Software Project Planning Level

1. Are estimates (e.g., size, cost, and schedule) documented for use in planning and tracking the software project?

▲ The WBS defines the cost baseline and plan. The business case and software development plan define the schedule baseline and iteration content, as well as the size baseline, from several perspectives. The status assessments provide the tracking mechanism for comparing progress and quality against the baseline plans and adjustments to plans. At lower levels, SCOs document detailed estimates, plans, and actuals.

2. Do the software plans document the activities to be performed and the commitments made for the software project?

▲ The business case and software development plan describe the high-level activities to be performed and are signed off by the software project manager as a commitment. The WBS documents the cost baselines and commitments for all levels of management. SCOs also document lower level activities and commitments.

3. Do all affected groups and individuals agree to their commitments related to the software project?

▲ The work breakdown structure (WBS) provides the mechanism for negotiating commitments between the software project manager and subordinate managers. SCOs and the CCB provide a mechanism for negotiating lower level commitments.

4. Does the project follow a written organizational policy for planning a software project?

a Organizational policy should provide the organizational baseline from which projects are planned. The organization's infrastructure should also provide access to precedent experience and default planning benchmarks.

5. Are adequate resources provided for planning the software project (e.g., funding and experienced individuals)?

a The software project manager, who is accountable for the plan, should create it and take ownership in its success. The business case contains the expectations and commitments necessary for the organization to determine the return on investment

(ROI) for the effort. The adequacy of planning resources is not specified by policy. A good target benchmark is that about 10% of a project's effort should be allocated to planning and management activities. While the determination of adequate resources is project-specific, these assessments would come under the scrutiny of the organization's Project Review Authority (PRA) and would be reviewed at each major milestone.

6. Are measurements used to determine the status of the activities for planning the software project (e.g., completion of milestones for the project planning activities as compared to the plan)?

a The progress metrics are specifically designed to provide insight into the critical perspectives of plan versus actuals (development progress, test progress, evaluation criteria passed, scenarios executed, SLOC developed, SCOs closed versus opened, etc.).

7. Does the project manager review the activities for planning the software project on both a periodical and an event-driven basis?

a The status assessments ensure that the software project manager is held accountable for addressing the necessary management indicators and assessing risk periodically. Major milestones and release descriptions provide a similar forcing function for event-driven assessments.

Software Project Tracking and Oversight, Level 2

1. Are the project's actual results (e.g.", schedule, size, and cost) compared with estimates in the software plans?

a Status assessments compare planned results with actual results for progress indicators. The release descriptions compare planned quality indicators (evaluation criteria) with actual results. SCOs also document planned versus actual results for detailed change management.

2. Is corrective action taken when actual results differ significantly from the project's software plans?

a Failed evaluation criteria should be addressed in release descriptions and subsequent iterations. Other deviations from plan are addressed in status assessments, where follow-through is required and tracked.

3. Are changes in the software commitments agreed to by all affected groups and individuals?

a Changes in commitment are negotiated through the evolving WBS, software development plans, and status assessments. Low-level commitments are also addressed by CCBs, tracked on SCOs, and accounted for in release descriptions.

4. Does the project follow a written organizational policy for both tracking and controlling its software development activities?

▲ Organizational policy should define the standard status assessment format for a certain set of topics so that cross-project comparisons are possible.

5. Is someone on the project assigned specific responsibilities for tracking software work products and activities (e.g., effort, schedule, and budget)?

a The software project manager is the responsible individual. Status assessments provide the mechanism for ensuring periodic review and accountability in conjunction with a WBS baseline.

6. Are measurements used to determine the status of the activities for software tracking and oversight (e.g., total effort expended in performing tracking and oversight activities)?

a WBS expenditures and progress metrics provide the mechanism for tracking the status of activities and enable instrumentation and oversight of the entire software effort.

7. Are the activities for software project tracking and oversight reviewed with senior management on a periodic basis (e.g., project performance, open issues, risks, and action items)?

a This is exactly the purpose of the business case (which is updated at life-cycle phase transitions), status assessments, and major milestone reviews.

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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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