Software Effort
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Effort Devoted To Building Software

Studies show that more effort is devoted to software maintenance (including software enhancement, adaption to new technologies and bug fixing) than for software development activities (that is about 40% for analysis + design + implementation). According to Boehm, the total effort spend during the software development life cycle is as follows – The following deductions…

Software Engineering
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Software Engineering then and now

Software Engineering is and will be the backbone and driving force behind the technological advancements that we enjoy and that will lead us to greater realms of information and knowledge management. Its good for us to refresh our basics and foundations. Software Engineering is a discipline which was conceptualized, developed and is constantly reviewed for…

Good Systems Analyst
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Attributes of a Good System Analyst

A system analyst is a person who conducts a methodical study and evaluation of various aspects related to business to identify the desired objectives and work out procedures to attain them. The system analyst is a person with unique skills – common sense, a structured framework and a disciplined approach to solving problems are a…

Treating Product Requirements
Agile development

Treating product requirements – The ideal way

Product requirements need to be treated with suspicion as if they really needed for the essential capability for a product release. Always prioritize product requirements and keep the bare minimum and most needed requirements on the top of the product backlog with fine-grained description of the requirements which could be easily implemented using any development…

Agile
Agile development

Agile / Scrum methodology – Explained simple

Agile software development methodology is suitable for time-boxed iterative system development scenarios. The software product is released as various versions or releases, typically in time-boxes of a month. Agile development assumes and welcomes delays and late requirements or scope changes even during development/testing phase! Agile software development might not be suitable for all software development…

Reengineering
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Reengineering Principles

The standard Reengineering principles are as follows – 1. Organize work around its end results, not tasks According to this principle, it is optimal to determine the work’s end result rather than dividing the work into small tasks & units. We try to rearrange the work process so that a single person can perform all…

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Why Companies Do Reengineering?

Companies are doing reengineering since they want to remain stable in the dynamic business environment while facing changing strategies, financial crisis due to weak / poor / outdated business processes, technological changes, change in customer demands & business competition. Everyone is going for reengineering since it usually provides a quick fix for the present problem…

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Reengineering an accounts payable function

Consider the case of approving a loan application. In the manual process, it takes 6 persons and considerable amount of time to accept the details, calculating risks and repayment capabilities and letting the application trail through hands of various functional levels. But, when we reengineer the above process, the whole process may be converted to…

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Creating Process based Organizations via Reengineering

While reengineering a business enterprise, we create a process based organization structure for the enterprise to avoid the inefficiencies and time wasting business process cycles as in a functions based organization. ie – the business process information systems and the enterprise wide information infrastructure are integrated in such a way that the people of various functions…

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Basic approaches to Reengineering

The three basic approaches to reengineering are as follows – 1. STREAMLIING 2. INTEGRATING 3. TRANSFORMING 1. Streamlining – Streamlining approach to reengineering the business offers a basic, segmented, quick-fix methodology for reengineering. It cleans up and treats symptoms but doesn’t  necessarily transform a process nor find a cure for a bad process. It doesn’t…

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Basic steps in Business Process Reengineering

We can generalize Business Process Reengineering (BPR) efforts as an eight step process as follow – Step 1: Formulate / Modify business visions, policies, objectives Step 2: Formulate / Modify business strategies according to changing customer requirements, technology changes and competition Step 3: Analyze the existing business process cycles & workflows and determine how they…

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Lack of Risk Management and an affected project

A classic example would be the project my company executed before the formal PM processes were implemented. The project’s core requirement was to generate reporting system for Medical Underwriting process. There was no Risk Planning for sure, otherwise the company would not have gone through two major design changes and the most worse cases of…

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Project size driving Project risk

Project size and Project Risk: Another interesting topic in Project Management world. From my experience with software development, I think that project risk increases with the size of the project (I guess the size of the product would be directly proportional to the project size). Here is the reason – Consider that software product consists…

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Addressing risk due to interpersonal issues and incorrect project communication

Interesting question as I wonder this situation (Risk of failure due to interpersonal issues) is often less addressed anywhere. I shall address the situation using formal approach. Definition of Risk and symptoms: I would consider that the Risk (Project failure due to interpersonal issues within the team or between the team and other stakeholders) is already…

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Team Building/Motivation practices

What kind of team-building exercises and/or motivational practices have you used, or participated in? Would you recommend them for use by others? Have you been involved in a project that did not use such an activity or practice, but could have benefited from it?  Team building experience: The crux of all the team building methods are…

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Sample Software Quality Issue

One of the major Software Quality issue that I experienced is with product xyz which my current employer deployed as the Version control and Change control system (SCCM). xyz is one of the major players (not the top performer) which offers composite package of Version control and Software Change Control management (SCCM). Our company was…

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Quality considerations for software projects

Define one or two aspects of IT product quality that should be considered when planning software project activities. How can they be measured? What are the foreseeable consequences of poor quality from your example(s)? How can the negative consequences be avoided?   Interesting question. Some of the most important software quality aspects are – Scope aspect of quality that…

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Quality Program in a typical organization

What quality programs, formal or informal, have you experienced in your work? How well do you feel they were implemented? What was the level of management involvement? If you have not experienced working in such an environment, what would you look for to determine whether a company’s quality program was working?  I have had experience…

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Time reporting for technology professionals?

How do you feel about the concept of such time accounting for technology professionals? (e.g. compared to just reporting progress via e-mail or a progress reporting form.)  I guess, this is one the easiest ways to track actual cost/effort estimates for any IT project, so best suited for IT professionals. Reporting progress via email or…

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Need for better time reporting systems

System Background (circumstances):Most of the employers uses a web based time logging application that falls into the category of time attendance systems that we are addressing in this discussion. The goal of the system is to track employee hours spend during a working day under various project heads. The idea is that the top management…

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Schedule Compression Determination

If you were managing a software development project that was a year away from completion and the project sponsor asked you to cut a month from the schedule, what would you tell him or her? What factors would you consider? How would you determine an answer? I would warn him about increased cost in terms…

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Importance of formal project planning

One of the projects that I executed for one of my employers was an internal employee goal tracking system. The system enables employees from CEO to bottom level, enter their goals supporting their superior’s goals. According to user levels, there is ability to view/edit/approve/reject goals and there are mechanisms to conduct performance management. This project…

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Importance of following well-integrated change control process (CCP) on IT projects

Change in IT projects’ life cycle is inevitable. This points at the importance of establishing means to identify, control and document change in a formal approach. There will be changes in Technology, resources and organizational priorities. Equally important is change requests that initiates from the customer/user. In my experience with software development, these change requests…

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Project Scope Change And its Impacts

Project background: Developer xyz was in the middle of a project that went several scope changes while in UAT. The project is about implementing capability in the current Underwriting software to do pre-issue Medical Underwriting. The project was initiated by client request to modify the software to account for some new insurance product feature. The system…

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Mind Mapping Technique to Prepare WBS

I would prefer the mind mapping technique to arrive at WBS (work break down structure), due to my liking for problem solving by visualization and modeling techniques. Another reason to like that technique is that it is very much similar to various modeling tools that we use during the System Analysis phase of product development…

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Sample Project Management Problem Resolution

Project description: Project for xyz that included development, maintenance and enhancements to the official web site and web-based intranet applications that supported integrated work flows within various departments. I was leading a team of  team members including developers, web-designer and Mr X. Communication Issue: During my tenure leading the project, I have encountered situations where I had…

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Sample PM Day to Day Work

Project Management skill is very important in information management area. Let me paint a historical (early 2000) projet lead role where I was responsible for managing the E-governance project for the state of Maharashtra, India. Let me frankly state that, we had no defined project management process in place that adheres to PMBOK guidelines. The project processes…

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Strategic alignment of IT resources – A case study in Grocery industry (Part 1)

Strategic Alignment of IT Resources Grocery Industry Kathleen Chan, Deepesh Joseph, Raymond Jones, Paul Walleck   Introduction  To investigate how and why grocery companies are aligning their information and communication resources (ICT?s) (hardware, software, networks, databases, service offerings, processes, and portal layers) around a focal strategy.  Grocery Industry Introduction • NAICS 445110: Supermarkets and Other Grocery…

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Where are federal IT initiatives heading – Success or Failure – Lessons learned

GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide is very extensive and gives us clear details of federal IT initiatives. The guide, together with OMB circular and IT dashboard web site gave some important hints towards how concerned and vigilant is US government in reviewing and evaluating Federal IT projects. The Cost estimating guide highlights customized methods…

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Is there a more effective strategy for helping developing countries increase the computer and information literacy of their children?

Intel’s Maloney’s words – “It’s about the Web more than anything. I have young kids …….. doesn’t have access to the Web is overwhelming” – is very striking. OLPC efforts might be an answer to this concern. Strategy and plan alone doesn’t work when we are talking about reforming developing nations, cost effective infrastructure is…

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What protections should the public have regarding access to broadband networks for reception and/or transmission?

700 Mhz band is being developed and utilized with the intention of allowing entrepreneurs with less capital to establish broadband services, since it offers cheap means to setup service. This is the reason for the major players influencing Congress to gain an upper hand so that they kill competition and innovation. The term “public” means…

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Should carriers have the freedom through contracts and licenses to shape how their networks will be used?

Again this is an instance of protecting consumer rights and freedom in utilizing the digital medium. The carriers have a very important role in maintaining a healthy pipe that is effectively utilized. There should be efforts to setup regulation and standards to avoid piracy and unauthorized usage of network traffic. At the same time the…

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Should broadband distributors be regulated as common carriers by the FCC?

From the literature and court cases, FCC is less obliged to regulate broadband distributors as common carriers, as “Computer network Information” services are not subject to common carrier telecommunication service regulation under Title II of the federal Communications Act. (NCTA v. Brand X Internet Services et al., U.S. Supreme Court Nos. 04-277 and 04-281, June…

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Modifying World Trade Organization’s TRIPS agreement?

Here is another analysis article on a widely asked question – “Should treaties like the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS agreement be modified so developing countries can ignore software patents without facing WTO retaliatory measures?” Read along.. In my opinion, IPR should be preserved anywhere in the world. Making strict TRIP regulations has its major advantage…

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Should the prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against breaking intellectual property safeguards be modified?

This article is a good resource for those who want to know more about the most raised question – Should the prohibition in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against breaking intellectual property safeguards be modified? Read along .. I agree to the general consent that DMCA should be amended to shift its view from complete…