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The 4 Secrets of Project Success. By Carl Breunlin Director Project Office Software Architects, Inc. 602.776.9555.

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By Carl Breunlin Director Project Office Software Architects, Inc.

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By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

The 4 Secrets of Project Success

By Carl BreunlinDirector Project OfficeSoftware Architects, Inc.

602.776.9555

Chicago l Cincinnati l Columbus l Dallas l Denver l Fort Lauderdale l Houston l Indianapolis l Phoenix l Tallahassee l Tampa l www.sark.com


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Premise:What you do before a project starts significantly influences the success or failure of your effort.


With that said there are 4 secrets to project success and they are easy to implement

With that said, there are 4 secrets to project success AndThey are easy to implement

  • Focus on Feasible

  • Get the Numbers Right

  • Never Second Guess the Estimate

  • Don’t Loose Control


Focus on feasibility

Focus On Feasibility

FACT:

You can’t determine feasibility until you know the details of a project.

Based on the details you can determine:

Technical feasibility

Financial feasibility

Schedule feasibility

Organizational feasibility


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

The Easiest Way to Get the Details is to Write a System Description

System Description - Table of Contents

1.0 System overview

2.0 Current system definition

3.0 New system definition

4.0 Impacts of the new system (organizationally, financially, etc.)

5.0 Advantages and disadvantages of new system

6.0 Notes

SARK recommends writing a System Description as a first step in project planning.


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Technical Feasibility

Is the network OK?

Do we have enough processing power?

Are we pushing the state of the art?

Will performance be an issue?

Are there technical limitations?

Has this been done before?

System Description Table of Contents

1.0 System overview

2.0 Current system definition

3.0 New system definition

4.0 Impacts of the new system (organizationally, financially, etc.)

5.0 Advantages and disadvantages of new system

6.0 Notes


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Financial Feasibility

Is the total budget adequate?

Is the budget per period adequate?

What is the ROI?

When is Break Even?

Are there hidden costs?

What are the intangible benefits

What is the TCO?

System Description Table of Contents

1.0 System overview

2.0 Current system definition

3.0 New system definition

4.0 Impacts of the new system (organizationally, financially, etc.)

5.0 Advantages and disadvantages of new system

6.0 Notes


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Schedule Feasibility

What is the drop dead date?

Can the project be completed by then?

When do major milestones need to be completed?

Can they be completed on time?

What happens if the project is late?

System Description Table of Contents

1.0 System overview

2.0 Current system definition

3.0 New system definition

4.0 Impacts of the new system (organizationally, financially, etc.)

5.0 Advantages and disadvantages of new system

6.0 Notes


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Organizational Feasibility

Does the IT team have the experience for a project of this size?

Do we have a world-class Project Manager?

Do we have experience with this technology?

How will the new system impact the organization?

What impacts are there to vendors/partners, etc.?

How much training is required?

System Description Table of Contents

1.0 System overview

2.0 Current system definition

3.0 New system definition

4.0 Impacts of the new system (organizationally, financially, etc.)

5.0 Advantages and disadvantages of new system

6.0 Notes


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

System Description Table of Contents

1.0 System overview

2.0 Current system definition

3.0 New system definition

4.0 Impacts of the new system (organizationally, financially, etc.)

5.0 Advantages and disadvantages of new system

6.0 Notes

Once feasibility analysis is complete, it is easy to put together a plan for any item not feasible or marginally feasible

Feasibility Analysis

Technical

Financial

Schedule

Organizational

“To be successful we need to hire a world class project manager by June who has these skills…..”

Feasibility is the cornerstone of early project planning.


If feasible the next step is to get the numbers right

If Feasible, the Next Step is to Get the Numbers Right

If the estimate is wrong, 9 times out of 10 the project is doomed.

SARK has developed a world class approach to estimating that is:

Totally transparent

Extremely accurate

Ties the estimate directly to what users want

Is the basis for cost and schedule control


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Before we discuss estimating, a few thoughts:

You have to spend time up front getting requirements

Only after you have requirements can you create an accurate estimate

The better the requirements, the better the estimate

Analysis is becoming a larger percent of total development time!


Suppose you collected these requirements and grouped them as follows

Suppose You Collected These Requirements and Grouped Them As Follows

Requirement

Design Element

Shall be able to view general ledger entries in multiple currencies

Shall allow viewing of general ledger entries by invoice

Shall be able to select consumer accounts

Shall be able to select business accounts

Shall be able to create source codes

Shall be able to modify source codes

Shall be able to perform product catalog entry

Shall be able to perform product catalog changes

Accounting

Order Entry

Marketing

Fulfillment


It would then be straightforward to create an accurate estimate as follow

It Would Then Be Straightforward to Create an Accurate Estimate As Follow:

The project estimate is based on determining how long it will take to implement each requirements based on a given life cycle.

For example:

Total effort to implement this requirement: 170 Hrs.


This is how sark creates accurate estimates

Your life cycle

This is How SARK Creates Accurate Estimates

What needs to be built

How much effort is required


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Now that we know about feasibility and estimating, there’s one more project sinking torpedo to address namely second guessing the estimate.


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Imaging the Following Conversation

Estimator/PM/Director Etc. – It’ll take $3M and 18 months to do this project.

Boss/C-Level Somebody – Nope, Nope, Nope… not acceptable. Gotta have it done by year end, and by the way the budget is $1.5M. Period…

Estimator/PM/Director Etc. – (after a long pause) Ok.

Later alone in the office to himself/herself

Estimator/PM/Director Etc. – Never going to happen!!!!! Period….

Later either alone or to some higher level boss

Boss/C-Level Somebody – Boy did I do a good job managing those out of control development costs!!!!

How often does this happen in your organization?


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

This is called

“Second Guessing the Estimate”

The idea is to somehow fit more requirements into the development effort than the budget supports.

IT NEVER WORKS!


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

Instead of Second Guessing - Use SARK’s Approach to Reconcile Wants with Budget

  • First, double check the estimate for accuracy – be careful

  • Next, analyze expensive features – are they worth it?

  • Then prioritize expensive features – or get rid of them

  • If necessary schedule multiple releases – plan a multi-period roll-out to match budget with needs

You can do the same if you use our estimating approach!


By carl breunlin director project office software architects inc

With this approach, your project is much, much more likely to succeed.

But…compromises must be made.

But…that’s better than having the project overrun.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

If the estimate is accurate… and it should be, don’t demand more for less.


Now we can turn our attention to the last secret don t loose control

Now We Can Turn Our Attention to the Last Secret:Don’t Loose Control

  • Control Cost & Schedule

  • Control Changes

  • Control Quality


Controlling cost and schedule

Controlling Cost and Schedule


Controlling changes

Controlling Changes

A rigorous change control process assures that all changes are documented and that the impact of approved changes are reflected in the cost and schedule baseline.


Controlling quality

Controlling Quality

Building quality into your project from day one will significantly contribute to overall project success.


Summary

Summary

The premise of our discussion today is that what you do before a project starts significantly influences the success or failure of your effort.

We have discussed 4 easy to implement strategies to help guarantee that your project completes successfully.


Questions

Questions?

Thank you for your time.

Need More Info? Contact:

Carl Breunlin

[email protected]

602.776.9555

Software Architects Inc. is a full service software consulting firm specializing in custom application development and application integration. Please visit our web site at:

www.sark.com


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