QW2001 Paper 2M2

Mr. Robert Benjamin, Ms. Ruth Pennoyer & Ms. Karen Law
(Spherion Corporation)

Pre-Defining Success: Incorporating e-Metrics Into Business And Technical Requirements For Web And e-Business Solutions

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

For over twenty years, quality management professionals have been saying that understanding of requirements, and effective, end-to-end management of those requirements, are the most critical determinants of success or failure in information systems. Several widely-quoted studies, including, but not only, the Standish Group's CHAOS Report, back this view. Drilling down further, many believe that a significant number of projects fail, over 16% in some studies, when the requirements process fails to include measurable improvements in business value as the key determinants of success. In other words, projects that come in on time, under budget, and with little or no serious defects can still fail if they do not return any real business value on their investment.

Although business requirements have crept into the consciousness of business sponsors and developers alike over the past decade, the explosion of Web-enabled and eBusiness applications seems to have halted, maybe even reversed this trend. Quality management professionals, supported by credible industry observers, report a decline in understanding of, or concern for the importance of end-to-end quality management among their customers, especially those under intense pressure to deliver solutions against unrealistic deadlines. Moreover, stories about "dot.com" failures abound, with many calling those failures preordained due to faulty business models with no realistic business metrics. They fail because they start out as bad ideas.

Ensuring that Web-enabled and eBusiness applications start out as GOOD ideas demands new metrics for success, based on an understanding of what makes these applications either successes or failures, and the inclusion of these metrics into business requirements. Incorporating e-Metrics into the requirements for a Web or eBusiness system can enable project teams to produce more effective design, development, test and deployment plans that are based on requirements and business risk.

This presentation will describe how e-Metrics are incorporated into the elicitation and validation of Web and eBusiness system requirements.

About the Author

Robert Benjamin, Author
Mr. Benjamin is a Certified Quality Analyst (through the Quality Assurance Institute) with over three decades experience in Information Technology consulting, sales, and marketing, the last twelve specializing in Software Quality Management. He has designed new process lifecycles based on the Software Capability Maturity Model for three major IT development organizations, co-founded the New York City Software Process Improvement Network, supported major software process improvement initiatives, and facilitated business and technology strategy planning projects. He has also led testing and development teams in successful project recovery efforts. He is currently a regional Software Quality Management Practice Director for Spherion Technology Architects, Spherion Corporation.

Ruth Pennoyer, Co-Author
Ms. Pennoyer is a Certified Quality Analyst (through the Quality Assurance Institute), and a Certified Software Quality Engineer (through the American Society for Quality). She has over twenty-eight years experience in Information Systems and is a principal author of Spherion Technology Architects' requirements and risk-based testing process. She has experience in quality assurance, quality process assessment, project and testing management, corporate management, methodology development, and training. Areas of special expertise include risk management, quality program implementation, organization assessment and planning, and management staff development. She is currently Managing Consultant for Spherion’s Software Quality Management Practice in New Jersey and Project Manager for a major Software Quality Assurance project for the New York City Government.

Karen Law, Co-Author
Ms. Law is a Certified Quality Analyst and Certified Software Test Engineer (through the Quality Assurance Institute), and a Certified Software Quality Engineer (through the American Society for Quality). She is a principal contributor to Spherion Technology Architects’ training courses in Software Quality Management for Web and eBusiness systems. Ms. Law has led recent strategic quality management projects for Internet software companies, managed a Web application test laboratory, including support and testing of its production site, evaluation of automated test tools, and development of a software testing methodology and Software Quality Assurance process. She is currently Deputy Project Manager for a major Software Quality Assurance project for the New York City Government.