area of software development has there been as much disinformation as in the area of rapid development. Nearly useless development practices have been relentlessly hyped as "rapid-development practices," which has caused many developers to become cynical about claims made for any development practices whatsoever. Other practices are genuinely useful, but they have been hyped so far beyond their real capabilities that they too have contributed to developers cynicism. Each tool vendor and each methodology vendor want to convince you that their new silver bullet will be the answer to your development needs. In no other software area do you have to work as hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. This book provides guidelines for analyzing rapid-development information and finding the few grains of truth. This book provides ready-made mental models that will allow you to assess what the silver-bullet vendors tell you and will also allow you to incorporate new ideas of your own. When someone comes into your office and says, "I just heard about a great new tool from the GigaCorp Silver Bullet Company that will cut our development time by 80 percent!" you will know how to react. It doesn t matter that I haven t said anything specifically about the GigaCorp Silver Bullet Company or their new tool. By the time you finish this book, you ll know what questions to ask, how seriously to take GigaCorp s claims, and how to incorporate their new tool into your development environment, if you decide to do that. Unlike other books on rapid development, I m not asking you to put all of your eggs into a single, one-size-fits-all basket. I recognize that different projects have different needs, and that one magic method is usually not enough to solve even one project s schedule problems. I have tried to be skeptical without being cynical to be critical of practices effectiveness but to stop short of assuming that they don t work. I revisit those old, overhyped practices and salvage some that are still genuinely useful even if they aren t as useful as they were originally promised to be. Why is this book about rapid development so big? Developers in the IS, shrink-wrap, military, and software-engineering fields have all discovered valuable rapid-development practices, but the people from these different fields rarely talk to one another. This book collects the most valuable practices from each field, bringing together rapid-development information from a wide variety of sources for the first time. Does anyone who needs to know about rapid development really have time to read 650 pages about it? Possibly not, but a book half as long would have had to be oversimplified to the point of uselessness. To compensate, I ve organized the book so that it can be read quickly and selectively you can read short snippets while you re traveling or waiting. Chapters 1 and 2 contain the material that you must read to understand how to develop products more quickly. After you read those chapters, you can read whatever interests you most. Why This Book Was Written Clients and managers first response to the problem of slow development is usually to increase the amount of schedule pressure and overtime they heap on developers. Excessive schedule pressure occurs in about 75 percent of all large projects and in close to 100 percent of all very large projects (Jones 1994). Nearly 60 percent of developers report that the level of stress they feel is increasing (Glass 1994c). The average developer in the U.S. works from 48 to 50 hours per week (Krantz 1995). Many work considerably more. In this environment, it isn t surprising that general job satisfaction of software developers has dropped significantly in the last 15 years (Zawacki 1993), and at a time when the industry desperately needs to be recruiting additional programmers to ease the schedule pressure, developers are spreading the word to their younger sisters, brothers, and children that our field is no fun anymore. Clearly our field can be fun. Many of us got into it originally because we couldn t believe that people would actually pay us to write software. But something not-so-funny happened on the way to the forum, and that something is intimately bound up with the topic of rapid development. It s time to start shoring up the dike that separates software developers from the sea of scheduling madness. This book is my attempt to stick a few fingers into that dike, holding the madness at bay long enough to get the job started. Acknowledgments Heartfelt thanks go first to Jack Litewka, the project editor, for making the creation of this book a thoroughly constructive and enjoyable experience. Thanks also go to Kim Eggleston for the book s design, to Michael Victor for the diagrams, and to Mark Monlux for the terrific illustrations. Sally Brunsman, David Clark, Susanne Freet, Dean Holmes, Wendy Maier, and Heidi Saastamoinen also helped this project go smoothly. Literally dozens of other people contributed to this book in one way or another; I didn t have personal contact with any of them, but I appreciate their contributions, too. (Chief among these, I am told, are layout artist Jeannie McGivern and production manager Jean Trenary of ArtSource and Microsoft Press s proof/copy-edit platoon supervised by Brenda Morris: Richard Carey, Roger LeBlanc, Patrick Forgette, Ron Drummond, Patricia Masserman, Paula Thurman, Jocelyn Elliott, Deborah Long, and Devon Musgrave.) Microsoft Corporation s technical library provided invaluable aid in digging up the hundreds of books and articles that laid the foundation for this book. Keith Barland spearheaded that effort, making my research efforts much less arduous and time-consuming than they otherwise might have been. Other people at the library who helped included Janelle Jones, Christine Shannon, Linda Shaw, Amy Victor, Kyle Wagner, Amy Westfall, and Eilidh Zuvich. I expound on the virtue of reviews in several places in this book, and this book has benefited greatly from extensive peer reviews. Al Corwin, Pat Forman, Tony Garland, Hank Meuret, and Matt Peloquin stuck with the project from beginning to end. Thanks to them for seeing that the book you hold in your hands doesn t look very much like the book I originally set out to write! I also received valuable comments from Wayne Beardsley, Duane Bedard, Ray Bernard, Bob Glass, Sharon Graham, Greg Hitchcock, Dave Moore, Tony Pisculli, Steve Rinn, and Bob Stacy constructive critics, all. David Sommer (age 11) came up with the idea for the last panel of Figure 14-3. Thanks, David. And, finally, I d like to thank my wife, Tammy, for her moral support and good humor. I have to start working on my third book immediately so that she will stop elbowing me in the ribs and calling me a Two-Time Author! Bellevue, Washington June 1996
About the Author
Steve McConnell is recognized as one of the premier authors and voices in the development community. He is Chief Software Engineer of Construx Software and was the lead developer of Construx Estimate and of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of Software Development magazine's Productivity Award. He is the author of several books, including Code Complete and Rapid Development, both honored with Software Development magazine's Jolt Award.
|Publisher: ||Microsoft Press,U.S.|
|Dimensions: ||23.22 x 18.44 x 4.39 centimeters (1.34 kg)|