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project management

Posted on 2011-09-02
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Hi,
I am using waterfall model.

1) How do we measure productivity of a programmer. Is there any specific formula for this.
I suppose in agile they call it velocity

2) How is quality measured?

Please let me know.
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Question by:sai0824
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Kevin Cross earned 1200 total points
ID: 36477089
Here is a nice discussion on this:
http://www.linkedin.com/answers/technology/software-development/TCH_SFT/810507-2881402

Velocity or time-to-value measures in Agile are really about getting a tangible product that does what it claims to. i.e., speed is getting a quality product in short period of time. One was to follow Agile is to release on time even if features fall short -- and those features are pushed to next sprint. If you are constantly missing features, then you can deal with that as an issue; otherwise, individual velocity is not important. As stated in the discussion, there is a fine line between over design for the sake proving productivity by yielding high amounts of code/features as well as under coding for proper use cases because rushing to meet some metric on time.

Be careful that your measures are incentives to doing the right thing. If your measures are promoting poor choices, then you are better off not measuring anything...

If you truly want to pin something down, some folks track timeliness of tasks and further keep track of how many releases features come back for redesign, i.e., error rate.

Hope that helps!
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by:MajorBigDeal
MajorBigDeal earned 400 total points
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I've never had the opportunity to do agile, although from what I've read it sounds very attractive to me.  I've always favored getting something working very early and moving from working state to working state quickly.  I have worked on projects decades ago, where we used RAD. That was about getting prototypes up and working asap rather then concentrating on spending a lot of times detailing specs.  In my opinion that worked out great, often resulting in end-products that were far superior to the original conceptions.  It was kind of hard for the finance people though because they need to establish the deliverables and the costs up-front and that was difficult when you don't actually know where you are going to end up. It works better when the relationship between the provider and customer is less formal.

I want to strongly agree with mwvisa comment about being careful what you measure.  I worked in one shop for 2.5 years where the "lack of errors" was very heavily weighted metric.  The people with the best overall scores were the ones who didn't do any work.  I keep expecting management to revamp the metrics and they never did! Anyway, I moved on.

I have done waterfall managed projects extensively (again decades ago) and I want to tell you that in my experience it does not work.  We had many successful projects but it was because we had smart managers who were giving lip-service to the waterfall model and using it as a framework for reporting, while really doing something quite different.  There were times where we had projects fail because the manager really took the waterfall steps seriously rather than just as a general guideline.  There were other projects where they simply "declared success" at the deadline and then kept working (sometimes for more than a year) to actually get it together.
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by:8080_Diver
8080_Diver earned 400 total points
ID: 36488585
You should also be wary of measuring based upon errors found and corrected.  One place I worked (fortunately on a contract) used that measurement.  I got taken aside by one of the FTE programmers who chastised me because my code didn't have enough errors for other programmers to find and fix.

You should also avoid using "retained lines of code" as a measurement.  I ram-rodded a project that had a rather large number of "retained lines of code" but also had a lot of code that we, in effect, threw away.  When we were developing the application, we knew that we were going to throw cade away because we built test-beds for things so that we could stress-test them.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sai0824
ID: 36560462
Thanks all.
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