Domain processes are the interrelated activities specific to the functioning of the organization for which a software project is developed. The measure of quality for a software project is based on how well the software solves specific domain-related problems. For the software customer, the view is from his business domain, not that of a computer scientist or software engineer. To deliver quality software, the project manager must understand the domain for which the software solves specific needs.

Domain processes that are common to all organizations are defined criteria for project selection models, project portfolio analysis, and the communication of basic financial ratios for project analysis. Each of these common domain process management activities was discussed in this chapter.

Managing domain processes requires a framing of the software development project within the organization. Figure 5-1 showed how the corporate, product, and project life cycles relate. The corporate business life cycle produces many products. These products are in different life cycle phases at any one point in time. A product life cycle begins after a need has been identified and when project conception has begun. A healthy corporation has many products and a managed number of projects under development. Each product may have one or more than one project in execution at any one time to complete the product family. Projects have a defined start and end point. In the product life cycle, a project begins after feasibility and is executed within the product acquisition phase. The project begins at initiation based on acquisition needs and ends at delivery, when the project deliverables are placed into operation.

A project manager must be able to define criteria for project selection. There will always be more projects than resources to adequately execute those projects. One of the key topics in this chapter is defining those criteria and putting them into a model structure for decision. The ability to analyze a portfolio of projects and select the "best" one based on all known information is a skill that all project managers need to possess. Portfolio management looks at projects from the point of view of a return on investment based on what an organization feels is an effective internal rate of return. This financial view of selecting projects is appropriate for any size of organization in any stage of maturity. It levels projects to a common comparative measure: money.

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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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