Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules. Redmond, Wa.: Microsoft Press, 1996. 660 pages. Retail price: $35. ISBN: 1-55615-900-5. Available from Microsoft Press 1-800-MS-PRESS (1-800-677-7377).

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 Overview

Winner of the Jolt Excellence Award.

Slow development is reported to be the greatest problem facing the software industry today, but some organizations are developing rapidly. Researchers have found 10-to-1 differences in productivity between different companies within the same industries. Rapid Development tells the reader what is needed to move toward the "10" side of that 10-to-1 ratio. Designed to be read either as a reference or cover-to-cover, the book describes more than two dozen best practices including evolutionary prototyping, evolutionary delivery, designing for change, Joint Application Development (JAD), outsourcing, timebox development, signing up, and voluntary overtime.

General topics include rapid-development strategy, core issues in rapid development, classic mistakes, risk management, estimation, scheduling, motivation, teamwork, customer-oriented development, productivity tools, and project recovery. The book's explanations are enhanced by the inclusion of 27 case studies, life-like descriptions of how the theory and practice of rapid development play out in real-world projects.

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