PM Milestone Project Management Templates

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trates my plan and assessment at month 4, when I was 20% ahead of schedule and 30% under budget.

This example provides a good framework for discussing key attributes of planning and actual progress assessment: establishing an objective basis, developing a suitable work breakdown structure, and planning with appropriate fidelity.

I established objective criteria for percent complete of a given component. While these criteria could be suboptimal for another author, they were accurate for this book. They were based on my experience as an author, my own personal development style, and a well-understood relationship with my technical editor. Similarly, for software projects, the culture of the team, the experience of the team, and the style of the

Figure 13-3. Assessment of book progress (example)

development (the process, its rigor, and its maturity) should drive the criteria used to assess the progress objectively.

I developed a work breakdown structure by breaking down my work by parts (groupings of chapters), which was the easiest approach for tracking progress. Just as with software, this was a natural thing to do once there was a well-established architecture for the book. However, I changed the architecture (the outline and the flow) several times during the first few months. Detailed tracking by component early in the book's development life cycle would have introduced unattractive rework that would have disincentivized me from making architectural improvements. A better work breakdown structure for tracking the entire project's progress (including the contributions of the author, the editor, the artists, the reviewers, the compositors, and the publisher) would be organized by the process, with only the construction progress tracked explicitly by component.

I planned the work with the fidelity appropriate for a single-person project. I chose not to do detailed progress tracking until I had established a full draft content for a given component. I tracked earlier progress through a simple subjective assessment of the level of completeness of first-draft material. The same spirit should be applied to larger projects, using the level of planning fidelity commensurate with the current state of the project and the likelihood of replanning.

13.2.3 Staffing and Team Dynamics

An iterative development should start with a small team until the risks in the requirements and architecture have been suitably resolved. Depending on the overlap of iterations and other project-specific circumstances, staffing can vary. For discrete, one-of-a-kind development efforts (such as building a corporate information system), the staffing profile in Figure 13-4 would be typical. It is reasonable to expect the maintenance team to be smaller than the development team for these sorts of developments. For a commercial product development, the sizes of the maintenance and development teams may be the same. When long-lived, continuously improved products are involved, maintenance is just continuous construction of new and better releases.

Tracking actual versus planned staffing is a necessary and well-understood management metric. There is one other important management indicator of changes in project momentum: the relationship between attrition and additions. Increases in staff can slow overall project progress as new people consume the productive time of existing people in coming up to speed. Low attrition of good people is a sign of success. Engineers are highly motivated by making progress in getting something to work; this is the recurring theme underlying an efficient iterative development process. If this motivation is not there, good engineers will migrate elsewhere. An increase in unplanned attrition—namely, people leaving a project prematurely—is one of the





Schedule: 10% Schedule: 30% Schedule: 50% Schedule: 10%

Schedule: 10% Schedule: 30% Schedule: 50% Schedule: 10%

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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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