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Software Endgames:
Eliminating Defects, Controlling Change, and the Countdown to On-Time Delivery

by Robert Galen

ISBN: 978-0-932633-62-0  
©2005 (now in stock)  328 pages   softcover  
$33.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Software Management, Software Project Management, Software Testing, Team Management, Technical Leadership

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About the Book

In software development, projects are won or lost during the project endgame -- that final stage of software development between release for testing and release to customers.

Software Endgames: Eliminating Defects, Controlling Change, and the Countdown to On-Time Delivery presents the core strategies for delivering working software to your customers. Focusing solely on the endgame, the book provides hard-won, hands-on strategies and practices for delivering real value.

In the endgame, effective management and repair of defects is crucial. Experienced project manager and consultant Robert Galen shows readers how to conduct effective defect triage -- analyzing, understanding, and categorizing defects -- in preparation for scheduling repairs. Readers will learn how to transform the endgame from a time of rampant defects and utter chaos into a time of focused repairs, effective teamwork, and change management. You'll set release criteria, establish endgame release plans, and utilize a variety of change reduction and endgame management techniques.

Take Control of Your Project in the
Final Stage of Software Development

Topics include

  • developing various forms of release criteria and leveraging them to guide your teams' efforts
  • strategies for reducing the rate of change
  • change control and triage techniques that lead to efficient and effective defect repair decisions
  • alternative methods of defect repair for decision-making flexibility
  • setting up a defect-tracking system, managing defects and gathering standard metrics for endgame defect trending
  • techniques for repair planning and efficiency
  • agile extensions -- how to apply these techniques to agile projects
  • how to "mine" your endgames for overall software development improvements


"In the endgame, nerves are frayed, problems are nasty, and people are getting exhausted. Whoever isn't working to complete the endgame is staring at you and asking, 'Can we ship now? If not now, when?' Before entering the endgame on your next software project, you don't need theory -- you need proven, practical advice from an endgame veteran. Read Robert Galen's Software Endgames."

-- Timothy Lister, coauthor of Peopleware
Principal, The Atlantic Systems Guild, systemsguild.com

". . . exposes you to the key practical work flows and realities of software issue triage. I recommend this book to anyone in software development . . . who wants to get high-quality software developed and shipped consistently on-time and on-budget."

-- Robert Sabourin
President & Principal Consultant
Amibug.com, author of I Am a Bug!

"Software Endgames is a wonderful book. This technical book is surprisingly entertaining. The author covers all the important areas of quality assurance and process improvement. The information is well organized, straight to the point, and does not attempt to force concepts down the reader's throat. . . . Readers will find the book to be a valuable addition to their library, and I would recommend it to software development professionals involved in all areas of the software development lifecycle. . . .

"If you are looking for a fast, efficient, and effective way to inject quality into your projects this book will certainly kick-start those efforts. Software Endgames is informative, entertaining, and sufficiently covers all areas of quality assurance and process improvement."

-- Mark L. Krug
posted on StickyMinds.com

"What I like about this book is it is current, pointed and focused on what you can and can't do when faced with the endgame. Galen gives you advice on how to avoid going crazy during the endgame based on sound logic and practical experience. . . .

"This book is a book worth reading. Again, it is a book about defects and what to do about them. It is a book that you can use whether you are using either lightweight or heavyweight development approaches. It is a book that should be on your reading list because it can help you avoid buckling to pressure and delivering poor quality products prematurely to market. All you have to do is stick to your guns during the endgame and do what you believe is right using the defect data and trends that it recommends you collect throughout the development."

-- Don Reifer
posted on Amazon.com

". . . anyone involved in this portion of a project, particularly those in the management of it (and that is, any level of management, from team leader) would definitely benefit from reading this book. . . .

"Galen's book is one of those where even if you only read the Table of Contents, you are going to learn from it, even if you are experienced. . . .

"The text is readable, interesting and never dull, with loads of examples."

-- Mordechai Ben-Menachem
ACM Software Engineering Notes

". . . this book offers practical advice, templates, checklists, tools, and examples for improving the final phase of software project delivery. . . ."

-- SciTech Book News

Table of Contents

Dorset House Catalog
This Book's Flyer

Also Recommended

Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems, by James A. Highsmith III

Agile Software Development in the Large: Diving Into the Deep, by Jutta Eckstein
The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management, by Tom DeMarco
Five Core Metrics: The Intelligence Behind Successful Software Management, by Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers

How to Order

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