Romtech Project Management


What is decisive in the success or failure of a project?

Categories: Development project

If I had to choose, among the keys that determine the success (or failure) of a project, the one on which there is the most consensus of the impact it has, I would doubtless venture to say that this would be the role played by people". To a greater or lesser extent, virtually everyone who has studied the success or failure of a project has highlighted the role that people, the development team, play in it. Concluding, on most occasions, with which people are the most determining factor.

As Glass said, do not forget that people are the ones who make a software development project. Tools help, techniques as well, processes, etc. But above all this are people. "People are the key to success," Davis said in his brilliant book. The human team, as Cockburn said, is the first-order non-linear component in software development. 

McConnell said that people have the most potential to cut down on project time, and that those who have done software work" have noticed the huge differences in the results they produce between average, mediocre and cool developers. 

After analyzing 69 projects Boehm found that the best teams of developers were up to 4 times more productive than the worst. DeMarco and Lister, in their Peopleware, identify productivity differences of 5.6 to 1, drawn from a study of 166 professionals from 18 organizations. At NASA **, they observed differences of up to 3 to 1 in productivity between their different projects. And even long before, in 74, there were already studies * that had observed differences of 2.6 to 1 in teams when carrying out the same tasks of development.

But although for some this is very clear, this is not always the case in all projects. I remember that years ago I worked in a company that developed software products ... in which they did not think exactly that way. There it was thought that the developers were not the most determinant, they were "pieces" interchangeable. That the determinant was the commercial part and the functional one, the technicians were a "commodity". Hence, much of the technical team did not have the profile, qualification and studies to develop the software that was entrusted to them, by the way, a fairly large application. The project managers, and technical directors, had never studied a technical career. The funny thing was that, although everyone saw the big problems of software quality and project management, no one seemed to see the main cause of them.

People who participate in software development, are not like workers in an assembly line. They are not so easily interchangeable, and the work is not as repeatable as in these other works. Even more so if you have not implemented real software quality (not just a certification).

Bibliographic references


  • Weinberg, Gerald M., and Edward L. Schulman. 1974. "Goals and Performance in Computer Programming." Human Factors, vol. 16, no. 1 (February): 70-77.


  • Jon D. Valett, Frank E. McGarry: A summary of software measurement experiences in the Software Engineering Laboratory. Journal of Systems and Software 9 (2): 137-148 (1989).


About the author : Alejandro J.Romàn 



Posted on: August 27, 2017 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

That there is different and that there is similar between the PMBOK V6.0 and the standard ISO 21500 - Management of Risks and Acquisitions.

Risk management in the project (Project risk management) :

When we talk about risks we should not only think about negative risks but also about "positive risks" or opportunities that can arise and make our project better than expected. 

The following diagram shows how the risks are identified in the planning phase, they evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively in relation to the probability of occurrence and the impact on the project and, once prioritized by these criteria, a Monitoring Plan - With indicators of occurrence - and a Response Plan for when they occur.

The differences and similarities between ISO 21500 and the PMBOK 6th Edition Guide regarding risk management are as follows: 

Plan project risk management

Process by which it is defined how the activities will be carried out to manage the risks of the project.This process is not included in ISO 21500 although it is considered to be elaborated as part of the Project Management Plan and its Subsidiaries Plans.

Identify the risks

Process by which determine what risks and opportunities can affect the project and document its characteristics.This process does not differ from ISO 21500.

Carry out a qualitative risk analysis

Process by which risks are prioritized by joint evaluation of their likelihood and impact with the objective of identifying those that will require a more detailed analysis.
ISO 21500 includes the process "Evaluate risks" whose objective is to measure and prioritize the risks identified. Therefore, it would collect the objectives and contents of the processes "Perform the qualitative analysis of risks" and "Perform the quantitative analysis" of risks of PMBOK 6th Edition.

Conduct quantitative risk analysis

Process by which the numerical impact of the effect of the risks identified as most relevant in the objectives of the project is analyzed.As indicated ISO 21500, the objectives and contents of the processes "Conduct the qualitative risk analysis" and "Conduct the quantitative analysis" of PMBOK 6th Edition risks are included in the process "Evaluate risks".

Plan the response to risks

Process through which options are studied and actions are defined to increase the probability and impact of opportunities and reduce the probability and impact of risks.

Implement the response to risks

Process by which defined response plans are implemented.The process "Treat the risks" of ISO 21500 reflects the objectives and contents of the process "Implement the response to risks" of PMBOK 6th Edition without significant differences.

Monitor risks

Process by which risk response plans are implemented, identified and residual risks are monitored, new risks are identified and the effectiveness of risk management during the life of the project is evaluated.The process Control risks of ISO 21500 includes the objectives and contents that the process of the same name of PMBOK 6th Edition.

Project Procurement Management (Project Procurement Management)

These processes define the procurement procedures of products, services, materials, equipment to vendors, contractors, consultants, suppliers ... of the services and elements that the project team will not do. In these processes the project manager assumes the position of buyer, unlike the case of the general project in which he is a salesman for a client.

The differences and similarities between ISO 21500 and the PMBOK 6th Edition Guide in terms of procurement management are as follows: 

Plan acquisition management

Process by which project purchasing decisions are documented by specifying the method and identifying potential suppliers.The "Procurement Planning" process of ISO 21500 includes the same objectives and contents.


Process by which the responses of potential suppliers are obtained, the supplier is selected and the contract is signed.The process Select suppliers of ISO 21500 includes the same objectives and contents as the process "Acquisitions" of PMBOK 6th Edition.

Control acquisitions

Process by which the relationships of the procurement contract are managed, the performance of the contract is monitored and changes and corrections are made if necessary.The process "Manage acquisitions" of ISO 21500 includes the same objectives and contents as the process Control the acquisitions of PMBOK 6th Edition.

About the Author : Alejandro J.Romàn 





Posted on: August 09, 2017 07:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

This is the project that excavated a tunnel to 12 kilometers below the Río de la Plata (II)

A 40-meter-deep well opens up meters from the coast, in the Dock Sud port. Next to it, a tunnel is ready to go down and begin its mission: to excavate a conduit of 12 km under the River Plate.If everything goes well, by 2021 this emissary will enter the treated sewage effluents of the City and part of the GBA. It will be one of the key pieces of the Riachuelo System, next to a treatment plant and a new 11 km sewer, the first to be done in 60 years. 

These three foundational works, which are in charge of AySA, will allow sewers to more than 5 million people and prevent the waste to reach the Riachuelo through rainwater and streams. The works, already underway, involve 40 km of tunnels. "It is the largest project of its kind that is being financed by the World Bank," AySA President José Luis Inglese is proud to say that US $ 1.2 billion will be invested in financing the project and the national state. The Riachuelo System will transport and treat 2,300,000 m3 of sewage per day of the City, San Fernando, San Isidro and La Matanza, at a rate of 27 m3 per second.

"This will allow to incorporate to 4.3 million inhabitants of the left margin of the Riachuelo to the network of sewers", anticipates Pablo Bereciartúa, undersecretary of Water Resources of the Nation. At the moment, the porteño wastes are transported to a treatment plant in Berazategui through three saturated maximum sewers, two of which date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and another from 1946. The project in progress consists of transferring them to a new plant and to the emissary to be done in Dock Sud. This will relieve the Berazategui System and in turn will give sewage to 1.5 million users of the south of the GBA.

The Riachuelo System consists of three works. One is to build a fourth sewer of 11 km, the Margen Izquierda (CMI), which in addition to transporting effluents will intercept the "flows in dry weather". This technical euphemism refers to the waste that now reaches pluviales and arroyos through clandestine connections or by faults in the network of sewers. Capturing them will prevent them from ending up in the Riachuelo and progress will be made in complying with the order to sanitize the watershed dictated by the Supreme Court.

The first tunnel runs under Cruz avenue between Avenida General Paz and Larrazábal and was completed in January with a tunneling pipe jacking, which as it pushed forward prefabricated pipes. 

The first section of the CMI, 0.8 meters in diameter and 1.6 km, runs under Cruz avenue, between General Paz and Larrazábal. Its construction lasted seven months and ended in January. It was made with a "pipe jacking" tunnel, which as it advanced pushed prefabricated pipes. The second section, 3.2 meters in diameter and 9.5 km long, will reach Vieytes and Benito Quinquela Martín, in Barracas.The tunnel to do so came from Germany on February 24. It is 115 meters long and is TBM type: it digs with a cutting wheel and advances 1.40 meters. At the same time, it arms a ring with five concrete vents. The rings form the pipe.

The project includes another 18 km of complementary tunnels and the 5,000-km Baja Costanera catchment, which will cross the Riachuelo and carry the CMI flow to the Dock Sud pre-treatment plant. Construction of the latter forms part of a Second contract, running from June 2016. The cloacal liquids already treated will be released in the Rio de la Plata. And for this there is a third work in progress, the one of the emissary that will penetrate them 12 km in the river, passing underneath the channels of navigation. The excavation tunnel, made in China by the German firm Herrenknecht and also TBM, has just arrived in Dock Sud. "Its total length, including its support train, is 240 meters.

As it has to make a tunnel of 4.3 meters in diameter, its cutting wheel has 5.1 meters ", counts the engineer Marcela Alvarez, in charge of the direction of great works of infrastructure of AySA.

The well that will enter the tunnel, 40 meters, is ready and coated in concrete. Two divers with cameras work submerged in cleaning tasks. Its function is to leave everything ready to assemble a concrete plug at the bottom of the well, which in the future will also be the loading chamber of the emissary. On the surface, they follow their movements through a monitor installed in a container that serves as an office.

"The emissary will start at 40 meters deep and will end at 34 meters," says Alvarez. "It will have a transport section of 10.5 km and a diffusion of 1.5 km. The latter will have 31 diffusers that will throw the treated liquid over the surface of the river, to facilitate its mixing with water. If the deadlines are met, the system will be completed on March 31, 2021. By then, there will be a substantial improvement in the water quality of the Riachuelo.

About the Author : Alejandro J.Romàn 

Posted on: July 28, 2017 07:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

This is the project that excavated a tunnel to 12 kilometers below the Río de la Plata (I)

"Batch 3 tunneling project for the project Matanza-Riachuelo System of the company Aysa.."

President Mauricio Macri participated this morning in the implementation of the tunnel that will build the 12 km submarine outfall of the Dock Sud sewage plant in the municipality of Avellaneda, which is part of the Matanza-Riachuelo System, one of the Bigger works of the last 60 years in sanitation that will benefit more than 4 million inhabitants.

The work, carried out by Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA) under the Ministry of the Interior, Public Works and Housing, will require five years and will involve the construction of more than 40 kilometers of tunnels that will run along the left bank of Riachuelo to Finished at the Dock Sud effluent treatment plant.

Then, the treated liquids of the City and part of the Metropolitan Area will be sent through an underwater outfall that will enter the river for 12 km. Once in operation, the Riachuelo System will have a treatment capacity of more than 2 million m³ / day and will benefit some 4.3 million inhabitants.

Se pusieron en marcha las obras para el saneamiento de la cuenca Matanza-Riachuelo. Foto: DyN / Presidencia

The tunneling machine has a total length of 220 meters, including all the support trains that allow the process to provide the necessary logistics. It was specially made for this project and arrived on site in March 2017.

This machine produces advances of excavation with controlled front and simultaneous placement of prefabricated segments, these being the elements that constitute a ring. Each ring comprises 5 segments. The inner diameter of the tunnel is 4300mm, so the diameter of the machine's cutting wheel is approximately 5.10 meters.

The Emissary will consist of a single tunnel and consists of two sections. The transport section, with the objective of entering the pretreated effluent in the Dock Sud Plant in the Rio de la Plata (crossing all the navigation channels and access to the Ports), and the diffusion section in which, through the Called raisers, produces the effluent and its intimate mixture with the water of the river to complete the dilution process, taking advantage of the extraordinary capacity of self-purification of our Rio de la Plata.

About the Author : Alejandro J.Romàn 

Posted on: July 19, 2017 07:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

About the role of the project manager

Projects usually cost a lot of money and have restrictions from minute "0". The Project Manager must be trained to meet all the requirements of any project: Efficiency, Efficiency and Effectiveness.

The role of the project manager:

A good management of projects will achieve the link between all the elements involved in the project, that is, it will achieve that the result converges towards what our client of the project, who finances, the end user or the Stakeholders, for that reason considers It is of crucial importance to transmit the information effectively.

It follows that the project manager as project manager must take into account three fundamental factors:

  • Scope 
  • Time 
  • Cost
  1. These three factors, called "Golden triangle" or triple project restriction, are directly related, that is to say what impacts on scope, it will also be in time and costs and in the same way will be the repercussion in Time on the scope and the cost Or cost over reach and time.
  2. Traditionally the management of projects was limited to consider these three factors, but nowadays, we move to a more extended or expanded version of the golden triangle, that is to say are taken into account others to consider as:
  3. Quality, a factor that takes strength when we undertake not to carry out any type of project, the team is committed to meet specific requirements to achieve an optimal project result.
  4. It should be noted that the definition of quality in projects is only conditional on the fulfillment of the project objectives and not on the judgment of particular value that the project manager considers as "quality".
  5. In this conception will come under consideration such issues as improvement plans and criteria to measure the success or fulfillment of expectations. To achieve this, the project will be audited by external or internal agents who so require.
  6. Communication, human resources and risk management are other factors that enter into the new project order. Regarding the treatment of "Risks" I leave the following contribution of my authorship: Notes to Risk Management: Identification and capture of risks 
  7. An effective communication will optimize the results, the most suitable way to gear the efforts of the project team is that this team is properly informed, what you have, what is needed and where you want to go.
  8. Groups of people are also managed. Which means not only the assignment of responsibilities and positions to be occupied, but also what kind of skills are counted in the team.

As the project progresses, risks are taken seriously..."

  • Which can drive or dynamite a project. We should not consider risks only as isolated and negative events. Risk is also opportunity, there are positive risks. Keep in mind that change is inherent in the project. Therefore the risk must be identified and measured in terms of the impact it represents. And always have a contingency plan for your treatment.
  • Although in the world of project management there are very good practices all different from each other, there are common practices. We can talk about methods and methodologies, we can talk about more or less documentation, but all agree that a project have:
  1. Start of the project
  2. A project planning
  3. A project execution
  4. Monitoring and control of the project
  5. A close of the project 

By way of conclusion

Understand why project management is used. What are the main international standards, which are Agile methodologies and when is the opportune moment for the implementation of project management in a team are some of the issues that a project manager will face during the project life cycle .

About the Author: Alejandro J.Romàn 


Posted on: July 14, 2017 05:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper."

- Robert Frost