Friday, April 18, 2008

All about Delivery Management of software projects

Let's assume that you have talented software developers with the skills needed to develop your product. The answer may not be "agile " vs. "waterfall" development -- some experts like one, and some like another method. Organization maturity, clear project definition and repeatable project management processes often have much greater impacts on product delivery success. First, you need to know the maturity of the organization for which you will build the software. I refer you to Geoffrey Moore's Technology Adoption Life Cycle and the Software Engineering Institute to learn more about these topics. You can also find articles on my website. Second, while experts differ on the best software development method, most would agree that successful projects share many characteristics: - project is approved and funded (often overlooked!) - project has a business (management) sponsor - project has an IT sponsor - project has clear objectives - requirements are clearly written - requirements are traced throughout the project life cycle - key stakeholders are involved, and kept involved, throughout the project life cycle e.g., business, operations, subject matter experts, software end-users, etc. - project plan is defined and adjusted as needed (see change management below) - responsibilities are clearly defined - people are held accountable for certain activities and deliverables - project documentation is prepared, e.g., business case, project plan, requirements, design, configuration, data migration, integration, communication plan, business processes, training plan, "as built" specifications, maintenance and support plan, user documentation, help, etc. - project has a change management plan to avoid "scope creep" - project has a change budget to handle agreed-upon scope changes - project risks and contingencies are defined - communication and training occur at various steps of the project life cycle

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