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Controlling Software Projects: Management, Measurement, and Estimates 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092031185
ISBN-10: 0131717111
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From the Back Cover

Controlling Software Projects shows managers how to organize software projects so they are objectively measurable, and prescribes techniques for making early and accurate projections of time and cost to deliver.

About the Author

Boehm, together with his colleagues at the University of Southern California's Center for Software Engineering, he continues as a leader in software cost estimation.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (June 14, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131717111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131717114
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,392,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By David Bock on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom Demarco should be required reading for anyone who is a software engineering manager. This book was one of the first in a long line of references for quantifying the craft of software engineering.

But this book has not aged as well as, say "Mythical Man Month" or "Death March". Don't get me wrong - I am giving it 4 stars because it is still full of excellent material; you just need other, more 'modern' references to help give this book perspective. With the proper perspective, this book really helps explain "The more things change, the more they stay the same", something that is often forgotten in this fast moving field.

The context that this book needs today is that of a given 'methodology', whether that be Extreme Programming, Scrum, Unified Process, or CMMi. If you don't have a model in mind, I would start with the book "Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices", by Robert Martin.
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Format: Paperback
"You can't control what you can't measure", is how DeMarco opens this seminal work in software project management, and the primary focus of this book is how to develop an effective strategy for measuring software development costs and thus build a reliable means of estimating the cost of future projects. Most of this discussion is, in my opinion, too dated to be of direct use (DeMarco suggests, for example, that counting the now obsolete metric "frequency of compiles" as an indicator of software stability). But the true genius of this work lies in the periphery of his discussion--particularly insightful comments into what not to do when managing software development. Useful insights, lucid prose, and DeMarco's engaging wit keeps this book on the top of the stack on my desk, and I expect to revisit it often.
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This text was initially noted by this reviewer while reading a white paper written by Johanna Rothman that a colleague recently passed on to me entitled "Are We There Yet?: Creating Project Dashboards to Display Progress", and after a good experience reading "Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects" by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister (see my review) this reviewer was ready to re-experience the superb writing style and diagram notation of the author. But then the publish date was discovered. Is it possible that a 30-year-old project management text can be appreciated in an age of agile development? In the opinion of this reviewer, large portions of this book are still viable, but the reader needs to maneuver through some of the information that is outdated, and in many cases downright risky to follow. Because of this intermingling, this reviewer can only recommend this text to readers with a substantive amount of software development experience.

While following a reading of this book this reviewer still recommends "Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art" by Steve McConnell (see my review) as the best overall project estimation text, what is appealing to this Six Sigma practitioner are the metrics presented throughout this text even though McConnell indicates that many of the early metrics that are still being referenced within the industry were harvested from large government projects.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excelent textbook about software projects estimation. The only problem with the book is the lack of more examples to learn the techniques discussed.
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