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Glen B. Alleman
Boulder, Colorado
Performance-Based Project Management®
Interests: Earned Value, Risk, Cost, Program Performance, Integrated Master Plan, Integrated Master Schedule.
Recent Activity
Phillip Armour has a classic article in CACM titled "Ten Unmyths of Project Estimation," Communications of the ACM (CACM), November 2002, Vol 45, No 11. Several of these Unmyths are applicable to the current #NoEstimates concept. Much of the misinformation... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Herding Cats
As far as hypothesis are concerned, let no one expect anything certain from astronomy, which cannot furnish it, lest he accept as the truth ideas conceived for another purpose, and depart from this study a greater fool than when he... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Herding Cats
There's a common notion in some agile circles the projects aren't the right vehicle for developing products. This is usually expressed by Agile Coaches. As a business manager, applying Agile to develop products as well as delivering Operational Services based... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Herding Cats
Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects - Tim Lister Let's start with some background on Risk Management Tim's quote sets the paradigm for managing the impediments to success in all our endeavors It says volumes about project management and... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Herding Cats
We all wish that there was a simple answers to this question, but there are not. Anyone suggesting there is, doesn't understand the complexities of non-trivial projects in any domain. There are enough opinions to paper the side of a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2015 at Herding Cats
When confronted with making decisions on software projects in the presence of uncertainty, we can turn to an established and well tested set of principles found in Software Engineering Economics. First a definition from Guide to the Systems Engineering Body... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2015 at Herding Cats
Constructing a credible Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) requires sufficient schedule margin be placed at specific locations to protect key deliverables. One approach to determining this margin is the use of a Monte Carlo simulation tool. This probabilistic margin analysis starts... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2015 at Herding Cats
When I hear a post like: If you use deterministic estimates you must ask the team. If you use probabilistic estimates you must not. #NoEstimates Two things come to mind: All project work is probabilistic. There is no such thing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2015 at Herding Cats
On the way home last week from a program managers conference, was listening to Bob Dylan's Idiot Wind Everything's a little upside down, matter of fact the wheels have stopped. What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good. Idiot Wind,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2015 at Herding Cats
The development of software in the presence of uncertainty is a well developed discipline, a well developed academic topic, and a well developed practice with numerous tools, database, and models in many different SW domains. Economics is the study of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2015 at Herding Cats
In business we exchange cost for value. This value is defined by the market in most cases. It can be defined by those paying if what they are buying of a purpose built piece of software. In the for Profit... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2015 at Herding Cats
You think that because you understand one that you must therefore understand two because one and one make two. But you forget that you must also understand and - Sufi teaching story The elements of a system, the software system... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2015 at Herding Cats
It is popular to use several references to the estimating problem that are three to four decades old A Software Metrics Survey Analysis of Empirical Software Estimation Models SOFTWARE ENGINEERING Report on a conference sponsored by the NATO SCIENCE COMMITTEE,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2015 at Herding Cats
In agile there is a mnemonic INVEST. This term is one of those Holy Grails that is never subject to assessment within the agile community. I had a hands on experience with an agile tools vendor when we were selecting... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2015 at Herding Cats
I am rarely the person directly in charge of the business itself (CEO, CIO, CTO). Department yes (PMO, DIR) whole business no. I work for CEO's, CIO's, Program Managers, Policy Directors. What I have learned from all these leaders is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2015 at Herding Cats
Thanks for the comment. Yes and most speak of Waterfall are actually speaking about "bad SDLC," or likely even "No SDLC." The DOD and Enterprise SDLCs have feed back loops, assessing the work to date, changes to not only the design, but the produced products in Program Event review in the Integrated Master Plan / Integrated Master Schedule paradigm. In my experience over the past 30 or so years, when we don't have a clear and concise description of "Done" in some units of measure meaningful to the decision makers, the results are disappointing, as you say. Agile practices are certainly benefical to revealing what progress is being made in much shorted time periods, but that definition of "Done" is still the responsibility of the project participants. Agile, in many cases, leaves unanswered, "Who is accountable for defining Done?" When the customer has that responsibility, they may not know themselves So Agile doesn't really help in defining that, only showing that we're not there yet in 2 week boundaries with the delivered software that the customer then realizes isn't want they wanted. In our domain, the primary advantage of Agile is the "forced" assessment of Done in short period boundaries. This follows the principle of Nyquist sampling in signal processing, where the sampling rated needed to determine the underlying signal from samples of that signal is twice (at least) the change rate of the signal. It answer a critical question - How Long are you willing to wait before you find out your are late? Answer? Two weeks. With that information we can take corrective action for processes whose business rhythm runs in 4 week cycles - monthly status and financial reporting. The signal processing aspects of agile are not likely understood by those outside the signal processing and control systems world. A colleague has written about this "sampling rate" on starting on Page 17 of
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2015 on The Water Fall Myth at Herding Cats
1 reply
It is popular in some parts of the agile community to use Water Fall as the boggy man for all things wrong with the management of software projects. As one who works in the Software Intensive Systems domain on System... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2015 at Herding Cats
There is no good way to perform a software cost‐benefit analysis, breakeven analysis, or make‐or‐buy analysis without some reasonably accurate method of estimating software costs and their sensitivity to various product, project, and environmental factors. ‐ Dr. Barry Boehm The... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2015 at Herding Cats
In some "points of view" the notion of measuring software development parameters with Source Lines of Code is equivalent to the devil incarnate. This is of course another POV that makes little sense without understanding the domain and context. It's... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2015 at Herding Cats
Probability and statistics are a core business process for decision making in the presence uncertainty. Uncertainty comes in two types - Irreducible and Reducible. Making decisions in the presence of these two types of uncertainty requires making estimates about outcomes... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2015 at Herding Cats
Been on the road for two weeks straight. At client for a week, at VMWorld for a few days, back at client site. During this time, primary work is on deciding how to move existing platform and augmented software systems... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2015 at Herding Cats
In our domain, Jon Katzenbach's definition of a team informs how we interact with our project members. A Team is defined as ... A group of qualified individual who hold each other mutually accountable for a shared outcome - Katzenbach,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at Herding Cats
In software development, we almost always encounter situations where a decision must be made when we are uncertain what the outcome might or even the uncertainty in data used to make that decision. Decision making in the presence of uncertainty... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at Herding Cats
A Tweet caught my eye this weekend Before moving to risk let's look at what Agile is Agile development is a phrase used in software development to describe methodologies for incremental software development. Agile development is an alternative to traditional... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Herding Cats