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Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions

First-order measurement can help you understand what's going on, make decisions, and improve results. Observation, modeling, and simple data gathering are things that you can implement in your work group without a big measurement program or big funding. Start by modeling your system and working out on paper how different measures will affect your system. Then involve your team, expand your model, and try some simple data gathering. This approach to measurement is one more tool in your toolkit, and it will move your organization toward better quality.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Influential Test Manager

Test managers often feel that while somebody might be in control of schedules or resources, they certainly are not. An experienced test manager shares ways to develop and use professional influence to help the test group.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Retiring Lifecycle Dinosaurs: Adaptive Software Development

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) is one of a growing number of alternatives to traditional, process-centric software management methods. Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development, SCRUM, and Crystal Light methods—although different in many respects—are tied together by a focus on people, results, minimal methods, and maximum collaboration. They are geared to the high speed and high change of today's e-business projects.

Jim Highsmith's picture Jim Highsmith
Software Installation Testing: How to Automate Tests for Smooth System Installation

Installation testing—especially manual testing—can sometimes be grueling. Here are several aspects of installation testing that are best suited to automated methods.

Chris Agruss's picture Chris Agruss
Cem Kaner on Rethinking Software Metrics

The theory underlying a measurement must take into account at least nine factors. This article defines these nine factors (e.g., the scope of the measurement, the scale of the instrument, and the variation of measurements made with the instrument) and applies them to a few examples.

Cem Kaner's picture Cem Kaner
Avoiding Scalability Shock

Web application scalability tops the list of challenges for those designing and developing e-commerce sites. Here are five steps to managing the performance of e-business applications: architecture validation, performance benchmarking, performance regression testing, performance tuning and acceptance, and continuous performance monitoring.

Billie Shea's picture Billie Shea
Testing in the Dark

How can you test software without knowing what it should do? Here is a step-by-step approach to overcoming undocumented requirements, including how to discover the requirements, how to define "quality" for the project, and how to create a test plan including release criteria.

The Test Matrix: How to Keep a Complex Test Project on Track

When testing needs to account for different user environments and installation configurations, the possible combinations can add up quickly. Read how one company used a simple data organization method to keep everything on track.

Mark Pawson's picture Mark Pawson
Karl Wiegers Describes Ten Requirements Traps to Avoid

Recognized requirements expert, Karl Wiegers, shares the symptoms and solutions for common requirements-related project problems, including inadequate customer involvement, vague and ambiguous requirements, inadequate change process, and scope creep.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers
Managing Your ERP Project

Managing your ERP Project

Marie Benesh's picture Marie Benesh

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