Quality Review Process

Has anyone noticed how my blog entries are getting longer and longer? I started out writing 350 words per day on average in the first week. And now, just over two months later, my average has climbed to 570 words. A couple of formulas in Excel showed me that, if I keep this up, I will have written a volume of text comparable to the size of the Bible in little more than a year.

So, I'll try to keep it a bit shorter. Maybe.

I recently wrote a (lengthy) article called "Progress in Three Dimensions". It describes the different ways of drawing progress in agile projects, using burn charts, cumulative flow diagrams and time/budget charts. My article was peer reviewed by four high-quality reviewers of Software Quality Professional Journal. I agreed with most of their feedback, which was quite valuable, and made appropriate changes. However, this feedback I didn't like:

"As with its predecessors, agile is good for developing simple things where features are relatively homogenous, but falls down sadly on lengthy and complex software engineering tasks. […] This could be easily improved by starting out with a critique of the reporting displays that have been evolved around agile, contrasting them with more serious development reporting techniques (EVM, for example)."

Ah, an agile skeptic! That's good, I like disagreements. My reply to SQP: I think a discourse on EVM and other “more serious” techniques are out-of-scope, as I don’t consider them applicable to the problem domain. (EVM and those other techniques have not been described in mainstream management books for software development, which means that almost nobody uses them.)

"I’d prefer to see a more authoritative reference for EVM than a Wikipedia entry."

Is this a social networking skeptic? My reply to SQP: I strongly disagree. I refer to the sources I actually used. Wikipedia is fine as it is (and its quality is supported by researchers who compared it with the Encyclopedia Britannica).

As I said, the reviewers gave me lots of useful comments too. I actually compliment SQP on the quality of their review process! Let me end with my two favorite reviewer's comments:

"The content and analogies are extremely cogent and pertinent to the day-to-day realities of software development."

"A nicely done and useful piece of work."

So, it appears the quality of my writing is fine, which is a relief! But I'm afraid you people will have to wait a while. I won't publish the article here before its appearance in SQP. However, the quality of my email usage is questionable. So, if you write me personally, I might accidently hit the Send Mail button, with an attachment. You never know.

  • Change is the Only Constant
  • We Underestimate Nonlinearity, Not Effort
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