Sunday, 7 October 2012

Invisibility cloak.

I have been hit with a couple of software development questions this week. Given what has happened with the West Coast Main Line franchise rebid I am even more concerned about the level of development and checking processes within software related projects. Is software quality being compromised due to the current climate of quick turnaround on jobs and the need to keep costs to a bare minimum?

The West Coast issue seems to be related to spreadsheet use - of which past posts give my view on that so I won't bang on about those any more here. However, this week, a couple of other queries have also raised alarm bells, and these are related to main stream software projects on critical infrastructures!

Both questions were effectively related to how can clients assure themselves that the right level of progress is being made with complex software development. One issue was around ensuring the right level of reliability of a particular code and the other was around assurances to meet delivery timescales.

How do you measure software development 'progress' in a consistent manner? Particularly with the variety of development methods that can be called up, for example, a list taken from Wikipedia states;

"..., the software development methodology is an approach used by organizations and project teams to apply the software development methodology framework (noun). Specific software development methodologies (verb) include:
Or some homemade variant thereof!"

So - just how do you visualise progress on a software development activity? Using verification and validation monitoring, ensuring timelined activities, timesheets of developers or a variety of other metrics? So many processes with so many variations of 'progress'.

to be continued.....

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