Development Ratios

August 21, 2014

I read the following article earlier today: Bronze Age Development. The article considers the amount of time spent testing compared to the amount of time in development, and reflects on the fact testing is likely to take longer than development – despite the fact that even now many people believe that it shouldn’t.

On consideration I suggested that, in fact, we could expect the relative amount of time spent testing to increase with the use of modern tools and reuse techniques. A quick search on the subject brought out the following quote:

“Fred Brooks  (author of the Mythical Man Month) found that the following rule of thumb allocates time for software development with reasonable accuracy: 1/3 specification and design, 1/6 programming, 1/4 function and integration testing, and 1/4 system test.” (Avoiding software project overruns: watch the ratio!)

It seems that testing is historically three times the size of the development effort. I have been looking, but can’t find any studies which show how these ratios have varied over time, or for the different technologies and development styles. I’m slightly surprised by this, but for the moment would suggest that it would be worth using these values as a starting point. I would also strongly agree with the watch the ratios article above: Keep a track of the ratios of the levels of effort and time expended in your project. If they vary widely from reasonable values investigate why. If not, the chances are something might be going wrong in your process.

Innovation Approach

November 25, 2011

I was reading an article on the BCS Blogs today about innovation, and whether it is a process or culture piece. It made me reconsider some of the work I am doing and its relationship to a “Creativity, Innovation and Change” course that I did as part of my MBA study. The field of innovation and how to encourage and manage it is rich picking for academics and consultants alike. Read the rest of this entry »

Data centres move underground

July 7, 2011

I recently read an article about data centres moving underground, and the sheer scale and cost of modern data centres. The modern data centres are using the power needs of thousands of households, and taking up tens of thousands of square feet of space. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change lessons

March 16, 2011

I have just attended a lecture on “Preparing for stormy weather – Identifying and managing climate risks”, organised by Business Green. The lectures were interesting, and included a brief summary for some of the evidence that climate change is actually happening. To a degree my interest in the subject was at a tangent to the lecture. The lecture was focussed on “Climate Change” is happening and you need to manage the risks involved in this, whereas the interest area that lead me to it is more evaluation of green coming technology and whether it is “Green wash“.  Read the rest of this entry »

On Quality improvements…

January 20, 2011

I have just run into one of those resources on the internet that seems worth sharing. It is a set of articles, tools and techniques about quality improvement that have obviously been built by a practitioner over a number of years.

The sections are:

There are many other potentially useful sections but these are the ones that really caught my attantion. If you need a summary of quality improvement approaches then this looks like a good place to browse.

CMMi Revisited…

January 6, 2011

A while ago I presented a headline summary of CMMi, mainly because a quick and dirty overview didn’t seem to be available. I was looking for slightly more information without going into the full details, however, and came across this tutorial page:

I thought it was worth sharing because it goes down into a little more detail. If you printed out everything on the site it is just over 20 pages worth of information, and it has been presented in a fairly clear way. Much of the material seems to have been copied from the main CMMi site material, but the summarising and presentation is useful.

Risk and Estimation

November 23, 2010

I have received interesting comments on my Estimation model article which discuss the relationship between project risk and the estimation of a project. In the estimation model I presented there is a consideration of complexity, and an approach to adjust for the stability of the estimation within the different development areas . These areas are likely to use differing development approaches and technologies.  Thus, the estimation approach only factors risk into the estimation indirectly. Read the rest of this entry »

Evidence in Management and IT

August 2, 2010

I was recently reading various articles about the use of “Evidence” in Management. The basic idea is that it is all too easy to start management initiatives based on a prejudice of what is going on. The result can be that inappropriate action on a situation. An example would be if a manager were to believe that  his team were unproductive and needed extra motivation there are actions that might be taken to improve motivation, or apply control to demand more output. The reality of the situation might be very different, with the individuals motivated and wanting to produce more – but being hampered by an inability to work effectively in the environment. The appropriate actions here would be quite different, and action on the perceived problem would have no effect. It could even make it worse. Worse still, the problem might be that the team are productive but too much is expected of them for what is achievable in the situation.

 What solution is proposed? Read the rest of this entry »

Messy problems and solutions

May 19, 2010

How often do you end up looking at one problem, and find that to solve it you have to solve all the others that it is interconnected with at the same time? One of the reasons I have found dealing with performance problems interesting over time is that they tend to be like this. It is only relatively recently, however, that I have come across the idea that this is a general class of management problem that occurs in business.  They have been studied under various titles (e.g “wicked” problems), but the common feature is complexity and an inability to have a single easy solution. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Questions…

May 6, 2010

As a professional I find that I should do more networking than I do. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. As such the following article may be of interest:

10 Questions for Effective Networking

The article is written by a “professional coach” who discusses the benefits of value-based questioning when networking. It seems a better approach than the standard sales-lead approach, and may be useful in breaking the ice with potential clients for the future. I found it interesting, see if you do.