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A Murphological View on Software Measurement:A Murphological View on Software Measurement:
a serious joke or a funny serio...
Turning Client Vision into Results2
Agenda
Introduction
– Improving RCA effects: new possible ways
– RCA for Software Proc...
Turning Client Vision into Results3
Introduction
Improving RCA effects: new possible ways
• During last 10 years, Software...
Turning Client Vision into Results4
Introduction
RCA for SPI with...humor (1/2)
Some examples of a “different language” ab...
Turning Client Vision into Results5
Introduction
RCA for SPI with...humor (2/2)
• Our proposalOur proposal: to have a “mur...
Turning Client Vision into Results6
Agenda
Introduction
– Improving RCA effects: new possible ways
– RCA for Software Proc...
Turning Client Vision into Results7
Some Murphy’s commented laws
Selected Laws & Commented Tables
•• Main sources were the...
Turning Client Vision into Results8
Some Murphy’s commented laws
...on Measurement & Analysis (1/2)
CMMI
o MA (all the PA)...
Turning Client Vision into Results9
Some Murphy’s commented laws
...on Measurement & Analysis (2/2)
CMMI
o MA SP 1.2.-1 (S...
Turning Client Vision into Results10
Some Murphy’s commented laws
...on Project Planning, Monitoring & Control (1/2)
CMMI
...
Turning Client Vision into Results11
Some Murphy’s commented laws
...on Project Planning, Monitoring & Control (2/2)
CMMI
...
Turning Client Vision into Results12
Some Murphy’s commented laws
...on Communication & Stakeholders (1/2)
CMMI
o GP 2.7 (...
Turning Client Vision into Results13
Some Murphy’s commented laws
...on Communication & Stakeholders (2/2)
P-CMM
o ML2: Co...
Turning Client Vision into Results14
Agenda
Introduction
– Improving RCA effects: new possible ways
– RCA for Software Pro...
Turning Client Vision into Results15
SPI and Knowledge Management
Which Relationship? (1/2)
•• Q: how people and processes...
Turning Client Vision into Results16
SPI and Knowledge Management
Which Relationship? (2/2)
•• Q: so, if people is a strat...
Turning Client Vision into Results17
SPI and Knowledge Management
The SECI Model (1/2)
• SECI model a Japanese model by No...
Turning Client Vision into Results18
SPI and Knowledge Management
The SECI Model (2/2)
• Dimensions of analysis
Interactio...
Turning Client Vision into Results19
SPI and Knowledge Management
The Maturity Model (MM)-mania
•• Q: is there a direct li...
Turning Client Vision into Results20
Agenda
Introduction
– Improving RCA effects: new possible ways
– RCA for Software Pro...
Turning Client Vision into Results21
Conclusions && Prospects
•• Improvement is deeply inside the human nature, but when a...
Turning Client Vision into Results22
Q & A
Thanks for your attention!
Luigi Buglione
Atos Origin
luigi.buglione@atosorigin.com
Carol Dekkers
QualityPlus Tech.
dekkers@qualityplustech.com
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A Murphological View on Software Measurement: a serious joke or a funny serious thing?

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The 30-year experience from the Software Measurement field explains that a strong resistance usually comes from project team members, supposing the real objective is a personal evaluation on their performance and not a neutral measurement for a concrete process improvement. Concurrently, from the middle ‘80s a series of SPI models - such as the Software Capability Maturity Model (Sw-CMM) and nowadays its evolution, the CMMI –provided a guide for realizing a real improvement, where measurement played an important role, before as a Common Feature, then as a separate process (MA – Measurement and Analysis) at Level 2. But a certain resistance still remain alive also after these years.
Recently, in the Management field (and also in ICT) more than “serious” books and reference guides it seems that (apparent) semi-serious publications such as the Dilbert strips by Scott Adams are referenced in technical presentations and papers as a starting point for commenting daily ICT malpractices. If so, another good source for “joking” with such serious things are some of the most know laws, the “Murphy’s laws”, originally written by Arthur Block and after created/modified by plenty of people worldwide and published over the Internet in a sort of “GNU licence for humour”.
This paper tries to propose a “murphological view” on Software Measurement issues, commenting some related measurement-related laws and providing links with main SPI practices at the aim to reduce the percentage of failures in application of Software Measurement programs, as noted by H.Rubin some years ago.

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A Murphological View on Software Measurement: a serious joke or a funny serious thing?

  1. 1. A Murphological View on Software Measurement:A Murphological View on Software Measurement: a serious joke or a funny serious thing?a serious joke or a funny serious thing? 3° Software Measurement European Forum Rome, 12 May 2006 Luigi Buglione, Carol Dekkers
  2. 2. Turning Client Vision into Results2 Agenda Introduction – Improving RCA effects: new possible ways – RCA for Software Process Improvement with...humor Some Murphy’s commented laws on... – Measurement & Analysis – Project Planning, Monitoring & Control – Communication & Stakeholders – ... SPI and Knowledge Management – Which relationships? – SECI model – MM-mania Conclusions & Prospects
  3. 3. Turning Client Vision into Results3 Introduction Improving RCA effects: new possible ways • During last 10 years, Software Measurement has been recognized more and more in the SwEngineering arena... “matured” from activity to process (i.e. ME in CMMI; ORG.5 in SPICE; ...) •• ...but usually there is a strong resistance from project team members about whatever kind of measurement mostly perceived as a personalpersonal evaluation on their own performance, not for a concrete, neutral processprocess improvement according to H.Rubin (1996), only 1:5 or 1:6 sw companies were successful in the implementation of a sw measurement program after 2yrs also from an ISO 9001 viewpoint, Clause 8 is one of the less well accomplished worldwide • Q: how to remove misconceptions and resistance towards measurement in ICT companies? A: a possible manner is to speak to technical people using a different language
  4. 4. Turning Client Vision into Results4 Introduction RCA for SPI with...humor (1/2) Some examples of a “different language” about technical issues: the “Dilbert principle” the Murphy’s laws Proverbs from the “measurement” viewpoint
  5. 5. Turning Client Vision into Results5 Introduction RCA for SPI with...humor (2/2) • Our proposalOur proposal: to have a “murphological view” on Software Measurement • Objective: derive useful tips for SPI, following a sort of IDEALIDEAL path • QQ: how to use these tips and add value to the organization? •• AA: one of the key issues is to improve the organization’s RCA (Root- Cause-Analysis) capability (CAR – Causal Analysis & Resolution, CMMI ML5)
  6. 6. Turning Client Vision into Results6 Agenda Introduction – Improving RCA effects: new possible ways – RCA for Software Process Improvement with...humor Some Murphy’s commented laws – Selected laws & Commented tables – ...on Measurement & Analysis – ...on Project Planning, Monitoring & Control – ...on Communication & Stakeholders SPI and Knowledge Management – Which relationships? – SECI model – MM-mania Conclusions & Prospects
  7. 7. Turning Client Vision into Results7 Some Murphy’s commented laws Selected Laws & Commented Tables •• Main sources were the books by Arthur Block, plus a plenty of webpages moving from the original idea • Selected 21 laws about few issues such as: Measurement && Analysis Project Planning Project Monitoring && Control Communication && Stakeholders ... • This is the structure for a “Murphy’s-SPI” table:
  8. 8. Turning Client Vision into Results8 Some Murphy’s commented laws ...on Measurement & Analysis (1/2) CMMI o MA (all the PA) Related SPI reference(s) • To keep advantage from measurement for your projects/activitiesMissing opportunity(ies) A not shared definition of measures (as well as the measurement process) can lead to interpretations of such measures and to the gathering of different and inconsistent quantities for a certain event, making useless any report and statistics. Potential risk(s) Documenting the project is often perceived by project team members as a waste of time, because a support and not a primary process. Current flaw(s) There are several (base and derived) measures used for properly monitor and control the project, typically described in a Measurement Plan, and derived using a goal-oriented approach (e.g. GQM). They can be seen from a twofold perspective: definitions and results, both referable to measures and measurement process. Measurement context Arnold's Law of Documentation: 1. If it should exist, it doesn't. 2. If it does exist, it's out of date. 3. Only documentation for useless programs transcends the first two laws [10]#3
  9. 9. Turning Client Vision into Results9 Some Murphy’s commented laws ...on Measurement & Analysis (2/2) CMMI o MA SP 1.2.-1 (Specify Measures) o MA SP 2.2.-1 (Analyze Measurement Data) o DAR SP 1.1-1 (Establish Guidelines for Decision Analysis) Related SPI reference(s) • Not balanced objective and subjective measurementsMissing opportunity(ies) Historical data is a powerful tool for supporting the decision-making process, not a perfect substitute for it or for managers. Potential risk(s) Often an organization has in place a lot of measures, mostly from the subjective viewpoints, with Satisfaction Surveys at different levels and for various audiences, but with a reduced focus on the objective way. Decisions often are taken on experience and not always supported by numbers and historical data. Current flaw(s) Measurement & Analysis (MA) is one of the new processes introduced in the CMMI at ML2 for improving this way of managing an organization, by facts. Measurement context Finagle's Creed: Science is true. Don't be misled by facts[10]#15
  10. 10. Turning Client Vision into Results10 Some Murphy’s commented laws ...on Project Planning, Monitoring & Control (1/2) CMMI o PP SP 1.4-1 (Determine Estimates of Effort and Cost) o PMC SP 1.1-1 (Monitor Project Planning Parameters) o QPM SP 2.2-1 (Apply Statistical Methods to Understand Variations) Related SPI reference(s) • A reduced amount of quantitative information brought out for the decision-making process, at all levels. Missing opportunity(ies) Resulting values, because not enough to better describe a certain phenomenon, could lead to wrong conclusions, blaming that measurement is an high-cost practices with a low value returned. Potential risk(s) Sometimes a quantitative management is performed using few raw data points, often for a low frequency in data gathering or for non- historicization of all potentially useful projects’ data. Current flaw(s) The more points are taken into account in a statistical series, the most affordable is the input for estimating. Measurement context Chemist's Rule: Never take more than three data points. There will always be some kind of graph paper on which they fall in a straight line Chemist's Rule, First Corollary: If you have only one kind of graph paper, never take more than two data points [10]#9
  11. 11. Turning Client Vision into Results11 Some Murphy’s commented laws ...on Project Planning, Monitoring & Control (2/2) CMMI o CAR SP1.2-1 (Analyze Causes) Related SPI reference(s) • Consequently, a lower capability to consistently apply RCA in your organization can reduce the possibility to find out common solutions, which could allow cost-savings. Missing opportunity(ies) Often an “ad-hoc” solution is found for each problem; the misapplication of Root-Cause-Analysis (RCA) with other well-known TQM old tools could reduce the organization’s capability to group problems into “families of causes”. Potential risk(s) Few organizations have a structured application of RCA in their Quality Management Systems (QMS). Another potential problem for those companies applying CMMI in its staged representation could be to postpone CAR implementation in terms of priorities because it’s a ML5 PA. Current flaw(s) Root-Cause-Analysis (RCA) should always run associating the proper measures and metrics to each element put on the fishbones Measurement context Brady's First Law of Problem Solving: When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger have handled this?" [10]#6
  12. 12. Turning Client Vision into Results12 Some Murphy’s commented laws ...on Communication & Stakeholders (1/2) CMMI o GP 2.7 (Identify and Involve Relevant Stakeholders) Related SPI reference(s) • Measures can be meaningless and consequently the measurement process will lose consensus and ROI from the process improvement program could bring to the organization a reduced value to the company. Missing opportunity(ies) Whether such shared and common information, glossary and usage of measures is not in place, there is a high risk to have in return meaningless data to use for the decision-making process (i.e. mixing apples and oranges: Do a LOC include or exclude comment lines? Do we count a physical or a logical line of code?...) Potential risk(s) Lack of communication is a general problem: there is the need for a common and shared information, glossary, consistent usage of such measures within the organization (i.e. how are defined and gathered data on defects or LOCs?). Current flaw(s) The measurement process involves several roles: who creates and defines a measure, who gathers data, who uses those data for his/her decision- making process. Measurement context Law of Communications: The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communications between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased area of misunderstanding. [10]#11
  13. 13. Turning Client Vision into Results13 Some Murphy’s commented laws ...on Communication & Stakeholders (2/2) P-CMM o ML2: Communication & Coordination, CO1 (Executive management establishes and communicates a set of values for the organization regarding the development and management of its workforce) Related SPI reference(s) • It could generate a lower ROI on process improvement activities than expected.Missing opportunity(ies) As well known in Process Management approaches and models such as the Balanced Scorecard, Malcolm Baldridge and EFQM, the HR component represents the main (or one of the main) drivers for change. Not taking into account a series of cause-effect relationships could generate worse interpersonal relationships, with repercussions on working activities and on the overall organizational climate. Potential risk(s) Often personal issues or communication issues, from a subjective and interpersonal perspective, are not subject of Tracking & Control activities, or are anyway evaluated in a light way, using typically subjective tools (i.e. surveys, interviews, …) Current flaw(s) There are several aspects about meetings – and generally speaking inside an organization – to keep under control, not only those ones discussed in CMMI, in particular those in Project Management areas. Measurement context Second Law of Business Meetings: If there are two possible ways to spell a person's name, you will pick the wrong one. Corollary: If there is only one way to spell a name, you will spell it wrong, anyway. [10]#8
  14. 14. Turning Client Vision into Results14 Agenda Introduction – Improving RCA effects: new possible ways – RCA for Software Process Improvement with...humor Some Murphy’s commented laws on... – Measurement & Analysis – Project Planning, Monitoring & Control – Communication & Stakeholders – ... SPI and Knowledge Management – Which relationships? – SECI model – MM-mania Conclusions & Prospects
  15. 15. Turning Client Vision into Results15 SPI and Knowledge Management Which Relationship? (1/2) •• Q: how people and processes are related? • A: some answers are in Performance Management models (i.e. Balanced Scorecard, Malcolm Baldridge, EFQM, ...), where HR are the main enabler for activating the organizational change
  16. 16. Turning Client Vision into Results16 SPI and Knowledge Management Which Relationship? (2/2) •• Q: so, if people is a strategic asset for companies, how to explicit the tacit knowledge from employees? • A: Murphy’s SPI tables could represent a possible knowledge asset type. Possible advantages: making easier a real knowledge transfer among employees making less boring some technical training (cfr. SengeSenge’’s 5s 5thth disciplinediscipline)
  17. 17. Turning Client Vision into Results17 SPI and Knowledge Management The SECI Model (1/2) • SECI model a Japanese model by Nonaka && Takeuchi (1995) for achieving deeper knowledge Objective: create and efficiently manage knowledge in an organization Elements: Process model, Ba Knowledge Asset (KA) • The Process Four phases (tacit explicit) Socialization (empathizing) Externalization (articulating) Combination (connecting) Internalization (embodying)
  18. 18. Turning Client Vision into Results18 SPI and Knowledge Management The SECI Model (2/2) • Dimensions of analysis Interaction types (F2F) Amount of people interacting (individual ; collective) • Four Types of Knowledge Assets: experiential: tacit knowledge through common experiences conceptual: explicit knowledge articulated through images, symbols and language systemic: systemized and packaged explicit knowledge routine: tacit knowledge routinized and embedded in actions and practices
  19. 19. Turning Client Vision into Results19 SPI and Knowledge Management The Maturity Model (MM)-mania •• Q: is there a direct link among KM (i.e. SECI) and SPI models (i.e. CMMI)? • A: No. Some critical success factors (CFSs): Enlarge the vision to a more comprehensive business view Consider at the same time models from different but complementary domains (i.e. People CMM or other MMs MM-mania) • A: Make your own Business Process Model (BPM) more mature during years, expliciting as much as possible the corporate knowledge Source: http://www.geocities.com/lbu_measure/spi/spi.htm#6
  20. 20. Turning Client Vision into Results20 Agenda Introduction – Improving RCA effects: new possible ways – RCA for Software Process Improvement with...humor Some Murphy’s commented laws on... – Measurement & Analysis – Project Planning, Monitoring & Control – Communication & Stakeholders – ... SPI and Knowledge Management – Which relationships? – SECI model – MM-mania Conclusions & Prospects
  21. 21. Turning Client Vision into Results21 Conclusions && Prospects •• Improvement is deeply inside the human nature, but when applied to non-personal contexts generates less motivation • People is the main asset for a company, but not optimized and properly used, leaving unexpressed energies and knowledge • Using a bit of humour in the externalization of knowledge could be a different, not usual road to take • MurphyMurphy’’ss--SPI tablesSPI tables represent a knowledge asset that could help people in a RCA, reducing distance between the everyday life and suggested solutions • Those tables can be created, modified and reused making more explicit the corporate knowledge, producing added value for the organization • Avoid the “Silver Bullet Flu”: models and techniques should be only starting points for improving your own BPM, not the solution itself “The most exciting phase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny...’” (Isaac Azimov)
  22. 22. Turning Client Vision into Results22 Q & A Thanks for your attention!
  23. 23. Luigi Buglione Atos Origin luigi.buglione@atosorigin.com Carol Dekkers QualityPlus Tech. dekkers@qualityplustech.com

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