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Donald Beckett

Consulting, Support and Research, QSM
Software Estimation Expert at QSM

Donald Beckett has more than 15 years of experience in software process improvement, software metrics, and productivity and quality analysis. His responsibilities at QSM include mentoring new customers on the use of QSM software tools, consulting to QSM clients, customer support, research, function point analysis, and estimating. Don is a respected presenter and published coauthor of the book, IT Measurement: Practical Advice from the Experts. Don has helped many organizations tie their process improvement efforts to measurable gains in productivity, quality and predictability. Recently, Don has done in depth analysis on the productivity of Agile development and estimating and monitoring large ERP implementations.

Don comes to QSM with an extensive background with EDS, now HP, where he led both the function point and software estimation communities. His work also includes extensive baselining, benchmarking, and outsourcing and marketing support. He has completed more than 2,000 SLIM estimates since 1996. Don speaks Spanish fluently and can conduct business in that language. Don is a graduate of Tulane University and a former Peace Corps volunteer.

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May 21, 2013
Donald Beckett wrote this post:
Why Productivity Matters to Your Application Development Team

After analyzing data from a study of more than 2,000 projects, I noted that whether measured in function points per person month (FP/PM) or hours per function point, productivity is about half of what it was in the early to mid-1990s. I propose that the problems with productivity are principally due to management choices rather than issues with developers.

May 14, 2013
Donald Beckett wrote this post:
Why Do We Keep Having the Same Software Problems?

The thirty years I have spent in software have bridged a period of remarkable and ever accelerating change. Yet while technology, tools and processes have all evolved, we continue to have the same software problems. What's to blame, software or our strategies?

May 1, 2013
Donald Beckett wrote this post:
Seven Steps to Software Project Failure

In spite of 30 years of structured programming, CASE tools, OO development, 4th GL languages, CMMI, and PMI, the failure rate for larger projects has failed to respond to all of this love and attention. We normally think of failure as a negative thing; but it can have its upside. Saddling a competitor or enemy with a doomed project could stain their career or at the very least inflict a high level of pain on them. A CEO about to retire, or whose focus is on near term stock options, may be able to boost quarterly profits by continuing to add staff to a doomed effort:  one for which the customer pays for the added staff, of course.

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