Key Chapter Points

Process defines our level of quality. Without having a defined process, there is nothing to manage against. Process and quality are not free. There is a cost in establishing a managed, repeatable process. As project managers, we must continue to ask ourselves, "Why is quality important?" and "What is our optimum level of quality?" What is "good enough"? As shown in Box 3?2, 99.9% sounds like a really high quality rating, but when human life or health is at stake, it may not be good enough.

The Software Project Managers Network fr/ww.spmn.com) has developed a list of 16 best practices. These are the management and technical practices with the highest return on investment (ROI) in developing and sustaining large-scale software-intensive systems, as ranked by the U.S. Department of Defense:

1. Formal risk management

2. Empirical cost and schedule estimation

3. Metrics-based project management

4. Earned value tracking

5. Defect tracking against quality targets

6. People-aware program management

7. Configuration management

8. End-to-end requirements tracing

9. System-architecture-based software design

10. Data and database interoperability

11. Formal definition and control of interfaces

12. Visible and inspectable design

13. Cost-justified and quality-justified reuse

14. Formal inspections

15. Managing tests as assets

16. Frequent compile and smoke testing

These 16 best practices are addressed in chapters of this practitioner's guide. This chapter looks at how all of them are integrated into the management of a process.

Box 3-

-2 What Is "Good Enough"?

If 99.9% Were "Good Enough"

27,800 pieces of mail would be lost each hour.^

We would experience 1 hour of unsafe drinking water each month.

3,000,000 incorrect drug prescriptions would be filled each yearP^

9,703 checks would be deducted from the wrong bank accounts each hour^

Doctors would drop 370 newborn babies at birth every da/r^

8,605 commercial aircraft takeoffs would annually result in crashes^1

www.usps.com/historv/anrptOO/index1 .htm. "Every day, we handle 668 million pieces of mail." www.nacds.org/user-documents/2001 proiections.PDF. 3 billion projected for all of 2001.

www.calacreek.com/consumer/banking/chkfraud.html. "ACA estimates that in the year 2000, 85 billion checks will be processed..."

Mwww.prb.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Other reports/2000-2002/sheet1 .html. www.bts.gov/publications/airactstats/AAS 1999.pdf.

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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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