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November 15, 2010

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Mike,

Congratulations.

How do the activities described in your post match with the Agile Manifesto?

Were those Function Points calibrated according to IFPUG or COSMIC guidelines? If so, what was the attributable cause for a 6 standard deviation from the mean for this performance?

Who is the author of this article, who was the team lead? Congratulations but would like to know who to congratulate!

Hi Glen,

Thanks, comparing the agile manifesto and agile principles to what we did on the project, I see no major gaps. The manifesto values and principle are rightly broad by definition, and we did everything they describe, but as a side effect to practical working rather than as a goal for our approach.

I counted the function points following IFPUG guidelines, in a previous role for IBM, I spent a while counting function points for IBM clients. I am not a big fan of function point counting because they require a high effort to count accurately and fail Dan Reintersen’s “Self generating, simple, and relevant to the end goal” definition of a good project metric. We tracked them on the project as part of making a business case for retaining team members during an attempt to downsize the team and replace some expensive resources with cheaper ones. Function points were understood by the IT management team and so I used them to illustrate how well the current team was performing and how a switch to market average rates and performance would likely be a net loss.

I think looking to the approach we used to get these great results might be missing the bigger picture. Barry Boehm’s COCOMO model rates the People Factors on projects as an effort factor of 33; it also rates “Processes and Tools” as a factor of 3. These numbers suggest having the best people on your team is an order of magnitude more important (33 vs 3) than the process or tools you happen use.

Over the last 16 years I have worked on many agile projects, some following agile guidelines very closely, others only loosely. What was special for me about this project was the calibre and cooperation exhibited by the team and the support from the business.

Best regards
Mike

Hi Tom,

Thanks for dropping by, I (Mike Griffiths) was the author and lead for the IPS team. Posting to this site used to insert a "posted by" name, but no longer appears to, the secrecy was not intended!

Best regards
Mike

Mike,
I don't have any specific questions. I just wanted to offer a sincere congratulations.
It's nice to hear of your success story.

Again, congratulations to you and your team!

Hi Derek,

Thanks, and thanks too for your offer to assist with the PMBOK 5 work.

Best regards
Mike

Mike,

COSMIC not COCOMO. And which version of COCOMO are you using?

Glen,

As I said, the function points were counted based on IFPUG guidelines, not COSMIC, The COCOMO figures I discussed are from the COCOMO II model.

Regards
Mike

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