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Managing the Black Hole: The Executive's Guide to Software Project Risk Paperback – March 9, 2010
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a quick read and worth every minute of it. Gary's combination of business sense and software are apparent throughout.
One of the core principles he bases his book on is that there are two categories of companies: 1) Mature Organizations (15%) versus 2) Immature Organizations (85%). He first details why the "Immature 85%" (most companies!) tend to consistently do very poorly on estimating, scheduling, quality management, sizing, risk management, and measurements. He then follows through with his outstanding "What You Can Do About It" section, detailing clear and actionable advice based on the proven success rates of the Mature 15%.
A few of the key questions covered very well in this book:
- Do you do ONLY top-down or bottom-up estimating, or know how to use both in combination?
- Do you re-baseline whenever the scope of your project changes? And if so, how does that affect your measurements?
- Which do you emphasize more, process or performance? And how about schedule versus quality?
- Do you know how to contract for quality in your procurements?
- Do you log successive estimates, and use them to improve your processes?
- Do you know your defect containment rate?
- Do you know how to use EV Lite?
- Do you adequately factor "project sizing" into your risk assessments?
Gary Gack's book is a concise and excellent guide to how quantification and quality control can lead to much better software, and do so while reducing costs and schedules.
Since a majority of software managers are not particularly well trained in estimating, planning, quality control, or measurement this book is a very solid guide that provides enough data to be helpful and enough insight to be instructive.
~Lee B. Salz - Award-Winning Author and Sales Management Strategist, Sales Architects