The development of software in-house suggests that the project has certain characteristics:

• the project team and the users belong to the same organization;

• the projects being considered slot into a portfolio of existing computer-based systems;

• the methodologies and technologies to be used are not selected by the project manager, but are dictated by local standards.

However, where a series of development projects is being carried out by a software house for different external customers, the methodologies and technologies to be used will have to be decided for each individual project. This decision-making process has been called 'technical planning' by some, although here we use the term 'project analysis'. Even where development is in-house, it is important to spend some time looking for any characteristics of the new project that might make us take a different approach from that used on previous projects. It is this analysis that is the subject of this chapter.

Martyn Ould in Strategies for Software Engineering: the Management of Risk & Quality, John Wiley & Sons, 1990, describes how technical planning was done at the software house, Praxis.

The relevant part of the Step Wise approach is Step 3: Analyse project characteristics. The selection of a particular process model will add new products to the Project Breakdown Structure or new activities to the activity network. This will create outputs for Step 4: Identify the products and activities of the project (see Figure 4.1).

In the remainder of this chapter we will firstly look at how the characteristics of a project will influence the approach to the planning of a project. We will then look at some of the most common process models, namely the waterfall approach, prototyping and incremental delivery.

Figure 4.1 Project analysis is the subject of Step 3.
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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