• Predictive Analytics for Improved Cost Management  



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If you’re like me and subscribe to or follow sites and people who care about software, it is likely you are regularly barraged with emails, Tweets, LinkedIn Updates, etc. discussing technical debt and attributing many computer related disasters to be a direct result of technical debt.  The notion of technical debt was introduced in 1992 by Ward Cunningham, writing “Shipping first time code is like going into debt.  A little debt speeds up development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite” [1].  The term technical debt is often used as a metaphor to help ease ...
Last week as I sat in my office gazing out the window, I was struck by the throngs of people outside my window lurching distractedly through the parking lot staring at their phones.  Turns out that the water tower in the back of our office is a Poke Stop – part of the new Pokemon Go craze.  In case you live under a rock, Pokemon Go is the new smart phone game that allows one to wonder around the real (physical) world collecting Pokemon.  The game can be downloaded for free for either the iPhone or Android.  Once you ...
Here’s a great article written by Charles Symon’s discussing current challenges in software project estimation and how different organizational cultures deal with them differently.  http://nesma.org/2015/10/chaotic-and-controlled-software-project-estimating/.  According to the author, in a study of 105 software projects completed between 1997 and 2007 in the UK public sector – 30% were terminated, 57% experienced cost overruns averaging 30.5% and 33% suffered major delays. (“Cost over-runs, delays and terminations: 105 outsourced public escort ICT projects – D. Whitfield).  And this is only one study; any of us who live in the software world have heard more than our share of tales of ...
http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/702523/26890568/1456888603297/201603-Cook.pdf?token=0f54EHOm9BNwSNhf3UAOmWk1mjs%3D Check out this article from the March/April issue of Crosstalk.  As is my custom, I start from the back with BackTalk – usually a short somewhat pithy commentary (General written by David Cook of Austin State University) on software related topics.  In this issue David starts with a stroll down memory lane – his own personal journey into software engineering – beginning back in the days when we when coded using cards or paper tape or connected to a mainframe via a 300 baud modem.   The point of the article was Security and Defensive Coding – he started with ...
Many people suggest that the first instance of an Internet of Things object occurred in the early 80’s with a Coke machine in the Computer Science Department of Carnegie Mellon University.  Apparently the Coke machine was located some distance from the department and the programmers were constantly trekking to the machine for find that it was out of their preferred beverage or to find that it had just been refilled and all the beverages were at room temperature.  Programmers being programmers, they decided to use technology to solve their problem.  They installed sensors and developed a program that would ...
“This year companies are focusing their attention on private and hybrid clouds.  Numbers show that hybrid cloud adoption is on fire while Docker and DevOps’ presence becomes indisputable.  2015 may have been the year of the cloud, but this year it is unstoppable; if surveys are right, we should expect 2016 to become the true year of the cloud”.  According to Bernard Golden of CIO magazine, the battle of the infrastructure is over, applications will be the push going forward.  Businesses, especially small and medium size businesses have accepted the fact that in many cases moving their infrastructure to the ...
As a builder of cost estimation models, I am constantly look for new sources of data and new ideas and technologies focused on the analysis of this data.  For this reason I like to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world of Big Data and Predictive Analytics.  Towards this goal I happened upon an interesting post the other day that I thought I might share.  While it has nothing to do with cost estimation or cost estimating models, it does shed some pretty interesting light on the ways that the technology around predictive analytics ...
The Jan/Feb 2016 Crosstalk recently became available on line http://www.crosstalkonline.org/.  In it you will find several great articles but there is one that is a must read if collaboration with a team is an important aspect of your job.  Alistair Cockburn authored a great article call “Increasing collaboration by the Minute”.  In this article he gives a brief summary of the evolution of collaboration citing as well some missteps along the way. As a percent who frequently collaborates with teams, he reflects that he often finds himself in a situation where he wishes he had some tools, right then ...
While there was a time in my life when I was not a huge baseball fan – it was fun for a few innings but once I had my fill of hot dogs, peanuts and soda – I was ready to go home.  This changed the day my husband informed me that it was time to sign our four year old up for T-ball.  At least the transformation started that day.  As a mother of two up and coming little leaguers, I spent a lot of time watching baseball games.  And rather than be one of those mothers that ...
In 2015, the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) published the Software Cost Estimation Metrics Manual for Defense Systems. This manual presents the results of research conducted by SERC Researchers Ray Madachy and Brad Clark, who with the help of Barry Boehm, have documented the core metric definitions along with relevant and useful cost estimating relationships for software intensive defense systems. The e-book is available for download at the following link… http://cdn.sercuarc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Software-Cost-Estimation-Metrics-Manual-for-Defense-Systems.pdf What’s great about this manual is that it covers best practices specific to software systems in the areas of measurement, data collection, normalization, analysis, benchmarking, and CER development.  The ...