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LEDA MC News
Science over Faith to save your software costs an article by Julián Gómez, LedaMC’s Chief Digital Officer
An interesting reflection on the importance of using facts and evidence to assess your software project performance.
The best definition I have read about what science is, is the one that says that science is that human activity that leads us to see reality beyond what our senses perceive.
Why beyond the senses? As simple as if you look at the sky, the Sun is moving. It is what we perceive through our eyes, it is what we perceive through our sense of equilibrium: we do not move. Beyond this perception, science shows that it is really the Earth that revolves around the Sun, that is reality, whether we like it or not.
Surgeries that don’t work.
It is not an isolated case. Leonard Cobb, in 1955, insisted on demonstrating that with breast surgery something similar happened. He felt the need to check if a very popular operation during the previous 20 years was really effective. The aim of the operation was to constrict the mammary artery in the chest, which caused patients severe chest pain. Cobb and his colleagues decided to use the scientific method to check whether the surgery was effective or not.
They informed their patients and divided them into two groups. The first of them had the complete operation and the second had a similar incision and were kept in the operating room at the same time, but they did nothing else.
The results were amazing. Both groups felt an improvement that lasted about 3 months. The electrocardiograms performed showed that there was no difference in both groups. The operation did absolutely nothing.
Not an isolated case
Moseley in 1993 wanted to test the effectiveness of arthroscopic surgery to cure a problem in the knee. He divided the study participants into 3 groups. The first group underwent the entire operation: incisions, arthroscopic insertion, removal of cartilage, etc. The second group did not have the cartilage removed and the condition was cleaned with serum. The third group had similar incisions and took the same amount of time, but nothing else was done.
The three groups were controlled during the following two years. The placebo group noticed the same improvements and of the same order of magnitude as the participants in the other two groups.
Science vs. Faith: The truth about software projects.
How does science vs. faith apply to a company’s software development costs? Very simple – leave faith aside and embrace: science, scientific methods and demonstration with facts. Consider the three fundamental aspects:
- to know if we are doing our best
- to determine the effort needed to ensure quality
- to establish a scientific estimation process.
The first fact is to believe that you are developing better software than others in the market, only if you can prove it. Consider the tale of “The Emperor’s New Suit” – where the emperor boasted about a suit that didn’t exist. Your development teams and suppliers (in an outsourcing model) should provide evidence of their performance. To do this, benchmarking should be carried out, taking the value of what the development team does, of what it develops and comparing it with the market. Then, you have proof and can determine whether team performance is really as good as it is claimed. You can also check what is contributing to your project costs.
The second fact is not to trust the software testing process being carried out, unless it is based on facts. Recall the anecdote of the surgeries that didn’t work. Use estimates of what to expect, according to the market. Determine what you can and must find in terms of quality, defects, test and effort needed.
The third is to “scientify” your estimation process. What does this mean? Standardize it, simplify it, globalize it, provide it with the market intelligence adapted to your case, customized, so that with a recognized method in the industry. You will be able to avoid the errors that become added costs in each development. How? With applications that help in that task.
Be agile, be water my friend!
For more information, visit the LedaMC website
GUFPI-ISMA (Italian Software Metrics Association)
Evento Metrico 2020-01 (Rome, Italy, May 15, 2020)
GUFPI-ISMA is organizing the new EventoMetrico in Rome on 15th May.
As usual, this meeting will present experiences with measurement and benchmarking. It should attract a group of approximately 300-350 passionate people.
The meeting is valid for achieving 5 PDUs and could be IFPUG CEP-valid (1 CEC for maintaining the CFPS certification).
For more information, visit the GUFPI-ISMA website.
WebinarMetrico 2020-01 about ISBSG (Jan 23, 2020)
This webinar is available for GUFPI-ISMA members in the website’s Private Area. It explains the use of the ISBSG PDQ (Productivity Data Query) tool and the tool’s advantages in having a good source of data/information. Find out more.
Remember, GUFPI-ISMA members can receive a discount on ISBSG products. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about GUFPI-ISMA, visit their website https://www.gufpi-isma.org/
Become an IFPUG Certified Function Point specialist in Spanish.
FPUG announces the launch of their Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS) exam in Spanish, in addition to the already available exam language options (English, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese).
For more details about CFPS exam, visit the IFPUG website