Quality Software Management

(Quality Software Series)

Volume 1: Systems Thinking

I have now converted the contents to two new eBooks:

Sample and/or Buy either ebook through:


Barnes & Noble


Buy at Amazon.com

Here are some reviews:

“Weinberg addresses more clearly the form and essence of quality that we software people worry about… I can’t imagine a better way to help change the thinking process in your organization than the wide-scale distribution of Jerry Weinberg’s wonderful book.” – Ed Yourdon, American Programmer

“I like Jerry Weinberg. He’s a lunatic: I like that in a person. He writes from a technical and psychological perspective, describing how to think about what you do. . . . This series is one of my favorites.” – Ron Jeffries, xprogramming.com

“The notation is so elegant that it takes almost no effort to learn and use it. The diagrams are simple and easy to understand and used in such a consistent manner that on has to wonder why this notation is not in widespread use. I hope it will be. . . .” —Software Quality World

“A must book for every software development manager.” —C.C. Dilloway Computer Books Review

“. . . very highly recommended!” —New Book Bulletin

“With the current frenzy for Total Quality Management, ISO 9000, and Baldrige Awards dominating the industry, it’s refreshing to have someone as down-to-earth as Weinberg focusing on the need for high-quality management as a necessary prerequisite for high-quality software. . . . [a] people-oriented approach to quality.” —Warren Keuffel. Computer Language

“This is one of those landmark books that comes along at the right time and addresses the right set of issues. . . . what makes this book unique and invaluable is the organization and presentation of the material. This is a book every software development manager should study.” —Shel Siegel. CASE Trends

Get it and read it.

Reviewer: James Bach (Source: Amazon.com)

This book holds a special place in my heart. It’s the first technical book I ever read in one sitting.

I’ve been in the software business since 1983. By the time I encountered Quality Software Management in 1992, I was thoroughly cynical about books about software project management. By and large they were, and still are, preachy tomes that quote unverifiable statistics and make dubious claims about “right” and “wrong” processes. Grow up, guys!

Jerry’s books are different, and this is my favorite of all of his books. As I read QSM, I didn’t feel preached at or condescended to. I felt like, for the first time, someone was offering me ideas for coping with the very difficult problems that face those of us who work on projects where we don’t have enough time, enough information, enough skill, or enough money to do a perfect job of anything. Given our limitations, we have to make tradeoff decisions in light of the best understanding of cause and effect we can muster. That’s exactly what my organization was trying to do, in ’92, when we were competing and winning against Microsoft (oh, they eventually beat us by hiring away the top third of our team, but that’s another story). We just thought of ourselves as pragmatists, but when I read QSM I realized that our approach was also scientifically sound.

Looking back, I see QSM as one of the handful books in this field that actually helped me to become more expert at my job, and it’s the first book I suggest to anyone who is serious about software quality assurance or software project management.

Get it and read it.

A most enlightening introduction to quality

Reviewer: Ned Hamson from Cincinnati, Ohio (Source: Amazon.com)

I am not a software developer. When I stumbled across Gerry’s book, I soon realized that I had found a hidden treasure. It contains within it the best definitions of quality that I have ever read. And he has a great sense of humor that helps make the lessons and insights you will get from the book easier to take. PS: His other books are equally great and should be read by software folks, as well as everyone else. Ned Hamson, Senior Editor, Association for Quality and Participation.

Examine how you think about software development

Reviewer: A reader (Source: Amazon.com)

Why is software development so often plagued by crisis? Weinberg helps the reader step back from developing software and examine the dynamics and patterns of software creation. By discussing patterns of quality, patterns of managing and patterns of software faults, the author shows that quality software begins with keen observation and clear thinking about software development. The text is extremely thought-provoking and is spiced with anecdotes drawn from decades of software experience. When my software team considered the book in a study group last year, our insight into our efforts and understanding of each other took a leap upward. Highly recommended

I learned more about my behavior than I expected!

by Johanna Rothman, from her newsletter, Reflections

I originally read this book and used it while I was a manager at a Boston-area company. I was trying to understand why my quality initiatives were sometimes effective and sometimes not so effective. I bought the book because I was sure there was something in my system (the company, the other employees, me, the products, etc.) that was preventing me from succeeding. I hoped to figure out the issues by reading the book.

The book is divided into five sections: “Patterns of Quality”, “Patterns of Managing”, “Demands that Stress Patterns”, “Fault Patterns”, and “Pressure Patterns”. Each section has a number of chapters that examine different systemic aspects of the specific issues.

In the “Patterns of Quality” section, Weinberg challenges our assumptions about what quality is, how to obtain it, and how to recognize how to change it. For those of you who are intimate with the SEI (Software Engineering Institute) CMM (Capability Maturity Model), this section provides compelling reasoning about the model, and about how dangerous level 2 can be to an organization.

The “Patterns of Managing” section was truly eye opening for me. I had been working on a measurement system at the company, and had been spectacularly unsuccessful obtaining useful metrics. I thought we needed these measurements so that we could understand what worked for us, and what needed to change. This section gave me a new understanding of how other people see the organization and their roles within the organization.

“Demands that Stress Patterns” discusses what happens in real organizations with real customers and real products. Jerry has a number of ideas about how to keep the development organization working productively.

“Fault Patterns” discusses different types of defects and how they occur. In addition, Weinberg examines what software faults and how the organization deals with them means to how the people work.

“Pressure Patterns” looks into managerial behavior and why managers lose patience and feel helpless.

I learned more about my behavior than I expected! I had originally thought I would learn about why my peers were working in a way that was unhelpful. Once I started reading the book, I realized that I could influence the way they worked so that I could improve our quality practices and they could succeed at getting their projects shipped. Since then, I have used systems thinking in my work, and I highly recommend that other software managers do so also.

I highly recommend this book to all managers who work with software organizations.