Like software development, project planning requires an iterative process. Like software, a plan is an intangible piece of intellectual property to which all the same concepts must be applied. Plans have an engineering stage, during which the plan is developed, and a production stage, when the plan is executed. Plans must evolve as the understanding evolves of the problem space and the solution space. Planning errors are just like product errors: The sooner in the life cycle they are resolved, the less impact they have on project success.
Comprehensive project plans are highly dependent on numerous parameters, any one of which can have a significant impact on the direction of a project. Nevertheless, generic planning advice is sought by every software project manager as a skeleton from which to begin. This chapter is not a plan, a cookbook for a plan, nor a recipe for a plan. It is simply a rough model of a few dimensions, perhaps a starting point for a plan.
▲ Projects can underplan and they can overplan. Once again, balance is paramount in the level of planning detail and the buy-in among stakeholders.
▲ The work breakdown structure is the "architecture" of the project plan. It must encapsulate change and evolve with the appropriate level of detail throughout the life cycle.
▲ Cost and schedule budgets should be estimated using macroanalysis techniques (top-down project level) and microanalysis techniques (bottom-up task level) to achieve predictable results.
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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.