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Project Planning
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Project Planning Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Computing Degree Projects Project Planning & Control Chris Casey ( [email_address] ) http:// www.uclan.ac.uk/computing/staff/ccasey/project/index.htm
  • 2. Why Plan?
    • Ensure feasibility
    • Schedule actions
    • Allow monitoring & control
      • Take action when things go wrong
      • Don’t ignore problem symptoms
    • Provide starting point for evaluation
  • 3. Work Breakdown Structure
    • Method for identifying the basic activities
      • Base on project lifecycle or on products
  • 4. Gantt Charts
    • Shows dependencies between activities
    • Shows parallel activities
    • Easy monitoring - can mark progress & elapsed time on diagram
    • Allows determination of the Critical Path
  • 5. Drawing up a plan
    • Define an outline set of requirements
    • Produce a rough system design
      • break down into modules
    • Produce an outline WBS
    • Create an outline Gantt Chart in MS Project
      • Show the dependencies between tasks
    • Estimate the time required for each task
    • Examine all the risk factors & deadlines
    • Adjust Gantt Chart to meet deadlines
  • 6. Estimating
    • Select a suitable unit of time
      • depends on size of project
      • not too course (months) or too fine (days)
    • Estimate work required by either
      • 'Guessing' proportion of time for tasks:
        • calculate duration based on, say, project of 200 hours
      • 'Guessing' duration of tasks:
        • performance on similar tasks
    • Convert working time to elapsed time
      • e.g. 6 hours per week
  • 7. Adjust to real time
    • Resolve conflicts with available time
    • Don't forget the availability of facilities
      • e.g. Christmas Vacation
    • Don't forget your busy times
      • assessment periods
  • 8. Prototyping & Time-boxing
    • Prototyping is necessary
      • To learn about the tools
      • To learn about the problem and possible solutions
      • To ensure you have something working:
        • Incremental development
      • To investigate alternatives
  • 9. Prototyping and Planning
    • Prototype to explore
      • User interface
      • Algorithms/designs
      • Tools
      • Performance
    • Prototyping and Planning
      • Identify major prototypes & their purpose
      • Allocate sensible time to each
  • 10. Timeboxing
    • Identify potential prototype requirements
    • Prioritise requirements
      • (MoSCoW analysis)
    • Identify time limit for the prototype
    • Implement all “Must have” and as many “Should have” as possible in the time box
    • Move to next prototype
  • 11. Risk Analysis
    • Risk Assessment
      • Identify potential problems
        • Classify seriousness and probability
          • watch for the 'job-stoppers'
        • Can use a simple 4 point scale for each & multiply
      • Prioritise
    • Risk Elimination
      • Alter the plan to avoid the risk
        • e.g. change the tools to ensure availability
  • 12. Handling Risk
    • Risk Reduction
      • Reduce the consequences or chance of a risk
        • e.g. don't base all objectives on a risky outcome
        • e.g. allow extra time for complex programming
          • & plan to research appropriate algorithms
    • Risk Management
      • Plan to investigate & to take avoiding action
        • e.g. investigate whether data communication works
      • Plan for problem occurring
        • e.g. send questionnaires early & have alternative
  • 13. Technical Plans
    • How do you know you can do your project?
    • The Technical plan shows
      • you understand the problem
      • you can see ways of solving it
    • Best approach given current knowledge:
      • may turn out to be wrong
    • “Advice to someone starting your project"
  • 14. Technical Plan Contents
    • Lifecycle details
      • what sort of prototyping?
    • Discussion of alternatives:
      • design methods
      • design ideas
      • tools & techniques
      • implementation alternatives
    • Risks
      • what could cause you problems?
      • what are you doing about it
  • 15. Technical Plan Guidance
    • Sufficient information to convince me that
      • the project is appropriately challenging
      • you can handle it
  • 16. Monitoring
    • Milestones
      • significant, specific, measurable events
      • try to have about 1 each fortnight/week
    • Keep a diary
      • To-Do list & ideas for future work
      • Significant problems, solutions, alternatives
      • Choices and reasons
      • Notes of meetings (See Record of Supervision)
      • References to papers & web sites
  • 17. Change control
    • Written record - in diary or in comments
      • changes to objectives
      • changes to specification, design and code
    • Discuss significant changes to objectives with supervisor
  • 18. Advice
    • Don't kid yourself (or your supervisor)
      • sort out problems
    • Prioritise
      • ensure important bits are done
    • Prototyping
      • find the disaster as soon as possible
    • Phased development
      • ensure you have a working system
    • Not everything need be implemented
      • Will get credit for design of extra features
  • 19. More Advice
    • Write up gradually
      • outlines
      • draft
    • Resource availability
      • Christmas closures
      • waiting for inter-library loans
      • supervisor's comments
    • Report printing and binding
      • always takes longer than you think
  • 20. Summary
    • Planning is difficult but sensible
      • Project is much more complex than any assignments
      • Need to be reasonably sure the work is feasible
      • Need to know if you are falling behind
    • Monitoring must be done frequently
      • Discuss problems with your supervisors
    • Evaluate the plan in the project report
      • keep diary of significant events
      • explain problems and remedies