How To Observe Software Systems
How To Observe Software Systems
Software Quality Series: Vol. 3
About the Book
To consistently produce high-quality software in today's competitive marketplace, managers must have reliable information, obtained through careful observation and measurement. How to Observe Software Systems is a comprehensive guide to the basic measurement activities every organization must perform to manage the software development process.
Many management failures are caused by poor observation. First-Order Measurement tells how to observe properly with the aid of a four-step model to break the complex observation process into a series of smaller, simpler, steps. The book also defines the different levels of measurement, and describes the minimum set of activities in order to start a measurement program.
Numerous examples and diagrams illustrate the author's points, and exercises challenge readers to test their understanding of the concepts. Topics include
• why observation is important
• selecting what to observe
• visualizing the product
• visualizing the process
• pitfalls when making meaning from observations
• the direct observation of quality
• comparison of cost and value
This stand-alone text is the third in a series of volumes in which acclaimed author Gerald Weinberg explores the most difficult aspects of building high-quality software.
How To Observe Software Systems
- Introduction: A Model of Observation
Chapter 1. Why Observation is Important
- 1.1 Management Failure: Crisis or Illusion?
1.2. Seeing the Culture
- 1.2.1. What is culture?
- 1.2.2 Six Software sub-cultural patterns
- 1.2.3 Surveying to discover your cultural pattern
1.3 Cultural Observation Patterns in Action
- 1.3.1 The Oblivious Culture
- 1.3.2 The Variable Culture
- 1.3.3 The Routine Organization
- 1.3.4 The Steering Organization
- 1.3.5. The Anticipating Organization (Pattern 4)
- 1.3.6 The Congruent Organization(Pattern 5)
- 1.4. Comparing the Effects of Observation Patterns
- 1.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 1.6 Summary
- 1.7 Practice
- Chapter 2: Selecting What to Observe
2.1 The Intake Step
2.1.1 Sensory intake
- 2.1.2 Intake, not input
- 2.1.3 All data are potential information
- 2.2 The Parable of the Ones
2.3 Requirements for an Effective Model of Observation
- 2.3.1 What the observation model must do
- 2.3.2 To what do you pay attention?
- 2.3.3 The Rat Hair Rule
- 2.3.4 A model tells how precisely to measure
- 2.4 The Eye-Brain Law and the Brain-Eye Law
- 2.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 2.6 Summary
- 2.7 Practice
- 2.1.1 Sensory intake
Chapter 3: Visualizing the Product
- 3.1 Sensory Modalities
3.2 Making Software Visible
- 3.2.1 Showing logic
- 3.2.2 Showing quality
- 3.2.3 Using sub-modalities to facilitate communication
- 3.2.4 Combining sub-modalities to broaden communication
- 3.2.5 Distortion or emphasis?
- 3.2.6 How bad is distortion?
3.3 Making Software Available for Observation
- 3.3.1 Disguising the smell
- 3.3.2 Visibility and control
- 3.3.3 Visibility and participation
3.4 Openness of the Product is the Key to Pattern 3
- 3.4.1. Available to view:
- 3.4. 2. Visualizable
- 3.4. 3. Undistorted
- 3.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 3.6 Summary
- 3.7 Practice
Chapter 4: Visualizing the Process
4.1. Openness of the Process Is the Key to Pattern 4
- 4.1.1 Availability to view
- 4.1.2 Visualizable
- 4.1.3 Undistorted
4.2 Identifying the Pattern 4 Organization
- 4.2.1. Available to view:
- 4.2.2. Visualizable:
- 4.2.3. Undistorted:
- 4.3 A Process Picture Vocabulary
- 4.3.2 Cause and effect
- 4.3.3 Distributions
- 4.3.4 Trends
- 4.4 The Project Control Panel
- 4.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 4.7 Practice
- 4.1. Openness of the Process Is the Key to Pattern 4
- Part II. Meaning
Chapter 5: A Case Study of Interpretation
5.1 The Slip Chart: Comparing Promise and Delivery
- 5.1.1 Definitions
- 5.1.2 Cultural revelations
- 5.1.3 Slip-lead chart
- 5.2 Interpretation of Company A’s Charts
5.3 Interpretation of Company B’s Charts
- 5.3.1 The project that’s afraid to ﬁnish
- 5.3.2 The project that’s afraid of its own managers
- 5.3.3 Company B’s culture
- 5.3.4 Reactions are data
- 5.3.5 Digging deeper
- 5.4 Company C’s Culture
- 5.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 5.6 Summary
- 5.7 Practice
- 5.1 The Slip Chart: Comparing Promise and Delivery
Chapter 6: Pitfalls When Making Meaning from Observations
- 6.1 The Rule of Three Interpretations
6.2 The Data Question
- 6.2.1 A typical interaction
- 6.2.2 Applying the Data Question
- 6.3 Interpreting Observations
6.4 Spending Too Much Too Soon on Measurements
- 6.4.1 Round 1: smaller projects
- 6.4.2 Round 2: larger projects
- 6.4.3 Meta-meaning
- 6.5.1 No verification
- 6.5.2 Unconsciously selected data
- 6.5.3 Consciously selected data
- 6.5.4 Misunderstanding
- 6.5.5 Falsification
- 6.6 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 6.7 Summary
- 6.8 Practice
Chapter 7: Direct Observation of Quality
7.1 Quality Versus Apple Pie
- 7.1.1 A survey of attitudes about quality
- 7.1.2 What do people mean by quality?
- 7.1.3 What does quality mean?
- 7.1.4 Quality is relative
- 7.2 An Example of the Relativity of Quality
- 7.3 An Industry Out of Control of Quality
7.4 Whose Ideas and Feelings Count?
- 7.4.1 The IBM view of who counts
- 7.4.2 The software developer’s view
- 7.4.3 A balanced measure of quality
- 7.4.4 The first measure of quality
- 7.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 7.6 Summary
- 7.7 Practice
- 7.1 Quality Versus Apple Pie
Chapter 8: Measuring Cost and Value
- 8.1 Confusing Cost with Value
8.2 What Is Value?
- 8.2.1 Perceived value
- 8.2.2 Collapse of value
- 8.2.3 The Second Law of Thermodynamics
- 8.2.4 The First Law of Human Nature
8.3 The Role of Requirements in Observing Quality
- 8.3.1 Direct measurement of quality
- 8.3.2 Indirect measurement of quality
8.4 The Detailed Impact Case Method
- 8.4.1 Basic approach
- 8.4.2 Key ideas
- 8.4.3 Possible difficulties
- 8.4.4 Sample report #1
8.4.5 Notes on the detailed impact case study 1**
- 8.4.6 Sample report #2
- 8.5 Single Greatest Benefit Method
8.5.1 Key ideas
- 8.5.2 Possible difficulties
- 8.5.3 Example Report #3
- 8.5.4 Example Report #4
- 8.6 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 8.6 Summary
- 8.7. Practice
Chapter 9: Meta-Measurement
9.1 Inability to Know What’s Happening
- 9.1.1 Imprecise accounting
- 9.1.2 Project management breakdown
- 9.1.3 Losing things
- 9.1.4 Imprecise language and thought
- 9.1.5 Intentional ignorance
- 9.2 Lack of External Reference
- 9.2.1 What standards?
- 9.2.2 Goodbye to specifications
9.3 Thinking You Know
- 9.3.1 Not checking it out
- 9.3.2 Quantity hiding lack of quality
- 9.3.3 Pseudo-reviews hiding lack of reviewing
- 9.4 Cutting Communication Lines
9.4.1 Poor quality communication
- 9.4.2 Failure to follow through
- 9.4.3 Silence, gossip, rumors, and indirect action
- 9.4.4 Isolation
- 9.4.5 Denial of bad news
- 9.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
- 9.6 Summary
- 9.7 Practice
- 9.1 Inability to Know What’s Happening
- Appendix A: The Diagram of Effects
Appendix B: The Software Engineering Cultural Patterns
- Pattern 0. Oblivious Process
- Pattern 1: Variable Process
- Pattern 2: Routine Process
- Pattern 3: Steering Process
- Pattern 4: Anticipating Process
- Pattern 5: Congruent Process
Appendix C. The Satir Interaction Model
Appendix D. Control Models
- D.1. The Aggregate Control Model
D.2. Cybernetic Control Models
- D.2.1 The system to be controlled (the focus of Patterns 0 and 1)
- D.2.2 The controller (the focus of Pattern 2)
- D.2.3 Feedback control (the focus of Pattern 3)
- What Next?
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