Monday, May 13, 2002

Mike's earlier mention of the Life Cycle Quality Gates document, that Mike developed and we both continue to refine, caused me to think of the source material we used as its basis. Software Testing and Continuous Quality Improvement was probably our most influential resource. This book represents the most complete and comprehensive approach to total quality of any I've read on either software testing or software quality assurance.

Highlights include:

It does not confine itself to testing alone, and in fact, has something for production services and service delivery professionals, as well as project managers involved with large scale development and implementation projects. You would have to buy at least a dozen books or download thousands of documents off the Internet to get the information contained between the covers of this book.

I recently finished reading Business Rules Applied, which covers business rules from an implementation approach, and does so in great detail. If you are new to business rules you should first read Business Rules and Information Systems: Aligning IT with Business Goals by Tony Morgan, which is better for beginners. That book introduces business rules at a basic level.

This book expands Morgan's work by drilling down into details and exposing the nuances that a seasoned practitioner will appreciate. However, the main value of this book is the way Ms. von Halle steps you through the complexities of implementing business rules as an organizational methodology. This is not an easy task, but she manages to provide a complete and comprehensive approach that will guarantee success if carefully followed. I think the work breakdown structure alone that is provided in the book makes it essential to anyone who is tasked with implementing business rules.

In addition, the tables, checklists and documents and information from the book's web site add even more value. This is an important book about an important topic. It's not easy to read, but the diligent reader (assuming prior experience) will find everything he or she needs to know about business rules, the value proposition for using them, and how to implement them. It's the most authoritative book on the subject, and will probably remain so for years to come.

There's always some delightful site to be discovered, and the most recent is Soft Java, which is the creation of two women, Jeannie and Joy who are funny, slightly over the edge and have other similar qualities that will endear them to you. Their site is dedicated to teaching Java to the masses. I'm up to my eyeballs with my Oracle OCP training and am not about to add learning Java to my workload at this time, but when I do have the time and energy I might just return to their site and add Java to my skills.

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