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Milestone Progress

Actuals (32)

Action Item Progress

Milestone Progress

Actuals (32)

Figure 13-10. Example SPCP display for a top-level project situation

Action Item Progress

Figure 13-10. Example SPCP display for a top-level project situation than 10% cost or schedule variance. This graphical object provides several examples of indicators: tertiary colors, the actual percentage, and the current first derivative (up arrow means getting better, down arrow means getting worse).

2. Technical artifact status. The graphical object in the upper right provides an overview of the status of the evolving technical artifacts. The Req light would display an assessment of the current state of the use case models and requirements specifications. The Des light would do the same for the design models, the Imp light for the source code baseline, and the Dep light for the test program.

3. Milestone progress. The graphical object in the lower left provides a progress assessment of the achievement of milestones against plan and provides indicators of the current values.

4. Action item progress. The graphical object in the lower right provides a different perspective of progress, showing the current number of open and closed issues.

Figure 13-10 is one example of a progress metric implementation. Although the example is trivial, it provides a view into the basic capability of an SPCP display. The format and content of any project panel are configurable to the software project manager's preference for tracking metrics of top-level interest. Some managers will want only summary data and a few key trends in their top-level display. Others will want many trends and specific details. An SPCP should support tailoring and provide the capability to drill down into the details for any given metric. For example, querying a red light for deployment artifacts would yield the next level of detail in time (a trend chart) or in abstraction (detailed test status for each release, each subsystem, etc.).

The following top-level use case, which describes the basic operational concept for an SPCP, corresponds to a monitor interacting with the control panel:

• Start the SPCP. The SPCP starts and shows the most current information that was saved when the user last used the SPCP.

• Select a panel preference. The user selects from a list of previously defined default panel preferences. The SPCP displays the preference selected.

• Select a value or graph metric. The user selects whether the metric should be displayed for a given point in time or in a graph, as a trend. The default for values is the most recent measurement available. The default for trends is monthly.

• Select to superimpose controls. The user points to a graphical object and requests that the control values for that metric and point in time be displayed. In the case of trends, the controls are shown superimposed with the metric.

• Drill down to trend. The user points to a graphical object displaying a point in time and drills down to view the trend for the metric.

• Drill down to point in time. The user points to a graphical object displaying a trend and drills down to view the values for the metric.

• Drill down to lower levels of information. The user points to a graphical object displaying a point in time and drills down to view the next level of information.

• Drill down to lower level of indicators. The user points to a graphical object displaying an indicator and drills down to view the breakdown of the next level of indicators.

The SPCP is one example of a metrics automation approach that collects, organizes, and reports values and trends extracted directly from the evolving engineering artifacts. Software engineers will accept metrics only if metrics are automated by the environment.

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