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For the subject of numbers around software projects Level 4 of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is da bomb: software as a Quantitatively Managed process.
A quantitatively managed process is a defined (capability level 3) process that is controlled using statistical and other quantitative techniques. Quantitative objectives for quality and process performance are established and used as criteria in managing the process. (CMMI)
Wow. Project Number Fetishist Heaven! I thought I check it out for some nice entries to put on this site. Well, I got more than I bargained for – that’s just too much – but it is great fun¦
“Fun?” you ask.
Well in some weird way¦ Think of all those students that after years of university can do all those “quantitative managed” things, just to find out that for them as a novice it is useless. They need experience to do all those numbers.
He, it says so in the CMMI description self:
One essential element of quantitative management is having confidence in estimates (i.e., being able to predict the extent to which the project can fulfill its quality and process-performance objectives). The subprocesses that will be statistically managed are chosen based on identified needs for predictable performance. (CMMI)
Great. You have learned all this stuff, and you will be ^%^%^ by an old frustrated programmer that provides you with bogus over the top estimates. Should be frustrating.
Another essential element of quantitative management is understanding the nature and extent of the variation experienced in process performance, and recognizing when the projects actual performance may not be adequate to achieve the projects quality and process-performance objectives. (CMMI)
You see that your budget is going down the drain, but you need real experience to know the difference between real panic or just normal project behavior (BTW that’s normal behavior).
Yeah, numbers are a funny thing¦ they provide you with an aura of precision, but you need sooooo much interpretation to give them the proper meaning. Like they say: you have lies, more lies and statistics¦ or something like that .