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Five Core Metrics
by Lawrence H. Putnam, Ware Myers

Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
1 edition
May 2003
328 pages

Reviewed by Valentin Crettaz, August 2005
  (9 of 10)

One of the most notable differences between software engineering and other more mature engineering disciplines lies in the fact that actors on the former field recurrently have a very hard time estimating with high certainty and maximal accuracy how long it will take to complete their projects on time and budget. Without proper tooling, this failure to adequately calculate the duration of a project is not only unavoidable but it usually has dramatic effects on the project outcome.

Building on their combined 60+ years of experience on the field, Putnam and Myers tackle this very sensible issue by showing that there is absolutely no magic behind this estimation process. By gathering basic facts from more than 6,300 past projects, the authors have managed to factor out five key metrics, such as, development time, work effort, number of functionalities, defect rate and process productivity, which they then correlate in a couple of mathematical equations that uniquely define any kind of software development project. These equations provide a unique and powerful scientific means for correctly gauging the different metrics at hand and for successfully fine-tuning the software management process.

If you want to stop wondering whether you'll deliver your project five or six month too late and to start capitalizing on the knowledge from past projects, let this book show you the path. Be advised that this is not an academic book as the whole content is built around concrete data gathered by seasoned professionals from real-world settings.

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