Computing Degree Projects Project Planning & Control Chris Casey ( [email_address] ) http:// www.uclan.ac.uk/computing/sta...
Why Plan? <ul><li>Ensure feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule actions </li></ul><ul><li>Allow monitoring & control </li>...
Work Breakdown Structure <ul><li>Method for identifying the basic activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Base on project lifecyc...
Gantt Charts <ul><li>Shows dependencies between activities </li></ul><ul><li>Shows parallel activities </li></ul><ul><li>E...
Drawing up a plan <ul><li>Define an outline set of requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Produce a rough system design </li></ul>...
Estimating <ul><li>Select a suitable unit of time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>depends on size of project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul>...
Adjust to real time <ul><li>Resolve conflicts with available time </li></ul><ul><li>Don't forget the availability of facil...
Prototyping & Time-boxing <ul><li>Prototyping is necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To learn about the tools </li></ul></ul><...
Prototyping and Planning  <ul><li>Prototype to explore </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alg...
Timeboxing <ul><li>Identify potential prototype requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritise requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Risk Analysis <ul><li>Risk Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify potential problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cla...
Handling Risk <ul><li>Risk Reduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the consequences or chance of a risk </li></ul></ul><ul>...
Technical Plans <ul><li>How do you know you can do your project? </li></ul><ul><li>The Technical plan shows </li></ul><ul>...
Technical Plan Contents <ul><li>Lifecycle details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what sort of prototyping? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>D...
Technical Plan Guidance <ul><li>Sufficient information to convince me that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the project is appropriat...
Monitoring <ul><li>Milestones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>significant, specific, measurable events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tr...
Change control <ul><li>Written record - in diary or in comments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>changes to objectives </li></ul></ul...
Advice <ul><li>Don't kid yourself (or your supervisor) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sort out problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prio...
More Advice <ul><li>Write up gradually </li></ul><ul><ul><li>outlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>draft </li></ul></ul><ul>...
Summary <ul><li>Planning is difficult but sensible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project is much more complex than any assignments...
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Project Planning

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Project Planning

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

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