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Peer Reviews

Peer Reviews

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Critical examinations of software deliverables in order to identify defects as early in the software lifecycle as possible. Levels of peer reviews include: Desk Checks, Walkthroughs, and Inspections.

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Test Plan

Test Plan

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This template document assumes that review processes are covered in the project’s Quality Plan. Testing involves dynamic interaction with a work product. Review involves examination of a static […]

Seven Critical Insights for C-Level Executives – Presentation

Seven Critical Insights for C-Level Executives

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Technical staff complain that “management doesn’t understand software development.” What are the critical bits of software development knowledge that top executives need to know to support successful software development? Is […]

Code Complete 2: Modern Realities of Software Construction – Presentation

Code Complete 2: Modern Realities of Software Construction

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For more than 10 years, Code Complete has been a computing-industry best seller. The past decade has seen the emergence of object-oriented programming, the Internet, the CMM, offshore […]

Agile Estimation: Key Principles and Practices for Successful Agile Projects – Presentation

Agile Estimation: Key Principles and Practices for Successful Agile Projects

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This talk provides an overview of key principles and practices for effective Agile project estimating and planning that have helped many Construx customers greatly increase the […]

After the Gold Rush: Establishing a True Profession of Software Engineering – Presentation

After the Gold Rush: Establishing a True Profession of Software Engineering

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Award-winning author Steve McConnell offers candid reflections upon and a look ahead at the software engineering profession. This talk highlights critical trends and calls for […]

10 Keys to Software Project Success: An Executive Guide – Presentation

10 Keys to Software Project Success: An Executive Guide

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The causes of a successful software project are not a mystery. Leading organizations have been delivering software on time and within budget for years, but many other companies […]

Cost of Estimation Error – Poster

Cost of Estimation Error

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What’s the Harm? “I need the software in three months, so I’ll tell the development staff that I need it in two months. I don’t think […]

Work Packages

Work Packages

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This pattern provides some reusable breakdowns for work packages that will frequently occur when creating work packages for a project.

Wideband Delphi

Wideband Delphi

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Builds on the principle that multiple heads are better than one. Developed at the Rand Corporation in 1948, the Delphi estimation method asks a small team of experts to anonymously generate individual estimates […]

Vision and Goals

Vision and Goals

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A clear and concise statement of what the main requirements are of the system. This statement is formulated at the beginning of the project and used as a guide throughout the project.

Vegas Voting

Vegas Voting

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A voting technique based on a casino metaphor. Each person is given an equal number of chips and they can choose to spend all their chips on one game (requirements), or split it […]

Use Case

Use Case

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Describe the major functions that the system will perform for external actors, and also the goals that the system achieves for those actors along the way. An actor may be human users or […]

Train Metaphor

Train Metaphor

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Adopting a metaphor for releases can be helpful to communicate release information throughout the organization. Many companies have found metaphors simplify discussions around the features included in a release by providing a language […]

Top 10 Risk List

Top 10 Risk List

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This document discusses a Top 10 Risk List. This is a technique for identifying and capturing the most significant risks on a project. You can use these risks as catalyst for identifying […]

Three Strikes

Three Strikes

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Three strikes is a process for creating names or visions for work efforts. A proposal is made and three “strikes” are found against it. This process is repeated until either a predetermined number […]

Task Analysis

Task Analysis

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Task analysis is a technique that allows the developer community to understand the context in which the user’s work is taking place. The task analysis itself is not requirements; instead it is a […]

State Model

State Model

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Defines how time affects your domain model in terms of the possible states that elements of the model can assume and the transitions between those states.

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Stakeholder Classes

Stakeholder Classes

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Stakeholders are a person, group, or organization that is actively involved in a project, is affected by its outcome, or can influence its outcome. Stakeholder classes are a set of stakeholders that share common […]

Staged Delivery

Staged Delivery

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In staged delivery the most important capabilities are generally developed first. Staged delivery doesn’t reduce the time needed to build a software product, but it substantially reduces the risks involved in building one. […]

SRS

SRS (Software Requirements Specification)

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SRS stands for Software Requirements Specification. The SRS is requirements packaging strategy that typically puts all software requirements in one document. The SRS is usually considered the formal requirements contract. Traceability […]

Scrubbing

Scrubbing

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Finding the smallest, simplest set of requirements that still meets the stakeholder needs. The focus is on eliminating requirements that aren’t really important and simplifying requirements that are unnecessarily complicated.

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Scenarios

Scenarios

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A description of a potential way your system is used. The logic of a usage scenario may be part of a use case, perhaps an alternate course. It may also be one entire pass […]

Scales

Scales

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A measure of a quality (non-functional) requirement of the system with selected points that represent goals, boundaries, or information. For example, a “Support multiple users” requirement may have a scale (measure) of “concurrent users” the […]

Sample Project Charter

Sample Project Charter

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The following charter is from the LampMan 2.0 case study in Construx’s Software Project Management Boot Camp Seminar. It demonstrates documenting the project management (aka iron-triangle) constraints using a target zone.

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities

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Defining the roles and responsibilities for a project teams helps ensure all parties understand what they are accountable for and what authorities they have. This roles and responsibilities overview discusses positions on […]

Process Map

Process Map

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Provides visual representation of the workflow either within a process – or an image of the whole operation.

Prioritization

Prioritization

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Defining relative priorities of the requested product capabilities to reflect their importance to the stakeholders and overall success of the system.

Personas

Personas

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Personas are not real people but they are used to represent user classes throughout the process. They are hypothetical archetypes of actual users.

Meetings

Meetings

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Meetings are forums where the team comes together to exchange information and ideas. Meetings can improve communications, promote coordination, and help you get the job done. Successful meetings provide a needed decision or produce […]

Imagine

Imagine

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A technique to identify goals by placing yourself in a imaginary future state. Useful when creating goal statements for a project, program, or product.

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Good Enough

Good Enough

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Completion criteria for when enough requirements work has been completed based on the work context. Includes the idea that there are different states of “good enough” based on different […]

Glossary

Glossary

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Defines the meaning of all business terms relevant to the system being built. These serve as the foundation for all requirements models and business rules; the goal of the glossary […]

Gist

Gist

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A brief, informal definition of a requirement. Used to get a sense of what the customer means by the requirement. Example: “Easy to Use.” Gist: Speed of adding an order.

Five Whys

Five Whys

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A tool that encourages you to probe deeply by asking why five times in an effort to get to the real root of the problem

Fit Criteria

Fit Criteria

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A concept that says given a pool of possible solutions to a desire there are criteria that separate those solutions that satisfy the customer (“fit”) from solutions that would […]

Interviews

Interviews

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Interviewing is an important technique for eliciting detailed information from an individual. Interviewing is not simply a matter of asking questions. It is a more structured technique that can be […]

Event List

Event List

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Defines the events to which a system responds. Some of these responses involve visible outputs; some change only internal information; others do both.

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Domain Model

Domain Model

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Defines groups of information that must be stored in the system and the relationships among the groups. The model contains at least a list of business objects, data entities, […]

Dialog Map

Dialog Map

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Shows a layout of the user interface (screens, windows, dialog boxes, HTML pages) and the possible navigation paths among the interfaces elements.

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Design For Change

Design For Change

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Design For Change refers to employing design structures, techniques, practices, idioms and patterns that allow a software system behavior to be more easily modified in the future.

Decision Table

Decision Table

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Describes the conditions associated with particular actions or decisions, along with the constraints on the associated behavior.

Context Free Questions

Context Free Questions

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Context free questions are questions that can be used regardless of the project under consideration. They are general questions about the nature of the project and the environment […]

Brainstorming

Brainstorming

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Brainstorming is a technique to generate a lot of ideas very quickly. The primary purpose of a session is to get individuals to burst through thought categories that they […]

Apprenticing

Apprenticing

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Apprenticing means having one or more members of the development team become a temporary member of the user community. This gives developer an appreciation of the user’s work-a-day world.

Actor Map

Actor Map

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Actor Map defines the relationships among the actors in the actor table in terms of how their roles are shared and disparate.

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Staffing Scrum Roles

Staffing Scrum Roles

Learn from this Construx whitepaper.

Scrum is the most commonly adopted Agile approach in the industry today. However, many organizations are not seeing the benefits they expected from moving to Scrum.

Solving the Mystery of Innovation in Tech Orgs

Solving the Mystery of Innovation in Tech Orgs

Learn from this Construx whitepaper.

Construx research has found that innovation initiatives generally fail because they don’t account for internal consequence systems that can either foster or inhibit innovation. […]

Making Change Stick

Making Change Stick

Learn from this Construx whitepaper.

From increased quality to reduced time-to-market, the reasons organizations seek to make changes to their processes and practices are numerous. Many organizations succeed in making some changes, some succeed in making significant change, […]

Activity Model

Activity Model

Download a very useful work flow diagram.

The identification of the sequence of activities in a process. Used commonly in business and called “Work Flow” diagrams. Unified Modeling Language (UML) Activity Models have additional constructs […]