Reality The Schedule Rules

Once ready to start creating the system, set a schedule that provides for the earliest possible release of the least possible amount of functionality. In other words, deliver the system before it is ready. Do not come up with the design and then the schedule:

come up with the schedule first and design as you go. Do not target for error-free completion; attempt to have something that does something.

Sometimes called "time-boxing," this approach focuses on rapid-fire releases where the amount of functionality in a given release is based on the amount of time, not the other way around. One can think of this as rapid prototyping — it is and it is not. Rapid prototyping usually means throwing together a mock-up that is used as a model for the real thing. Instead, this is the real thing, it is just successively refined. Today's development technologies make it only incrementally more difficult to create a screen that works than one that does not.

In the early stages one might use a "toy" or personal database while nailing down the actual contents, then later shift to an industrial strength version when the tables settle down. The point is to get users to use it right away. The sooner they use it, the faster will be their feedback. Make sure everyone knows this is a moving target, and do not get painted into any corners until necessary. Stay out of the critical path at first, and let the users report when it is ready for prime time.

Expect changes and problems and plan for them, which means not only releasing early but repeatedly.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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