DEADLINE, chapter 12. How deep do metrics delve?

--Originally published at TI2011 – Roger's Rad Records

This chapter has another of those moments in which something or someone is introduced as mostly irrelevant, but turn out to be a big deal in our reality. It happened before with the introduction of the NNL (Bill Gates) and now it happened with a ’charming small company’ that turned out to be none other than IBM.

“IBM” flickr photo by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine shared into the public domain using (CC0)

T. Johns Caporonus was the trigger this time. This man was the consultant of the company that created a unit that determines the size of a software product entirely from the outside. These units are called ‘function points’. Mr. Caporonus went to Morovia and had a long session of research and calculations with Webster and Gabriel which resulted in a little chart that displayed the sizes of each of their products in function points.

When Belinda showed up, she was amazed at how useful function points could be. She immediately made a correlation between those units and their simulation model. A lot of information can be retrieved from such measurements, for instance: how productive the company is or how much certain product will cost.

Function points are an actual unit of measurement that express the amount of business functionality, an information system (as a product) provides to a user. They were originally created by Allan Albrecht from IBM in 1979 and are currently accepted as a standard in the industry. As of 2013, there are five ISO standard specifications regarding function points, this website has some information about them, as well as a more detailed explanation of how FP work.

According to Mr. Tompkins, Caporonus spat out several statistics and pieces of information that could be useful to them. I found this document that

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Continuous improvement

--Originally published at Blog de Célia

Webster and Belinda keep meeting people about how improve the way they are working on their projects. This time, they met a consultant named Johns Caporous. They talked about many things in a very little among of time. Webster learns a lot during his meeting, at the end Waldo become manager because they decided to study old data and they need someone that knows well the company (Belinda encouraged it, since being a good manager is putting the right person at the right place for this person even if it means losing something for you). Waldo will be working on the data to improve the project productivity and the productivity measurement.  I will not talk about all the lessons Webster learn in this chapter (because it’s kind of technical and I did not understand everything perfectly, so I will not risk that). I want to talk about the doubt that Belinda had about her life in this chapter and the importance of continuous improvement in the process of a company.

Image par Arek Socha de Pixabay

In this Chapter, we know that Belinda still live in the street and after the all meeting with the time, once Webster and they were walking to the place she will sleep for the night and they have a talk. She doubted about her life, about the final goal of the life. It’s the type of question everyone asks one day: if what you try to achieve in your life has a real interest, will it make you happy? She doubted that the project they are working on doesn’t have a real interest. It looks like of searching the sense of life (that’s a big debate). This part makes me like her more, she looked more human. It creates more realistic dimension to the

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Review on Chapter 12 of “The Deadline: A Novel about Project Management”

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management Reflections

Welcome to the World of Data  

The fact that Tompkins needs to reorganize the entire organizational structure simply to please an ignorant manager seems quite realistic. Even though they had carefully planned the projects and the experiment and had set up the project teams with a lot of expertise, now all these need to be done “hidden away” just so the top management is pleased.

Mr. T. Johns is introduced, who works for a small company which expresses sizes of projects in “function points”. Upon arrival, he already knows the exact number of programmers, workstations, computer models … of the entire country of Morovia. However, it doesn´t stop just there, as he can also recall average temperatures, average rainfall, wine production etc. Clearly, he is that kind of person who likes to express themselves in numbers and who likes to put everything into a mathematical context.

However, even though when leaving it seems like Mr. Tompkins and General Markov still hadn´t quite caught up with all calculations that Mr. Johns produced, the final result was definitely worth it as now, each project has its size expresses in function points ranging from 1,500 to 6,500 points. Yet, did need Belinda to bridge the gap between the table of function points and the simulation models they had done previously. She explains to them that the function points are basically nothing more than the amount of work and effects they had used to establish their simulations.

However, in order to predict productivity and to know the variation in function points of a project, some mathematical values derived from other products are needed to calculate means and variations.

Here we can learn about the importance of archaeology and considering past experiences to make better predictions for the future. Just like Webster wants to

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