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Improving Software Development Productivity: Effective Leadership and Quantitative Methods in Software Management

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Improving Software Development Productivity: Effective Leadership and Quantitative Methods in Software Management


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  • Students will master a proven quantitative approach to improving software productivity by strengthening their focus on people, motivation, and communication
  • By Dr. Randall Jensen, one of the global software engineering community's most respected experts
  • Offers practical guidance for assessing organizational capabilities and creating far more accurate cost estimates and schedules
  • Contains an Excel-based model based on the Jensen II (Seer) model at the heart of by many of the world's industrial-strength software estimating systems
  • Describes the value of productivity, the product of management support, the ability to communicate, and technology


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-356267-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-356267-5

Superior software productivity requires a relentless focus on people, motivation, and communication. In Improving Software Development Productivity,  world-renowned software engineering expert Dr. Randall W. Jensen introduces a proven, quantitative approach to achieving this focus. Jensen helps you measure your organization’s capacity and productivity, and then use that information to improve multiple facets of developer and team performance, and to build more accurate estimates and schedules.

Focusing on management as the principal cost and schedule driver in software projects, he demonstrates a powerful tool based on his Jensen II (Seer) model: the model that underlies many leading software estimation tools. Through real case studies, you’ll learn how to predict the productivity impact of any major management decision, and quantitatively support a transition to “extreme” or “agile” software development environments.

For decades, Jensen has been the industry’s go-to expert on improving software project productivity. This book distills his insights and gives you the tools and knowledge to apply them.

This book will help you

  • Recognize the centrality of communication and culture, and translate this awareness into quantitative improvements
  • Predict the impact of changes in personnel, management style, development environments, product constraints, and technologies
  • Optimize decision making throughout a project’s lifecycle, and avoid counterproductive changes
  • Understand modern estimating models and parameters, so you can apply them more effectively
  • Formulate more accurate and useful estimates with leading tools such as Sage, REVIC, COCOMO II, and SEER-SEM
  • Maintain firmer control over costs and timeframes in agile or extreme project environments

Register your book for access to the Capability Calculator, a Microsoft Excel tool created by the author and based on the Jensen II (Seer) model. Go to informit.com/title/9780133562675.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Why Do We Still Have Software Development Problems?


Preface to Improving Software Development Productivity: Effective Leadership and Quantitative Methods in Software Management

Table of Contents

Preface xv

About the Author xiii


Chapter 1: Software Development Issues 1

1.1  Software Crisis 2

1.2  People Impact on Productivity 9

1.3  Agile Contributions to Development Productivity 13

1.4  Magic Bullets 15

1.5  Development Constraints 16

Chapter 2: The Effectiveness 17

2.2  Mechanics of Communication 19

2.3  Culture Issues 31

Chapter 3: Importance of Software Management 41

3.1  Historical Perspective 42

3.2  Hawthorne Effect 45

3.3  Theory X/Theory Y 47

3.4  Agile Software Development 50

3.5  More Real Productivity Improvers 51

Chapter 4: What We Learn from History 57

4.1  Pandora and the Magic Vase 58

4.2  Productivity Gains from Technology 59

4.3  CMMI 63

4.4  Maximum/Minimum Schedule Is Real 66

4.5  And So . . . 68

Chapter 5: Software Development Teams 71

5.1  Software Development Teams 72

5.2  Team Examples 73

5.3  Team Positive Effects 86

5.4  Team Size 88

5.5  And Then . . . 91

Chapter 6: Measuring Organization Capability 93

6.1  The Evolving Concept of Developer Capability 95

6.2  The Effectiveness Formula Redux 98

6.3  Organization Capability Rating 116

6.4  Basic Technology Constant 120

Chapter 7: Faultless Software Corporation Case Study 125

7.1  The Problem 125

7.2  Faultless Software, the Corporation 126

7.3  The Software Components 128

7.4  Faultless Software Capability Ratings 130

Chapter 8: Product Complexity 137

8.1  A Quantitative Complexity Value 138

8.2  Faultless Software Complexity Example 143

Chapter 9: Staffing Profiles 147

9.1  Effective Use of People 147

9.2  Brooks’ Law in Action 154

9.3  A Touch of Reality 156

Chapter 10: Seer Software Model Introduction 159

10.1  Introduction 160

10.2  Software Equation 163

10.3  Schedule and Cost Estimates 169

Chapter 11: Development Environment 173

11.1  Experience Factors 174

11.2  Volatility Factors 182

11.3  Management Factors 183

Chapter 12: Product Characteristics 189

12.1  Product Characteristics Evaluation 190

12.2  Effective Technology Constant 200

12.3  Basic Technology Constant Projection 201

Chapter 13: Development Schedule and Cost Estimates 205

13.1  Waterfall Development Model 206

13.2  Faultless Software Case Study 208

13.3  Summary 225

Chapter 14: Effective Size Estimation 227

14.1  Source Code Elements 228

14.2  Size Uncertainty 231

14.3  Source Line of Code (SLOC) 233

14.4  Effective Source Lines of Code (ESLOC) 235

14.5  Effective Size Equation 238

14.6  Size Growth 241

14.7  Size Risk 248

14.8  Faultless Software Size Example 249

Chapter 15: Function Point Sizing 253

15.1  Function Point Counting 254

15.2  Function Point Components 254

15.3  Unadjusted Function Point Counting 264

15.4  Adjusted Function Points 265

15.5  Backfiring 268

15.6  Function Points and Objects 270

15.7  Zero Function Point Problem 271

Chapter 16: Maintenance Estimating 273

16.1  Introduction 273

16.2  Software Enhancement 275

16.3  Knowledge Retention 276

16.4  Steady-State Maintenance Effort 277

16.5  Maintenance Example 277

Chapter 17: Summary 279

17.1  The Effectiveness Formula Revisited 279

17.2  People-Process-Project Triad 281

17.3  The Value of Communication 283

17.4   Management and Motivation 285

17.5  Teams 287

17.6  Last Thoughts 290

Appendix A: Software Estimating Models 293

A.1  Analogy Models 294

A.2  Expert Judgment Models 295

A.3  Bottom-Up Estimating 297

A.4  Parametric Models 298

A.5  Evolution of Parametric Software Models 299

Appendix B: Additional Reading 307

Appendix C: Terminology 313

Index 327 


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