Phase General Availability

General availability is the phase when a project is in use. Help Desk is assisting end users, end users are being trained, and IT is managing the daily use of the project and fixing any bugs. It is good business practice for executive management to review projects on a yearly basis. The yearly phase review is used as an after-the-fact tool to measure the effectiveness of the estimates created during the earlier PLC process it also helps to identify if projects are effectively being used or need...

Strategic Agreements

In Phase 2, the type of software, hardware, or services needed for the project is identified. Hardware, software, and services are not chosen in Phase 2. Phase 2 is used to identify the needs of the organization, the expectations of the solution, an optimal design for the solution, and the expected level of quality. For example, if the project is for new PCs, the applications, the estimated time to access the applications, the screen size, the need for portability, and the networking...

The Beta Plan

The team will decide what type of beta to conduct. This decision will be based on the type of project and the needs of end users. Betas are public, closed, or a hybrid of the two. A public beta is when the company opens the beta up to the general public. A closed beta is when the company gives the project to a select group of internal users for testing. A hybrid beta is a closed beta that turns into a public beta. An Internet-related project might be a candidate for a public beta. For example,...

The Project Development Presentation

The Project Manager should now have a completed project waiting to be tested, a completed first-draft document, and a complete Beta Plan. If it has been over six months since the Project Concept Plan was presented, Business Development needs to update the Project Requirements Document and update the executive staff with any changes. The Project Manager can now present to the executive staff any changes from the Phase 2 review and present the features and functionality that were developed....

Tasks Completed During Quality Assurance

The Project Manager should now have a completed project waiting to be tested, a first-draft document from Documentation, and QA's completed Beta Plan. If it has been over six months since Phase 1, Business Development should update the Project Requirements Document (PRD). The Project Manager presented Phase 3 to the executive staff and received approval to proceed to Phase 4. QA is now on the critical path. During this phase, QA begins testing the project in earnest. QA must test the project...

Documents Created During Release Phase

This is a sign-off sheet the Project Manager presents to the executives in the phase review. At the end of each phase review presentation each member of the executive staff reviews the phase sign-offs, reflects on the information presented, and decides if he agrees to allow the project to proceed to the next stage of the project life cycle. On the bottom of this document each executive signs his name and states whether he approves or disapproves of continuing to the next...

Documents Created During General Availability Phase

This is a sign-off sheet the Project Manager presents to the executives in the phase review. At the end of each phase review presentation, each member of the executive staff reviews the phase sign-offs, reflects on the information presented, and decides if she agrees to allow the project to proceed to the next stage of the project life cycle. On the bottom of this document each executive signs her name and states whether she approves or disapproves of continuing to the next...

Tasks Completed During General Availability

The project is now released and in use. The previous phases should have ensured that it meets the needs and provides the necessary quality for the projected end users. After the project has been released and available for a year, a project review should take place. Many times projects are released and supported, but no follow-up phase review is performed. Don't overlook yearly phase reviews on released projects. It is very important for a company to track its accuracy for predicting costs and...

Definition of a Monitored Release Project

A monitored-release project is a project that has been released, but its monitored status means the team is still together and responsible for the project. This is a way to maintain visibility and funding on a complex project. If the team has questions about a user site, the monitored-release procedure provides the team with information so they can call the user before the project is shipped. In addition, the team may recommend that a knowledgeable employee is sent on-site if the project bogs...

Tasks Completed During End of Life

Companies tend to overlook EOL, since a project that has ended is typically not being used or a new application has taken its place. It is worthwhile to create and implement an end-of-life procedure. Companies fail to take into account all of the hidden costs of maintaining a project, such as sustaining IT, end-user training, and ensuring there are knowledgeable Help Desk people available. Projects that are not being used can impact the efficiency of a company. There are many reasons to end a...

Ways a Project Manager Can Minimize Problems

During development unforeseen problems usually arise. It is the responsibility of the team member who represents his group to keep the team apprised of a problem. The Project Manager should keep an eye on any problems. Problems can usually be associated with a feature. The first thing the Project Manager should do is determine if the problematic feature is a pregnant process. Pregnant processes are more difficult to manage since it's harder to put more people or more money on the problem to fix...

The Release Plan

The Release Plan is a document outlining the procedures needed to get the project out the door. The Project Manager develops it, unless this is a very large release in which an additional person or team of people are brought in to manage the project's staging and release. IT and the Project Managers negotiated contracts in Phase 3. Based on these contracts they know when hardware, software, and services will be delivered. For projects that include new equipment, staging will be identified along...

Documents Created During Beta Phase

This sign-off sheet is presented from the Beta team to the customer to make sure the customer agrees that they have used the project and it works. Executive Sign-Off. This is a sign-off sheet the Project Manager presents to the executives in the phase review. At the end of each phase review presentation, each member of the executive staff reviews the phase sign-off, reflects on the information presented, and decides if she agrees to allow the project to proceed to the next stage...

Business Development and Communications Role

Business Development should be intimately familiar with the needs of the user and the project. Communications is experienced with spreading the word for internal communications and with the press and industry analysts for external communications. Communications has a tight pulse on the current themes the press is writing about and can recommend the best way to present the project verbally and visually. Communications is responsible for managing the announcement process deliverables may come...

Documents Created During Project Development Phase

The Beta Plan is a document developed by project marketing and QA. The purpose of a Beta Plan is to define the roles and responsibilities that will be required of the people participating in the beta process. The Beta Plan details the qualifications required to become a beta site along with the technologies and procedures that will be tested. Beta Questionnaire Created. The Beta Questionnaire is a document that needs to be modified and updated for each project. This document...

Creating the Integrated Schedule

One method commonly used to create an integrated schedule is to have team members provide the Project Manager with their departmental schedule. The Project Manager inputs each department's schedule into a project-scheduling program and produces an integrated schedule. If a Project Manager creates an integrated schedule without an interactive forum, there is no departmental agreement, no opportunity to examine disconnects, and no team understanding of handoffs and prerequisites. An interactive...

Project Announcement

Decide on an appropriate date to announce the project. Before the announcement date, the press release should be mailed to the press outlets with which the company has set up appointments. For large international releases, an East Coast, West Coast, European, and Asian press tour should be defined and the appropriate appointments scheduled. This is where monthly, weekly, and daily publications are pitched the story. A good PR firm is instrumental in assisting in this process. The PR firm will...

Updating the Project Requirements Document PRD

The Business Requirements Document was created in Phase 1. The information created by the Phase 1 lead should have been inputted into the PRD. Any changes made to the Business Requirements Document since the end of Phase 1 should be updated into the PRD. At the end of Phase 2, the Design Document's Feature Functionality rollup should be added into the PRD. The PRD provides a document and a forum where QA, Documentation, and Help Desk can identify and input any of their special requirements....

Identification of Hidden Positions

A Project Manager needs to understand and manage the three different types of people who are part of a newly forming team supporters, naysayers, and organizational anarchists. Be careful when labeling team members you can't always judge the book by its cover. Many people appear to be in one category but are actually in another. Also, people change categories. Your goal is to move your team to the supporter category. Supporters. Supporters have typically been involved in teams that have an...

Creating a Project Announcement Plan

If a large company is releasing a large project internally or to users outside of the company, the project will need to be announced. Communications is the area responsible for corporate wide or external announcements. Communications works closely with Business Development to create an Announcement Plan. An Announcement Plan details who will be responsible for developing each deliverable needed to successfully announce a project and how and when it will occur. Part of the Announcement Plan is...

Preface

I developed this book as a catharsis for the frustrations I continually face when I am hired to save projects that are out of control, over budget, and seem as if they will never get released. Every problem project'' has at least one of the following characteristics Management is not supporting the project process, the project team, or the project manager the team isn't working together or an effective foundation of analysis was not created at the beginning of the project. Early on in my career...