Scenario-Focused Engineering: A toolbox for innovation and customer-centricity

Microsoft Press
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Blend the art of innovation with the rigor of engineering

Great technology alone is rarely sufficient to ensure a product’s success. Scenario-Focused Engineering is a customer-centric, iterative approach used to design and deliver the seamless experiences and emotional engagement customers demand in new products. In this book, you’ll discover the proven practices and lessons learned from real-world implementations of this approach, including why delight matters, what it means to be customer-focused, and how to iterate effectively using the Fast Feedback Cycle.

In an engineering environment traditionally rooted in strong analytics, the ideas and practices for Scenario-Focused Engineering may seem counter-intuitive. Learn how to change your team’s mindset from deciding what a product, service, or device will do and solving technical problems to discovering and building what customers actually want.

Improve the methods and mindsets you use to:

  • Select a target customer to maximize carryover
  • Discover your customer’s unarticulated needs
  • Use storytelling to align your team and partners
  • Mitigate tunnel vision to generate more innovative ideas
  • Use experimentation to fail fast and learn
  • Solicit early and ongoing feedback
  • Iterate using a funnel-shaped approach
  • Manage your projects around end-to-end experiences
  • Build a team culture that puts the customer first
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About the author

Austina De Bonte is a trainer, coach, consultant, and change agent. Austina conceived and founded the Scenario-Focused Engineering initiative in 2008 to help accelerate Microsoft’s shift towards dramatically more customer-focused, iterative design and product development approaches.

Drew Fletcher is a software design consultant in the Seattle area. Drew joined Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence team in 2008 as the Director of Program Management where he teamed up with Austina to develop and champion the Scenario-Focused Engineering effort.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Microsoft Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2014
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780133967258
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Software Development & Engineering / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Most software-development groups have embarrassing records: By some accounts, more than half of all software projects are significantly late and over budget, and nearly a quarter of them are cancelled without ever being completed. Although developers recognize that unrealistic schedules, inadequate resources, and unstable requirements are often to blame for such failures, few know how to solve these problems. Fortunately, the Personal Software Process (PSP) provides a clear and proven solution. Comprising precise methods developed over many years by Watts S. Humphrey and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), the PSP has successfully transformed work practices in a wide range of organizations and has already produced some striking results.

This book describes the PSP and is the definitive guide and reference for its latest iteration. PSP training focuses on the skills required by individual software engineers to improve their personal performance. Once learned and effectively applied, PSP-trained engineers are qualified to participate on a team using the Team Software Process (TSP), the methods for which are described in the final chapter of the book. The goal for both PSP and TSP is to give developers exactly what they need to deliver quality products on predictable schedules.

PSPSM: A Self-Improvement Process for Software Engineers presents a disciplined process for software engineers and anyone else involved in software development. This process includes defect management, comprehensive planning, and precise project tracking and reporting.

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Drawing on the author’s extensive experience helping organizations to achieve their development goals, and with the PSP benefits well illustrated, the book presents the process in carefully crafted steps. The first chapter describes overall principles and strategies. The next two explain how to follow a defined process, as well as how to gather and use the data required to manage a programming job. Several chapters then cover estimating and planning, followed by quality management and design. The last two chapters show how to put the PSP to work, and how to use it on a team project. A variety of support materials for the book, as described in the Preface, are available on the Web.

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SEMAT (Software Engineering Methods and Theory) is an international initiative designed to

identify a common ground, or universal standard, for software engineering. It is supported by

some of the most distinguished contributors to the field. Creating a simple language to describe

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framework–of elements essential to all software development.

The Essence of Software Engineering introduces this kernel and shows how to apply it when

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not methodologists. Its usefulness to development team members, who need to evaluate and

choose the best practices for their work, goes well beyond the description or application of

any single method.

“Software is both a craft and a science, both a work of passion and a work of principle.

Writing good software requires both wild flights of imagination and creativity, as well as the hard

reality of engineering tradeoffs. This book is an attempt at describing that balance.”

—Robert Martin (unclebob)


“The work of Ivar Jacobson and his colleagues, started as part of the SEMAT initiative,

has taken a systematic approach to identifying a ‘kernel’ of software engineering principles and

practices that have stood the test of time and recognition.”

—Bertrand Meyer


“The software development industry needs and demands a core kernel and language for defining

software development practices—practices that can be mixed and matched, brought on board from

other organizations; practices that can be measured; practices that can be integrated; and practices

that can be compared and contrasted for speed, quality, and price. This thoughtful book gives a

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New chapters are included on specifying data requirements, writing high-quality functional requirements, and requirements reuse. Considerable depth has been added on business requirements, elicitation techniques, and nonfunctional requirements. In addition, new chapters recommend effective requirements practices for various special project situations, including enhancement and replacement, packaged solutions, outsourced, business process automation, analytics and reporting, and embedded and other real-time systems projects.

Even bad code can function. But if code isn’t clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees. Every year, countless hours and significant resources are lost because of poorly written code. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Readers will come away from this book understanding
How to tell the difference between good and bad code How to write good code and how to transform bad code into good code How to create good names, good functions, good objects, and good classes How to format code for maximum readability How to implement complete error handling without obscuring code logic How to unit test and practice test-driven development This book is a must for any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst with an interest in producing better code.
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