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Managing the Software Process
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on July 14, 2003
This book is all meat and bones for anybody wanting an indepth study of the software development process. If you've graduated passed Steve McConnell's Microsoft press series, then it is time for you to move on to Watts Humphrey. I am tasked to design all the software development processes in my company and Rapid Development (and other McConnell) books only helped me in the initially phases of designing the process. When it comes to nitty gritty details, Humphrey nailed it.
The book is full of sample forms and checklists for the processes you need to put in place. Processes are broken down into generic but specific terms so that it is easily applied/tailored to your company. I was having problems with expressing the interleaving nature of the sets of processes in configuration management (version control, code review, QA, build management, ...). Humphrey's book somehow was able to express that (in other terminologies of course).
Definite must buy for anyone who is part of an SEPG or Project Manager for software development.
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on November 11, 2000
In this very useful and stylishly written book Watts S Humphrey, provides practical guidelines for improving the software development and maintenance process. He draws heavily on his experiences at IBM and SEI and focuses on understanding and managing the software process, which according to him is most important and where an organization will face serious problems and where according to him is the best opportunity for significant improvement. He shows how to develop an efficient and effective and most importantly highly successful software process.
By reading this book project Managers, Team Leaders and practicing programmers and analysts will learn how good their own software process is and how they can make their process better, how to do that and where to begin.
As Peter Freeman has written in the foreword this book " ... will help you move beyond the turning point, or crisis, of feeling overwhelmed by the task of managing the software process to understanding what is essential in software management and what you can do about it."
A must read for all software professionals who want design, develop and implement successful software processes in their organizations. A life saver for project leaders and managers whose projects are headed towards diaster. An essential read for students of software engineering.
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This was Watts Humphries book which inspired others at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) to develop a model called the Capability Maturity Model for Software. The book attempts to debunk the fantasies of modern software development, such as "Superprogrammers" and "Best People." What is offered instead is a common sense approach which says that you can develop software using realistic schedules and have realistic expectations of quality if you follow common sense processes (roadmaps) for project management and quality.
There is not much mystery or razzle-dazzle in this book. I think that most of the programmers and managers who read it are usually nodding their heads in agreement with most of the ideas. Problem for us process war horses is that we lose track of what is the bottom line in software development - having a successful project. Definition: A reliable plan, on-time delivery, within the originally stated cost, and within or exceeding the requirements for quality.
The book does not have the acronym CMM in the title, but Humphries describes the maturity levels of a software engineering in the same context of the levels of software process maturity: Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimized. His approach is to look at the main features of each level, such as Project Plan, Software Configuration Management and Software Quality Assurance as part of the Repeatable Process.
I recommend that anyone interested in software process improvement read this book and internalize it before moving into the CMM for Software because it sets the background philosophy for the CMM. Ther are many errors which people make in trying to implement the CMM, such as compartmentalizing the maturity levels and Key Process Areas. If "Managing the Software Process" is read and understood in its entirety first, some of the mistakes may be avoided.
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on February 18, 1999
It's amazing that Humphrey can be so popular, given his ineptitude at forming coherent arguments for his positions.
This book is filled with unjustified, unreasoned dogma. For example, he argues that the reason for an SQA organization is that software quality is a good thing. This is a non-sequitor; the point he should have been arguing for is WHY an SQA organization improves software quality.
Read this book--for an example of a modern miracle cure peddler. Or, read it to see how gullible some software engineering managers can be. But don't expect it to help you improve your product.
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on September 26, 2000
This is a classic book that every software developer and manager should read. It explains the concepts behind the five levels of CMM. I know that might sound boring, but the author does a good job of keeping the book reasonably interesting. Most of what you read will sound like common sense, but in practice many companies do not use a lot of common sense when it comes to software development. So this book can serve as a guide to help software development organizations set realistic goals for process improvement.
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on January 26, 2001
This book is crucial to a thorough understanding of software engineering principles. Watts Humphrey is one of the most important forces in the field, and this book is vital to anyone wishing to understand the intricacies of managing a large software development project. Be aware that this book is not easy reading. I would only recommend it for academics, or for the serious practitioner.
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on August 17, 1998
I found the book to be very useful and highly pertinent for managing software projects. It starts with guidance on how to evaluate your current process, and then evolves from there. Overall, a very good book. My only reason for giving it four stars is that it is *so* dry, it is extremely slow reading. A great reference, though.
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on July 24, 1999
I use this book every day to teach software process at my company. It is a practical and thought-provoking book for software process management. This book should be used as a basic jumping off point, a fundamental look into some very deep areas of content. Expecting more than that is ridiculous, considering its size.
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on August 9, 1999
If you wish to improve the Quality of your software development, this book is worth reading, studying, and questioning. It realy does not tell you how or why to improve, but suggest processes and measures that you need to concider if you are already commited to better software.
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