Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation

I am involved in a GemstoneProject at ChryslerCorporation to replace their many payroll applications with a single application. The project has been going on for a couple of years. I was brought in to help with performance tuning, but ended up as a sort of HeadCoach of an effort to StartFresh?. -- KentBeck

Contacts: KentBeck, RonJeffries, ChetHendrickson, AnnAnderson, et al.

See "CthreeAndLegacySystems" for an early description of the project.

The inspiring example of the C3 project has prompted me to ask this question about IntervalLength. -- JamesCollins

I saw on another page that C3 may welcome visitors. Is this true? If so, how does one arrange it?

Send an email, describing your purpose in visiting, a little about you, etc etc. Within the limitations of our tight schedule, we love showing people what we do.

A question about refactoring in C3, asked here because C3's strong XP experience...

You code your UnitTests and write your classes. How often have you performed refactorings which essentially throw away a bunch of classes and tests? Or, has it been more a matter of moving things up and down a hierarchy and splitting things up? -- MichaelFeathers

About every 3 or 4 iterations we do a refactoring that causes us to toss or otherwise radically modify a group of classes. The tests will either go away or be changed to reflect the classes' new behavior. We are constantly splitting classes up and moving behavior around. This may or may not affect the UnitTests. -- ChetHendrickson

This page has been static for quite some time. What is the status of C3 today? Is it still going strong? Is it nearing completion? Has it been moth-balled like the VcapsProject?

VCAPS wasn�t moth balled it went into maintenance mode. It is still running in production.

Re: "Is it still going strong?" I wonder what kind of answer would best demonstrate the productivity of XP -- I suppose "We finished it all up in a month long ago" would be the best news. Each time I read of the continuing activity on C3 my skeptic alarm goes off just a bit...I've been hesitant to ask, but I would love to learn: -- JimRussell

Written in 2002: The original estimate done by the C3 team in March 1996 was that the project would be ready to ship in about a year. It launched in about a year. I think it was about two months later than was wanted owing to a late understanding of what the Customer needed for testing. The launch was considered a success by everyone.

Subsequent launches of additional pay populations were wanted by top management within a year. The team thought that was possible, though I can't remember why. It doesn't seem that they succumbed to pressure but perhaps they did. After two? more years the next group was ready to ship in the team's opinion but something always got in the way. It wasn't quite like the 90% done syndrome, but there was always another requirement that just had to be done. Communication up and down the chain of command was broken; every manager but one on both the IT side and Finance side was replaced or moved to a new position. Finally the project was terminated. At this writing, C3 is no longer paying any employees, though it did so until the end of 2000.

C3 did a lot of great things and it was delivering the features requested at a constant velocity right along. If it was to be terminated, the information existed to have done in sooner. If it was to launch, it could have launched sooner. After termination, the Customer (the second one the project had had) was quoted as saying that he never thought the idea was really to launch the subsequent populations.

Was it a process failure? It's hard to say. The things that XP deals with were all chugging along, but it was as if the project had become uninteresting to the high-level stakeholders, and they forgot about it and then one day remembered and turned it off.

As of the first of February, 2000, the C3 project has been terminated without a successful launch of the next phase.

What happened? -- MartijnMeijering

see: CthreeProjectTerminated

But bear in mind that TerminationCanBeSuccess.

When did the C3 project start? (or at least, when did the XP part of the project start?)
Moved from CthreeQualityQuestion?


Am I hallucinating, or does it say somewhere on Wiki that, at one time at least, no user acceptance (or something like that) tests were run against C3 because the defect rates were so low it wasn't worthwhile? If so, does someone know where it says so?

Thanks -- KeithBraithwaite

I don't recall ever reading that. -- Alistair

I'm not sure I do, it would have been last year some time, but I might be thinking of something else. -- KB

Functional tests ARE acceptance tests. In addition, C3 wrote a special series of tests that compared every single person's C3 paycheck with his legacy paycheck, and analyzed all differences. The customer was enabled to identify areas where she was sure she knew the difference was OK (e.g. differences of $5 or less in taxes are due to different tax packages). I'm sure we refer to it somewhere, maybe in the Distributed Computing article, and probably here somewhere ...

Defect rates were very low. But the customer was very paranoid, because sending out a bad paycheck is a major nono in the payroll department. I admire them for that. -- RonJeffries

"The C3 team consistently had approximately the same number of assertions in their tests as they had lines of code." --RonJeffries [from the XpMailingList]


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