Figure Step Identify the Product Domain Type

1. Identity the Product Domain Type

Consumer

Business

Industrial

Real-Time

Really Timely

Scientific

New Hardware/Software Product

X

O

O

O

X

0

Re-engineering Existing Product

O

O

O

0

Component integration

X

X

Heroic Maintenance

Another example product is an enhancement to an existing factory-integration product to take information from past process steps and determine the optimum process for the product through the factory based on past production yield information and customer orders. We can tell immediately that this will be re-engineering an existing product, but some new software also will be developed. This product may touch four of the product domain classes: business, industrial, real-time, and scientific. Business could be touched because of accessing historic information on production yields. Industrial and real-time apply because it will be operating on factory automation equipment. The scientific piece comes in with the optimization algorithms necessary for determining the best individual product flow through the factory. This example is represented in the matrix with an O in the relevant cell.

The third part of defining the process domain is the product component classes. This set of classes is also viewed from the perspective of the end-user. There are six members of the class, and the key question to ask is, "What does the customer expect to have delivered?" The software development project manager must discover whether the end-user has a product expectation. Six product component classes exist:

1.

Software

2.

Hardware

3.

People

4.

Database

5.

Documentation

6.

Procedures

If a project is to develop a "pure" software product, the end-user has an expectation that he will get an installation set of media or an access key to a remote site to download the product. This is the way most consumer software is purchased—the only items received are the media or a digital file.

Many products are turnkey: The developed software is hosted on hardware. Buying a cellular phone usually dictates the software running within the hardware. Although the software is a critical system component, the customer purchases the hardware.

People are a critical part of many software products. Enterprise-wide software systems used for financial management, factory control, and product development may require consulting services to be "purchased" along with the software to aid in product installation, integration, and adoption into a specific environment.

Database products, although most definitely software, are separated as a distinct class because of the expectations that accompany the purchase of this class of complex software. A database product is usually purchased as a separate, general-purpose tool kit to be used as an adjunct to all of a company's other information systems. More "software" products are delivered with an embedded database package within the product. It is important for the customer to realize that he is purchasing not only the "new" software, but also a database product.

Documentation is almost always a part of the product. In some cases, it may be books and manuals purchased as a "shrink-wrapped," off-the-shelf software product. Many complex enterprise software products have third-party authors writing usage and tips books sold through commercial bookstores. If downloaded, the digital files may include a "readme" file and possibly complete soft copy documentation. Acquiring software from some sources such as SourceForge (www.SourceForge.com) may provide no documentation other that the software's source

Procedures or business rules are a final component class. In situations in which the customer is buying systems and software used for decision support, equipment control, and component integration, it is important for the customer to understand the procedure deliverables. Usually the custom development of the business rules for an organization are done by either the organization itself or consultants hired from the software company. This can be a very gray area, and it is important that the project manager understand all of the project deliverables early in the development life cycle, especially those that can cause customer dissatisfaction and demonstrate a lack of quality.

Now that the third set of domain classes has been defined, the project manager can fill out the last two matrices. The next one to complete is the identification of the critical product components, shown in Figure 5-4. This matrix is a table of the product component classes matched with the classes of product systems. This matrix provides us with the deliverables for the defined product based on whether it is new software, re-engineered software, a component integration product, or the heroic maintenance of a legacy product within the company's portfolio. Remember, the Web example is the X and the factory integration is the O.

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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