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Murray Cantor is the Agile Thought Leader, and Hands-on Partner To Your Management Team.

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Murray Cantor has been leading cutting-edge ideas in software and systems development for over 35 years. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, he led the application of predictive analytics to software and systems planning and development and was the Rational Lead for Analytics and Optimization for Software and Systems. In addition to many articles, he is the author of two books: Object-Oriented Project Management with UML and Software Leadership.

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Recently Published

A reasonable doubt

July 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Litigator - Military Defense-Court-Martial-Defense-Helixon For a while, I have felt that there should be a greater emphasis on probability in mathematics education. All of us need to understand probability to better understand what is going on around us and make sound decisions. Here is an example: Last Sunday, there was a cover story in the New York Times Magazine on the havoc wreaked by false positives from an [...]

Implementing the Integrative Framework, Part IV — Autonomy

September 18th, 2015|0 Comments

In our previous Advisor in this series (see "Implementing the Integrative Framework, Part III -- Alignment"), we defined a modus for alignment in which the development organization executive (e.g., CTO or VP of development) is responsible for defining overall development organization goals so that the organization fulfills its role in meeting the enterprise mission. The development executive accordingly sets the corresponding top-level product strategy and overall project team goals. In [...]

Finding Team Velocity Using Bayes Nets

April 21st, 2015|1 Comment

One of challenges of sprint planning is settling on a good choice of velocity. One simple, but imprecise and approach uses burn-up charts. A clear explanation of dealing with uncertainty of velocity using burn-up charts can be found late in  this  video. This technique may not be good enough, especially in the days of the project or if the project never settles in with a nearly constant velocity. Here is an [...]

A New Kind of Software Development Framework

February 12th, 2015|0 Comments

Following up on my previous blog, today my colleague, Israel Gat, and I published a new blog on the Cutter website, describing our recent thoughts on the future of development frameworks. Please click here. We will be describing this at length at the upcoming Cutter Summit. 

Continuing the ‘value of software’ discussion

September 29th, 2014|0 Comments

In a previous post, I promised to continue the discussion of measuring the value of software. I have had several discussions over the last weeks. Many practitioners measure the value of software using intangibles such as strategic alignment. This permits staff to set priorities by agreeing that some software has more alignment than others and so should be prioritized  first. That approach has its strengths and weaknesses. A strength is [...]

Technical Debt, Technical Liability, and Moral Hazard.

July 30th, 2014|0 Comments

I just had a good conversation with Zadia Codabux, a graduate student at Mississippi State University and IBM Graduate Fellow. I am her IBM mentor. Her PhD research is on technical debt. We are trying to make sense of the various perspectives across the industry of what exactly is technical debt. As I have a mentioned, a common definition of technical debt is that is a measure, in some unit, of [...]

Flow measures for Software and Systems

July 15th, 2014|0 Comments

In a previous post, I wrote about lean analytics. I have over the last few weeks written a long article on how to specify and instrument product flow measures for software and systems in the context of DevOps. Today, that paper was published on the IBM Developer Works site. In that paper I make a few key points. DevOps is lean principles applied to business processes that include software Unlike manufacturing, software [...]

What is the Unit of Value of Software?

June 12th, 2014|3 Comments

As promised, I am continuing the discussion of software value. In the previous posting, I pointed out that software has created immense economic value, but organizations do not measure the value of the software they create. In this posting, I raise the question,  "If one were to measure the value of software, what would be the unit of measurement?" I have repeatedly seen teams try to prioritize software features (or [...]

Starting the conversation on value

May 31st, 2014|2 Comments

From my early days in the field, I have been puzzled by an apparent paradox: T There are constant  complaints about how immature  and out of control software software development is compared to other engineering fields. Few remember the Nato Conference on the Software Crises in 1968 (I don't). The conference raised an important issue: With the growing capabilities of computers, we need comparable growth in software development. Apparently, the term [...]

I’m back with some updates

May 25th, 2014|1 Comment

I am back to blogging. The run-up to the IBM Innovate Conference has been very time consuming. And I have just finished and published what is for me a major report for the Cutter Consortium (more on that below). I still have several writing projects underway, but with Innovate next week, I expect to start blogging again much more frequently, at least for a while. The report for Cutter  fleshes out my [...]


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