Applied software project management
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Applied Software Project Management. Managing an Outsourced Project [ Modified version of Stellman and Greene’s Chapter 9 slides. Adapted for class use only in the CS 709B course at UNR. Slides updated by Rakhi Motwani and Hema Jayaprakash, 2009 ]. What is Outsourcing.

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Applied Software Project Management

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Applied software project management

Applied Software Project Management

Managing an Outsourced Project

[Modified version of Stellman and Greene’s Chapter 9 slides. Adapted for class use only in the CS 709B course at UNR.

Slides updated by Rakhi Motwani and Hema Jayaprakash, 2009]

http://www.stellman-greene.com


What is outsourcing

What is Outsourcing

  • Sub-contracting a project to a third-party

  • May or may not involve some degree of offshoring

    • Offshoring is the transfer of an organizational function to another country, regardless of whether the work is outsourced or stays within the same corporation/company

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Why projects are outsourced

Why Projects are Outsourced

  • Cost savings (and possibly investing increased profits in growing business opportunities)

  • Focus on core business

  • Reduce time to market (boost in productivity due to rapid implementation of new strategies and initiatives)

  • Access to a larger talent pool

    • Supplement limited in-house capacity

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Why outsourcing fails

Why Outsourcing Fails?

  • No well-defined processes and governance structures in place

  • Poor project management

  • No metrics for measuring success

    • Most organizations are known to be unwilling to invest time at the outset to adequately plan and execute a project

    • Organizations also wrongly assume they have the internal capabilities to govern an offshore operation

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Why outsourcing fails1

Why Outsourcing Fails?

  • Gartner’s Report:

  • Unrealized cost savings

  • Loss of productivity

  • Poor commitment and communications

  • Cultural differences

  • Lack of offshore expertise and readiness

  • Most outsourced projects are:

  • Poorly planned, shoddily implemented & ineffectively managed

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Considerations for deciding to outsource

Considerations for Deciding to Outsource

  • Select the right projects to outsource

  • Select the right vendor

  • Availability of dedicated personnel for project & human resource management oversight

  • Offshoring

  • Manage time zone difference

  • Invest time for understanding the culture

  • Resolve work cultural differences

  • Have clear procedures for both knowledge and process transfer should the outsourcing arrangement not work out

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Prevent project failure

Prevent Project Failure

  • Outsourcers should figure out their IT process maturity. Mature processes have:

  • Standardized methodologies

  • Established mechanisms for managing change

  • Detailed service-level agreements

  • Strong skills in project and portfolio management

  • Weakness in these areas can translate into poor results from outsourcing projects

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Applied software project management

  • Don’t be a hands-off client (Get involved)

    • Get involved in the day-to-day management of the individual team members and their tasks

    • Do not leave all of the decisions up to the vendor

    • Do not assume that it's the vendor's responsibility to fix every problem that comes up in a way

    • "I'm paying the bills, and the vendor will lose my business if they don't get this right, so they have to take care of everything!“

    • No SRS document is complete. The vendor does not have enough information to build the software properly

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Applied software project management

  • Constantly communicate project goals

    • Adequately communicate your needs and goals to the vendor

    • Integrate the outsourced team with your organization to provide context

    • Keep the team members on track; make sure they understand your organization's needs, and that the tasks they are performing are in line with organization’s goals

    • Have daily discussions with the team

    • Spot check work from selected team members to make sure you are getting what you think you are asking for

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Applied software project management

  • Estimate the work

    • Make sure the project is estimated well

    • “The further away you get from a task, the easier it seems; the devil is usually in the details”

    • Unrealistic estimates cause projects to fail

    • Vendors tend to promise things they can't deliver

    • Meet with the vendor's project team and hold your own estimation sessions, once the project team is assembled

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Management issues

Management Issues

  • Actively manage the project

    • Set up a communications plan with the team lead at the vendor

    • Know all your team members

    • Collect the daily status of the project (nightly build reports, unit test results, track the lines of code produced on a daily or weekly basis, access the defect tracking system)

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Senior management own

Senior Management (own)

  • Keep them in the loop

    • Senior managers may or may not have a realistic view of outsourced projects

    • Make sure your organization's managers understand what it is that you and your outsourced team are accomplishing, and how you are dealing with them on a day-to-day basis

    • You will need them to support you in case you make any controversial decisions, if you need further funding, or when you need their approval

    • Provide status reports to them, encourage them to visit with the vendor

http://www.stellman-greene.com


The vendor s management

The Vendor’s Management

  • Build a relationship with the vendor’s management

    • Know who to approach when things go wrong

    • Establish trust both ways

    • The vendor should understand your goals

    • Don’t allow the vendor’s escalation process to interfere with the project (this “escalation” process is usually positive for the vendor, but it might work against you)

    • Make sure the management at the vendor recognizes and rewards good work

    • Security and intellectual policies at the client side might need to be modified as well

http://www.stellman-greene.com


The project team

The Project Team

  • Build a relationship with the team

    • A project manager doesn’t have the same kind of relationship with the team that he/she would with a team in his own organization

    • Understand the needs of each team member; the project manager is the team's only resource for gathering the information

    • Keep the team motivated

    • Gain credibility by making good decisions

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Collaborate with the vendor

Collaborate with the Vendor

  • Tools and techniques for the project phase should be modified

  • Plan and manage the project scope

    • The project starts either with

      • A scope and a budget, or

      • A scope and a deadline

        (as opposed to an in-house project, which starts with a scope and set of known resources, from which schedule, budget and due date are estimated)

    • Plan for knowledge transfer

      • Done through meetings, documentation, working off-site at the vendor, bringing consultants on-site

      • Vendor team on-site is less disruptive but has disadvantages

http://www.stellman-greene.com


Plan and manage the project s scope

Plan and Manage the Project’s Scope

  • Going directly to meet the team helps communicate your needs effectively

  • Knowledge transfer should be covered in the scope and vision document

  • Include the vendor as project stakeholder

  • Recognize that success for the project manager and success for the vendor are often two different things

  • http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Do your own estimation

    Do your own estimation

    • Learn about your resources and create a team

    • Follow one of the estimation methods for the in-house project

    • Renegotiate the contract or add more resources to meet the deadline

    • Better to know at the beginning at the project

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Maintain your project schedule

    Maintain your project schedule

    • Can’t understand the complexities with status meetings

    • Don’t depend on the vendor to maintain the project plan and project schedule

      • When a project manager is responsible for the project, he/she must keep track of its status

      • Know who is doing what and how far they have progressed

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Hold reviews and inspections

    Hold reviews and inspections

    • Identify and fix defects

    • Inspections as milestones in the project schedule

    • Discussion groups, mailing lists, log messages from the version control system

    • No inspection meeting required

    • Deskcheck to spot check the work

    • Mentor the team from the vendor

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Applied software project management

    Hold Reviews and Inspections

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Design and programming

    Design and Programming

    • Don’t delegate the entire design and programming of the project to the vendor

      • Establish design constraints early on

      • If possible, design the software in-house, or in collaboration with the vendor

      • Monitor the code base using code reviews and project automation

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Software quality

    Software Quality

    • Take responsibility for the quality of the software

      • Quality is not just another deliverable that can be bought and paid for

      • Include testing in the scope document and if possible in the contract

      • Don’t make decisions that undercut the QA team

      • Ensure that adequate time and budget is allocated for test planning and execution

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Don t blindly trust the vendor

    Don’t Blindly Trust the Vendor

    • Even though individual team members may have certifications or degrees, it doesn’t mean that they are competent

    • Just because the vendor’s organization is certified, that doesn’t guarantee that they know better than you do how to run your project

    • Don’t be intimidated by the vendor’s pedigree. If something on the project looks wrong, it probably is!

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


    Building an effective vendor management organization

    Building an Effective Vendor Management Organization

    http://www.stellman-greene.com


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