You've got approval and funding. Now it’s time to put together a great plan that will take you from start to finish in an orderly manner. Keep these basics in mind.
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Agile approaches promote development teams comprised of generalizing specialists and seem to ignore the BA role. This begs the question: Do BAs have a role on agile projects? And if so, how do their functions change? This article examines their new role, what changes and what stays the same.
It is critical that business leaders have the ability and courage to mitigate risk up front and actively monitor and act on project risks and performance as early warning signs materialize. Here we look at a framework to help business and project leaders actively, transparently and honestly monitor risk and issues through the entire project lifecycle.
In the world of IT, each project comes with a different set of expectations and requirements that make everyone nervous about estimating cost, time and level of effort. Estimations based on a mature estimation model (function points) are more likely to be successful than projects that are estimated ad hoc, based on expert judgment alone. Function points translate all project functionalities into equivalent efforts. Combined with a well-defined process, they serve as a powerful tool for accurate estimations.
The reality is that projects are continuously failing due to the questionable process being executed to plan how to elicit, gather and document requirements. Many organizations are not spending time to plan for requirements development. Therefore, it begs the question: Is requirements planning a must?
Organizations that see Agile as a way to remove a layer of management are either missing the point or at risk of missing a huge opportunity. Specifically, the role of a software development manager takes on a different and often more important role in an Agile framework.
|A.||Business analysts replace project managers, so once you assign a BA to a project, your work is over. All you will need to do is help referee the conflicts between the BAs and the IT teams.|
|B.||If your business analysts are trained and certified, they’ll know their own roles or can adjust quickly to what you want them to do. The agile IT team should be fairly self-directed. All you need to understand is who does what, present the responsibility chart and stand back ready to support them if needed.|
|C.||Agile teams do not need any supervision or direction over and above their own ScrumMaster, who is 100% devoted to one project at a time. Ask your BAs if they will cross-train as ScrumMasters to maximize the number of projects you can run at any one time.|
|D.||Due to the new strategic and business requirements from PMI, project managers have now been renamed. Just have your newly christened business analysts do what project managers have always done.|
Documentation is very rarely kept up to date often enough—and is usually out of date a few days after it has been approved. When working on a project, out-of-date documentation can be a major issue in executing the project correctly.
Embedded products for automotive applications typically follow a very rigid development process. The details vary from Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM), however, the need for risk mitigation is the same. Development for vehicle systems can be quite costly. Additionally, mistakes can have a heavy impact on quality perception as well as legal ramifications.
There is a need for every functional organization to establish a PMO. This will enable these organizations to streamline their project management processes—and allow projects to align with the overall objectives of the organizations.