People, Process, and Predicting Project Success

I’ve been thinking a lot about the comments people made on the Best Practices Don’t Predict Project Success post. (Thank you for your comments.) Here’s my experience. Great people, people with sufficient functional skills and domain expertise can trump process, good or bad. Good process, process appropriate for the context, will help those people. But great people …

Future Fixes

With a little common sense and some dependable metrics, you can banish the “bug bucket” and keep the dreaded rework monster under control by creating a reasonable prediction of your project’s end. A reader recently asked me, “When planning a project phase, how do you account for the bugs that you know will be created? …

Showing Project Progress (NOT percent complete)

Last night at my SPIN talk someone came up to me at the end of the talk. I’d discussed earned value and inch-pebbles in my talk but hadn’t specifically discussed how to avoid the dreaded “percent complete” reporting problem to management. The percent complete problem occurs when you have to report progress to management as …

Language (and Language Environment) Influences Process

  I was extremely fortunate in my choice of companies and work early in my career. I developed in assembly language and microcode and Fortran for a few years. Then, I moved to object oriented languages, primarily at Symbolics, using LISP. At Symbolics (I left in 1990), we practiced incremental development, iterative planning, and some …

Choose an Appropriate Project Lifecycle

  Earlier this week, I was at SPC teaching about project requirements and project management. If you haven’t thought about lifecycles, consider the differences between these kinds of lifecycles: Linear: Waterfall and waterfall with feedback Iterative: Spiral, where the whole product is up for grabs each time Incremental: Where you add to the product in …

Iterative Software Project Planning and Tracking

Project management can be described as the activity of bringing all participants from within a department to successfully complete a product deliverable. Iterative planning and tracking are techniques used by some project managers to avoid having to choose between reducing the number of features or extending the schedule. Abstract Project management can be described as …