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Software Process and Measurement Cast

The Software Process and Measurement Cast provides a forum to explore the varied world of software process improvement and measurement.  The SPaMCast covers topics that deal the challenges how work is done in information technology organizations as they grow and evolve.  The show combines commentaries, interviews and your feedback to serve up ideas, options, opinions, advice and even occasionally facts. 


Apr 14, 2013

Welecome to the Software Process and Measurement Cast 233

Over the past seven years at the end of every interview I have asked "what two issues would you fix and why" or some close variant of that question.  In that question each of my interviewees has left thier own mark on how I think about software process and measurment.  Over the next three weeks I am going to share three of the most popular responses from each of the last three years.  

Today we begin with three segments from 2012
SPaMCAST 202 - David Marquet, Turn the Ship Around!, Agile and TesTrek Previews
SPaMCAST 180 - Johanna Rothman, Transparency and Trust
SPaMCAST 200 - Gottesdiener, Gorman, Discover to Deliver, Agile Product Planning

I have also included an entry from the Daily Process Thoughts titled "Transatlantic Crossing." 

Daily Process Thoughts: Transatlantic Crossing, January 30, 2013

Last year my wife took a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary II (Southampton to New York City) with her cousin. The crossing was made on the 100th anniversary of the the sinking of the Titanic and followed the same basic path. While the trip on Barb’s part was last second to fill in for another traveler,  the planning required  by the Cunard Line to make the crossing and meet the needs of a demanding contingent of guests is awe inspiring. By the way it is hard to conceive of what 14 tons of meat would look like piled up on the dock waiting for the ship to be loaded. Any significant mistake in planning could not only jeopardize the revenues of the Cunard Line but also potentially safety of the crew and guests.  Just think of the riot that might happen if there was no milk for people’s coffee!

Planning any project requires balancing flexibility so that change can be accommodated and looking forward in an attempt to avoid risk. Barb had to rearrange a number of projects to take advantage of the opportunity. Barb’s planning techniques had to be extremely flexible. Cunard’s planning techniques did not have to be as flexible to deal with the one passenger being switched for another but it did have to show some flexibility. Agile uses techniques that include backlogs, short iterations, feedback loops and re-planning to address in a focus on flexibility and risk avoidance. Other techniques can be leveraged based on your organizations culture however regardless of how you “do it” planning is needed to increase the chances of making the crossing safely. Organizational process improvement programs might not require a plan that calls for 2.5 tons of rice but like a transatlantic crossing you will need to know where you are headed, have a good compass and know when to change direction.

The Daily Process Thoughts is my project designed to deliver a quick daily idea, thought or simple smile to help you become a better change agent. Each day you will get piece of thought provoking text and a picture or hand drawn chart to illustrate the idea being presented. The goal is to deliver every day; rain or shine, in sickness or in health or for better or worse! Check it out at

Shameless Ad for my book! 

Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: "This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, neither for you or your team."


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In the next SPaMCAST I will continue with the vacation format with excerpts from 2011.