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Planning Smarter: Creating Blueprint-Quality Software Specifications

Book Description

Software planning and specification development: no fluff—just results!

  • Create better specifications-with less complexity, and less work!

  • Best practices that work with any language or development environment

  • CD-ROM exclusive: Software Blueprinter, a powerful software application for real-world specification development

  • For all software team members: developers, architects, managers, clients, and software quality specialists

  • Planning Smarter demystifies software planning, cuts out to the chase, and shows exactly how to create higher quality, more useful specifications with less complexity and less work! Tyson Gill presents a complete blueprint for improving the quality of your software specifications, reducing errors and omissions, simplifying planning, and establishing a rock-solid foundation for any software development project. Coverage includes:

  • Understanding the planning process-and why it so often fails

  • Getting the planning process "just right" and identifying the best lifecycle approach

  • Optimizing the communication that is critical to successful planning

  • 13 powerful strategies for more effective requirements development

  • Planning in the context of leading software process models: CMM, MSF, UML, and RUP

  • Recognizing and making effective use of planning metadata

  • Planning Smarter is an invaluable resource for every member of the software development project team. It will help executives and clients understand the key factors associated with success-and it will give planners, developers, architects, and team leaders the proven techniques they need to build specifications that work.


    The accompanying CD-ROM contains Software Blueprinter, a powerful specification development application that embodies the key principles in this book.

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. Preface
    3. About Planning Smarter
      1. The Companion Book
      2. Executive Summary
      3. Getting Acquainted
      4. Acknowledgments
    4. Understanding the Planning Process
      1. The Pathology of Poor Planning
      2. The Vision Document
      3. The Functional Specification
      4. Recognizing a Bad Plan
      5. Excellence Is Attainable
      6. A Software Blueprint
    5. Improving the Planning Process
      1. A Project Planning Plan
      2. Planning Phases
      3. Life-cycle Models
      4. Choosing a Life-cycle Approach
      5. An Adaptive Life-cycle Approach
      6. Process and Role Overlap
      7. Getting Planning Just Right
    6. The Role of Communication in Planning
      1. Software Communications 101
      2. Use Simple Language
      3. Go Look It Up
      4. The Data Dictionary
      5. Anyone Can Pseudocode
      6. Show Me the Prototype!
      7. Direct to Blueprint
      8. Effective Requirements Elicitation
      9. Software for Planning
      10. Creative Software Writing
    7. Strategies to Support Effective Planning
      1. Putting Theory into Practice
      2. A Developer Focus
      3. Enlist a Champion
      4. Hire the Cream
      5. Specialize
      6. Trust in Instinct
      7. Collaborate
      8. Catalyze
      9. Work Smarter
      10. Change Facilitation
      11. Living with Estimates
      12. No Silver Bullets
      13. Code Smarter
    8. Software Process Models
      1. Best Practices
      2. The Capability Maturity Model
      3. The Microsoft Solution Framework
      4. The Unified Modeling Language
      5. The Rational Unified Process
    9. Planning Metadata
      1. Using Metadata Effectively
      2. Types of Metadata
      3. Envisioning Phase Metadocuments
      4. Analysis Phase Metadocuments
      5. Design Phase Metadocuments
      6. Architecture Phase Metadocuments
      7. Other Metadocuments
    10. Software and Beyond
      1. Software and the Future
      2. Software and Ethics
      3. Software and Clients
      4. Software and the Secrets Clients Should Know
      5. Software and the CEO
      6. Software and Process Improvement
    11. The Software Blueprinter Application
      1. About Software Blueprinter
      2. Using Software Blueprinter
      3. Applying Software Blueprinter
      4. Possible Enhancements
    12. Wrap Up
      1. Nonnegotiable Demands
      2. On the CD-ROM
      3. Restrictions of Software Use
      4. Join the Discussion
      5. The Last Word
    13. Postmortem Interview and Analysis
      1. Part 1: Background
      2. Part 2: Outcome
      3. Part 3: Management
      4. Part 4: Sales
      5. Part 5: Envisioning
      6. Part 6: Business Analysis
      7. Part 7: Design
      8. Part 8: Architecture
      9. Part 9: The Project Plan
      10. Part 10: Development
      11. Part 11: Change Management
      12. Part 12: Testing/Customer Service
      13. Part 13: Deployment
      14. Part 14: Training
      15. Part 15: Maintenance
      16. Part 16: Client and Users
    14. References
    15. List of Terms