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Personal Software Process

PSP is all about planning and tracking the work at personal level using defined processes. Using PSP involves establishing measurable goals and then tracking against these goals to realize what is going wrong and then fixing those problems for the next time.


PSP process structure involves that an engineer creates a measurable plan on receiving requirements. He then moves forward to design, design review, code, code review, compile, test and postmortem phases. In these phases certain scripts are introduced that let the engineer to measure the data. This data is logged and its results are matched with the original plan. A plan summary report of project and process data is made that is then used for the improvement.


Let’s take a very abstract example. Consider you are given set of requirements of software that you are engineering. You create a plan that PA (Planned for A) hours will be spent in planning, PB in design, PC in code and so on. To track more affectively, you also plan for the tasks in each phase, e.g. in design you plan that task B1 will require PB1, PB2 for B2 and PB3 for B3. (Setup tasks for other stages as well)


Then during the project you log the actual data. You will get something similar to the following


Stages \ Tasks

Planned Hours

Actual Hours

[+] Plan



[-] Design



Task 1



Task 2



Task 3



[+] Code








This way, you can find out where you have large differences. Where you will have those, it means either your planning was poor in term of assessment, or you were technically weak in implementing it. You can then improve your assessment or technical skill set for the next time accordingly. Please note, in above example, only time factor is considered, you can create such table for other factors like defects for example.


Conclusion is that PSP is all about quantitative analysis of what you do to assist you improve your personal skills.


For more information visit Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon’s website.


Capability Maturity Model details

Part 1 | Part 2

Published Thursday, October 28, 2004 7:42 PM by khurram
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# re: Personal Software Process

Thursday, October 28, 2004 8:18 PM by khurram
Please bear in mind, the model doesn’t say what to plan and what to track/log or how to plan and how to track/log. It just says that we should do so.

PSP also has levels of maturity; its details can be found on SEI website. I might talk about them in next post of this series, if time permits :)

Furthermore, automatic scripts/tools can (rather should) be used to track/log the actual data. Organizations may introduce such automation to also track individual’s performance and give bonuses and increments accordingly :)

# re: Personal Software Process

Friday, October 29, 2004 7:36 AM by
Yeah, quite informative. keep the good work up but would u mind letting us know about the particular tools that cud be used for tracking.


# re: Personal Software Process

Friday, October 29, 2004 9:19 AM by Ibrahim Samad
Its a good effort to introduce this topic in Pakistan IT Industry. I am working over it from last one year and found it one of the best method for measurment on personal level.
Keep it up over this topic and its a good effort. Ialso suggest you that you should introduce the nexr phase of PSP i.e. its implementation detail that how one on indivisual level measure his capability with Data Inputs depending upon the previous data.
I worked over it and incase of any suggestion or implementation please feel free to mail me.


# re: Personal Software Process

Saturday, October 30, 2004 7:34 AM by Syed Aziz ur
good to hear that this is a process. We usually did this but didnot know about the process. Keep up the good work Khurrum
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