Publications by David Herron

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Articles

Successful Outsourcing: Measuring for Price and Value

A successful outsourcing arrangement is one that delivers a high quality product that meets the needs of the business (provides value) for a reasonable price. This article explains how you can use Function Point Analysis, in an outsourcing arrangement that includes service-level agreements, to measure both cost and value.

Author: David Herron
Managing your Vendor’s Performance

How much insight do you have regarding your software vendor’s level of performance? And how do you know if an outsourcing arrangement is cost effective? Learn how Function Point Analysis can be used to answer both of these questions.

Author: David Herron
Agile is Hard

Agile is hard. Why? Because successful Agile requires change. In this article, David Herron outlines eight guidelines an organization can follow to successfully initiate and achieve change. These guidelines can be applied to an Agile implementation.

Author: David Herron
FP Lite - An Alternative Approach to Sizing

Past criticisms of Function Point Analysis (FPA) have included concerns that it takes too long, it requires too much detail, it is too difficult to implement, and it costs too much. A recent study has shown that an adaptation of the FPA methodology – FP Lite™ – is a reasonable alternative to the detailed FPA method, and in fact, addresses many of the criticisms that have been levied in the past. This paper introduces the FP Lite™ methodology in correlation with two studies designed to statistically understand the accuracy of the FP Lite™ methodology in contrast to the detailed FPA method.

Author: Sheila Dennis; David Herron
Effective Measures for Project Managers

Software Project Managers have many responsibilities, ranging from managing customer expectations to directing internal resources towards a successful software build. That said, their easiest path to a quiet life is to design, develop and deploy software on time, on budget and with a high degree of quality. Why, then, do industry publications continue to unveil stories about failed projects and the financial impact they have had on the organization? Of course, not all projects fail. When we do read about successes, we learn that these projects were well managed and effectively controlled. So, what is missing or what is the gap between project success and project failure? This article discusses that gap and how to close it.

Author: Mike Harris; David Herron
Customer Satisfaction – Measuring the Rate

There are any number of reasons why IT organizations execute a formal customer satisfaction survey. Regardless of the reason, the goal is to transfer measurement of customer satisfaction from a post-facto critique into a proactive process improvement tool. Read how DCG helped a key client measure customer satisfaction as a measure of process improvement.

Author: Tom Cagley; David Herron
Managing Organizational Change

Learn how to successfully manage organizational changes.

Author: Marilyn Edelson; David Herron; Cheryl Lamphire
How to Frame Service-level Agreements

Service-level agreements (SLAs) are one of the most critical components of an outsourcing arrangement. When properly designed and executed, SLAs drive desired behaviors, monitor performance and guide the governance of contractually agreed objectives. Learn how to properly frame SLAs for outsourcing success.

Author: David Herron
Why Can't We Estimate Better?

Everyone agrees that software estimating continues to be an ongoing problem for IT managers. Sometimes there is a perception that an estimation model is a black box with a magic process from which the absolute answer appears, when an estimate is just that – an estimate. We need to reframe our thinking about estimating and view it as a vehicle to manage customer and management expectations based on the best available information at that point in time.

Author: Sheila Dennis; David Herron
Second Opinion on Estimates

How does that old joke go? A fellow walks into the doctor’s office with a bad stomachache. The doctor examines him and says, "I think you need your appendix out." The patient says, "I want a second opinion," and the doctors says, "… and I think you’re ugly." Badda-boom. Okay, so maybe it isn’t so funny anymore. Well neither is a project estimate that is ill-conceived, resulting in misrepresented delivery expectations. There are times when a second opinion estimate is critical to the on-time, on-budget delivery of software and to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.

Author: David Herron
Featured Publication
Using TMMi To Deliver Higher Quality Software

The average cost to fix a defect at the end of the lifecycle is 400-800 times greater than if it were addressed earlier. On average, poor requirement practices account for 60 percent of a project’s time and budget. Organizations with well-defined, closely managed, and effectively measured quality activities succeed and continuously improve. Yet, in a recent survey, 77 percent of managers reported that bad decisions have been made due to a lack of accurate information.

This presentation outlines the TMMi model, the de facto international standard to assess and improve test maturity, featuring independent best practices from more than 14 quality and test models. It explores how TMMI can be used in conjunction with the GQM model to ensure that upper management is provided with the information they need to make informed business decisions.

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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