Chapter 4. “I Want Predictability”

“What do you want for Christmas?” I asked a neighbor of mine in northern Virginia, at a little pre-Christmas good-cheer gathering. He is the chief executive officer of a mid-sized company.

“Well,” he responded with a smile, “I’ve got a couple hundred neckties, and I don’t even ‘suit-up’ every day anymore.” Then his smile faded. “You know what I really want? I want software development to be predictable.”

He knew I had a software company, but we had never talked about it before.

“I want my software people to be able to predict the cost and schedule of every job they undertake,” he went on. “I want them to be able to predict the reliability of the product. I guess I would even like to have some glimpse beforehand ...

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