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The Economics of Iterative Software Development: Steering Toward Better Business Results

 
Book Review Team
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Authors: Walker Royce, Kurt Bittner, Michael Perrow
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Reviewed by: Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating: 10 horseshoes

The title of "The Economics of Iterative Software Development - Steering Toward Better Business Results" jumped out at me since I'm a software developer at a bank. Software and economics in the same title - cool!

The book is what I call good airplane reading. It's interesting to read, easy to read without a whole pile of focus, can be read in a few hours and doesn't physically weigh to much. The book is mainly geared towards software development managers. Particularly those who want to being iterative development or make their projects more iterative.

The economics comes in through the model of COCOMO, a number of graphs and formulas like net present value. It's not the kind of economics that you have to be an economist to understand. Or even like math for that matter.

In addition to the economics, the book covers things like factors for resistance to change. I particularly liked the section on measurements and how people adjust their over/under reported based on how they think the measurement will be used. I also like the appendix listing the top ten books for managers (like Peopleware) and why to read each one.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. I think it is a good book to either show your manager or to read to get a feel for the criteria important to management when selling an idea. And without having to read a whole project management book at that.
 
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