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IS 556 Project Management. On Time On Budget: Chapter 5 - MANAGING SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS Case Study: Ford Motor. David Lash. Objectives. Project Organization Team Organization Types of reporting and why Status Reports Status Meetings Some notes on managing developers.

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IS 556 Project Management

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is 556 project management

IS 556 Project Management


Case Study: Ford Motor

David Lash

  • Project Organization
  • Team Organization
  • Types of reporting and why
  • Status Reports
  • Status Meetings
  • Some notes on managing developers
managing software developers
Managing Software Developers
  • “Average” developer tends to be …
    • highly creative, highly logical.
    • Possessive? Temperamental? Introverted?
  • Sackman Productivity study
      • 25:1 ratio – programming
      • 28:1 ratio – debugging
  • Development methods help reduce ratio
      • Add more organized and systematic processes (documentation, standards, meetings, reviews)
      • 5:1 ratio
  • Organization & social structure can add variance of 25% or more
organizational structure
Organizational Structure
  • Supervise developers VS lead
    • direct vs facilitate
  • The larger the project the more important the structure
  • For small team (<=5) a very basic structure
medium project structure
Medium Project Structure
  • Staff from 5-~20
large projects
Large Projects
  • Staff > ~ 40 Require further decomposition
project issues affecting structure
Project Issues Affecting Structure
  • Project Size - Issues with Communication/coordination
  • Simultaneous Hardware and Software development
  • If software requires more high reliability -> more QA
  • Corporate structures may be centralized
    • Support structure like IT,
    • Secretarial, legal,
    • H/R
matrix organization
Matrix Organization
  • Project manager manages technical project development issues
  • Function manager handles other issues such as salary, reviews, training.
    • Functional managers within project management organization
  • Common in larger organizations
matrix organization advantages
Matrix Organization Advantages
  • Expertise in special fields
    • Rapid development of specialists
    • Assigned to projects as needed
  • Flexibility in assigning people to projects as needed
    • People have functional home as project ends
    • Manager concentrates on technical issues
  • Shared responsibility (and stress) w/ functional areas
  • Can relieve top-management from day-to-day
matrix organization disadvantages
Matrix Organization Disadvantages
  • Weak project management authority
    • No control over salary, promotion
    • Potential for conflicting priorities (function vs project)
    • Susceptible to role ambiguity.
  • Weak loyalty to project manager or team
    • Developers more likely to be loyal to who pays them.
    • More difficult for developers to change area
  • Project decisions can be more difficult
projects are organized by teams
Projects are organized by teams
  • Will look at some types of teams
    • Democratic teams
    • Chief Engineer Teams
    • Expert Teams
project teams
Project teams
  • Projects are best organized into teams
    • At least those ~ >= about 5 developers
  • Advantages
    • Delegation of authority
    • Knowledge of team members tasks
    • Sharing of knowledge
    • Ease of communication within team
    • Identification of contribution
projects are organized by teams1
Projects are organized by teams
  • Democratic Teams
    • No specific leader – but may be one for admin tasks (e.g., coordinating mtgs, communications).
    • Leader might
      • Represents project to team
      • Represents team to project manager
      • Represents team to other functions
    • Ideally decisions made by everyone
chief engineer teams
Chief Engineer Teams
  • Chief Engineer Team leader - coordinator and technical mentor
    • Supervise work of others
    • Technical mentor to others
    • Administrative and coordination
    • Represent Project Manager to team and team to PM
expert teams
Expert Teams
  • Formed as needed – (AKA SWAT Teams)
  • Used to assure quality or solve problems
  • Expert at specific task
  • Expert at communication
  • Often are managed as a democratic team.
most common team structures
Most Common Team Structures

When do we use each? How? What is vital to success of each?

  • Project Organization
  • Team Organization
  • Types of reporting and why
  • Status Reports
  • Status Meetings
  • Some notes on managing developers
  • Types of management reports
    • written reports, verbal reports, status meetings, product demonstrations and even Intranet
  • Support QA and test reports
  • 90/10 rule - takes 50% of the time for last 10%
    • Why?
      • Tacit assumption that “work = new functionality” and work is not fixing small details.
      • Last 10% can be the most complex
    • Better to ask - how much longer until finished
team status report
Team Status Report
  • Suggests status reports from each team member
  • Could include:
    • Red flags
      • Concerns for Manager’s attention
      • Frequently involve resources (personnel) and things needed from client (sign off)
    • Update on activities during period
      • Description of activities on WBS during period
    • Planned activities
      • What plan to do for next period (Includes tasks and administration).
    • Problems
      • Reconcile activities with those planned in previous report
      • Problems are frequently mundane, but shouldn’t sound whiny
  • PM often collect status reports and roll into a master report.
project status meeting
Project Status Meeting
  • Periodic and regular
  • Address issues in team status reports
  • Attended by all key project members
  • Held to report and to resolve issues
basic reporting techniques
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Project status deliverables are separate and apart from other project deliverables
    • Periodic, written status reports
    • Verbal updates
    • E-Mail updates
    • Status meetings
    • Project status meetings
    • Steering Committee updates
    • Timesheets
basic reporting techniques1
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Along with timesheets, the status report is the basic historical document.
  • Status reports should be issued . . .
    • From team members to team leaders
    • From project managers to project sponsors and stakeholders.
  • Status reports are summaries, not detailed diaries.
    • Usually 1-2 pages.
    • Provide early warnings of potential issues or problems between the team and team/project leadership.
    • Real problems shouldn’t be buried in status reports.
    • Any red flagged item should have been previously disclosed.
  • Significant changes in project status require:
    • advance notice, as soon as the information is known.
    • a personal visit to verbally update the key sponsor(s).
  • Reading about a major delay in a status report or finding out about a significant issue for the first time at a steering committee meeting is not acceptable.
basic reporting techniques2
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Periodic, written status reports should contain:
    • Accomplishments
    • Planned Activities
    • Problems and general issues, including resource constraints
    • Red flags
  • The periodic, written status report should contain:
    • Date prepared
    • Date covered
    • Name of submitter
    • Project name (team name)
  • If the status report is written by the project manager to management . . .
    • budget and schedule variances must be discussed.
basic reporting techniques3
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Another form of status report is the stoplight report.
    • A summary style report for reporting to top management.
    • Uses traffic lights to indicate current status.

Stop Light Report For Release 1.23

basic reporting techniques4
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • The stoplight report approach can also be used in conjunction with key performance indicators (KPIs) to present a balanced scorecard for to management for the project.
  • Might include
      • List of tasks completed
      • Defect statistics
      • Top 10 Risk List
      • Percent of schedule used
      • Percent of resources used
basic reporting techniques5
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Periodic written status reports
    • Adopt and use a consistent format for all team members
    • Publish weekly or bi-weekly.
  • Page 108 (OTWB) has sample report. (next slide)
basic reporting techniques6
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Timesheets
    • Organize the project in such a way that significant development events are tracked and reported.
    • There are differing schools of thought about the method and the extent of the details in capturing time worked against a project.
    • If you want to improve your estimating accuracy for future projects, you’ll be wise to keep good records of time spent.
basic reporting techniques7
Basic Reporting Techniques
  • Capture all time.
    • Develop activity codes and report what was done.
    • Capture time to the work breakdown structure (WBS).
    • Capture time to the work product or deliverable.
    • Page 108/109 (SPSG) has sample time codes.
example time codes
Example Time Codes

Page 108/109 (SPSG) has sample time codes.

status meetings
Status Meetings
  • Meetings . . .
    • The event we love to hate in the business world.
    • Biggest complaint - they are too long.
    • Usually wander off the subject.
    • Usually don’t start on time.
  • What to do:
    • Hold fewer formal meetings.
    • Make these meetings shorter.
    • Have a prepared, formal agenda or format and stick to it for every meeting.
    • The project manager is the meeting leader/facilitator.
    • Appoint another team member as the scribe to record the notes of the meeting.
    • Rotate the scribe function if possible.
      • However, if someone takes good notes and doesn’t mind, stay with that person.
status meetings1
Status Meetings
  • A typical status meeting:
    • Coverage of outstanding issues or questions from last meeting.
    • Project progress since last meeting.
      • Review the project schedule.
      • Review the project budget.
    • New issues or developments.
      • Review the issues list.
        • Resolve issues or approve resources for further investigation.
      • Review the changes list.
        • Approve, reject or defer action on changes.
status meetings2
Status Meetings
  • A typical status meeting (continued):
    • Potential problems,focused on
      • Deliverables (Scope Reductions and Delays)
      • Estimates (Plan versus Actual Comparisons)
      • Resources and Constraints
        • (Plan versus Actual)
      • Personnel Changes and Issues
        • (Turnover, Absences)
        • Overtime Worked
      • Schedules
        • Affect on Deliverables
        • Affect on External Events, such as production and training schedules
status meetings3
Status Meetings
  • How to keep meetings shorter:
    • Encourage frequent, informal or working meetings between team members.
    • There is a difference between idle conversations and informal meetings.
    • The project manager or team leader should:
      • Insist on both an agenda for and notes from informal or working meetings.
      • These can be e-mail updates to the participating parties with copies to the team and project leaders.
status meetings4
Status Meetings
  • Meeting books:
    • The meeting agenda and supporting documents that will be discussed should be in the hands of attendees at least 24 hours prior to a scheduled meeting.
    • Attendees need to review these and should be prepared to ask questions or discuss them.
    • Reading at a meeting is counterproductive.
  • Meeting minutes:
    • Publish as soon as practical after the meeting concludes.
how to report
How to Report
  • Project Intranets
    • (department to department)
  • Project Extranets
    • (consultant to client)
  • What are they:
    • Web sites containing all documentation and deliverables related to the project.
using web sites
Using Web Sites
  • Web Sites or “Project Portals” are a great way to manage the project management related deliverables and other project work products.
  • Many of the latest versions of Project Management tools include collaboration and web scheduling pieces.
  • Most importantly:
    • Don’t rely exclusively on or hide behind the project’s web site.
      • Project management remains largely a person to person activity.
example software project intranet
Example software project intranet

There are no secrets on a successful software project. Both good and bad news must be able to move up and down the project hierarchy without restriction. – SPSG – Pg 93.

motivating developers
Motivating Developers
  • Software development is an analytic but creative task
    • Analytic/creative types are sensitive and often cynical
  • If a project manager is too controlling can often be problematic
    • If not detailed enough can be problematic
    • If not egoless (humility) enough can be problematic.
    • Management by edict seldom works.
  • Your personal style, sense of humility, attention to detail and own emotional stability may
    • Be more important to you and your project’s success (then getting an A++++ in IS556).
  • Project Organization
  • Team Organization
  • Types of reporting and why
  • Status Reports
  • Status Meetings
  • Some notes on managing developers