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Managing, Measuring & Benchmarking Offshore Application Development


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An overview of complex web portal development using onshore and offshore personnel. Highlights both \'soft skills\' and technical overview

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Managing, Measuring & Benchmarking Offshore Application Development

  1. 1. Managing, Measuring & Benchmarking Offshore Application Development<br />Global Projects<br />
  2. 2. page 2<br />September 21, 2011<br />Agenda<br />The 4 Key Project Practices<br />“Case Studies” missing key practices <br />A success story with a geographically distributed team<br />Overview of some Statistics<br />
  3. 3. page 3<br />September 21, 2011<br />Problem! – “Too Many” Project Practices<br />Project Infrastructure<br />Return on Investment<br />Sponsorship<br />Project Office<br />Quality Planning<br />Retrospectives<br />Activity Definitions<br />Teamwork Processes<br />Rewards & Recognition<br />Control Processes<br />Cost Processes<br />Market Research<br />Resource Leveling<br />Procurement Planning<br />Project Metrics<br />Cost Estimation<br />
  4. 4. page 4<br />September 21, 2011<br />The 4 Key Project Practices<br />
  5. 5. page 5<br />September 21, 2011<br />4 Key Project Management Practices<br />Communication Processes<br /><ul><li> Match type to time
  6. 6. Prepare & Follow-up
  7. 7. Don’t assume!</li></ul>Project Sponsorship<br /><ul><li> High enough
  8. 8. Engaged
  9. 9. Committed</li></ul>Team Processes<br /><ul><li> Have clear startup goals
  10. 10. Involve & Ask
  11. 11. Match skills to tasks
  12. 12. Get personal</li></ul>Project Processes<br /><ul><li> Scope
  13. 13. Schedule
  14. 14. Resources</li></li></ul><li>page 6<br />September 21, 2011<br />Project Sponsorship<br />Sponsorship at Appropriate Level (usually vice-president or GM)<br />When? At initiation and involved @ key milestones!<br />Who? Executive sponsor, and management to the project manager<br />What do you need?<br />Executive sponsorship with project tied into organization goals<br />Commitment of resources and management across the organization<br />Sponsors help with key stakeholders outside organization<br />Support and attend kick-off workshop<br />Buy in to project scope definition<br />Ensure sponsor not spread thin on too many projects.<br />Agree to problem escalation and scope change processes up front<br />Lose a sponsor?<br />Find a new one ASAP or consider stopping the project! <br />
  15. 15. page 7<br />September 21, 2011<br />Development Project Highest Priority for Division<br />
  16. 16. page 8<br />September 21, 2011<br />Communication* Processes<br />When? At initiation, at meetings, in hallways, emails, when ever and where ever you can<br />Who? Project Manager to lead, all team members to participate<br />What to do?<br />Match the way you communicate with the circumstances (place, time, culture, etc – see follow-on slide)<br />Always have excellent meeting preparation and follow-up<br />Project status communicated clearly and frequently (“hard” and “soft” info)<br />Formal presentations to review, escalate and mark phase transitions – prepare, REHEARSE, deliver!<br />Ensure project closure (final reports, retrospectives, celebrations, thank yous, formal project acceptance)<br />Don’t assume anything and constantly check in with team on how practices are working<br />*This is most important process for dispersed teams after sponsorship!<br />
  17. 17. page 9<br />September 21, 2011<br />Matching communication to circumstances<br />Different Cultures<br />Different Place<br />Same Place<br /><ul><li>speak slowly and clearly
  18. 18. send out prep material as early as possible
  19. 19. recruit candid “buddies” for feedback
  20. 20. avoid idioms eg – high roller
  21. 21. watch voice ‘tone’
  22. 22. teleconferences (planned / many attendees)
  23. 23. web based meetings
  24. 24. impromptu conference calls (unplanned / few people)
  25. 25. instant messaging
  26. 26. video conferencing (still technically limited)
  27. 27. Face-to-face ‘formal’ meetings
  28. 28. Informal conversations (lunch, ‘water’ cooler)
  29. 29. Team building / celebrations
  30. 30. Networking - one on ‘few’ conversations</li></ul>Same Time<br /><ul><li>add more explanation in email, v-mails
  31. 31. avoid ‘telling’ and try ‘asking’
  32. 32. ask for input on technologies used to send, store info
  33. 33. voicemail
  34. 34. email
  35. 35. websites (doc sharing, forums, discussions)
  36. 36. video / audio tapes
  37. 37. reports
  38. 38. “War” rooms
  39. 39. “Post-It” notes
  40. 40. White boards
  41. 41. video / audio tapes</li></ul>Different<br />Time <br />
  42. 42. page 10<br />September 21, 2011<br />Team Processes<br />When? Project startup and throughout project<br />Who? Project Manager to lead and involve team<br />What to do?<br />Begin team building with startup workshops and face to face meetings (especially for “new” teams!)<br />Have and communicate a clear project objective and vision<br />Involve all ‘leads’ in user needs assessment<br />Create and clarify processes through team involvement and input<br />Choose processes that work best for the greatest number. Don’t try for “perfection”<br />Ensure proper skills on team (use skills analysis and personal knowledge of team)<br />Allow for team growth and “stretching” of members into new areas<br />Get personal! Get to know them and them to know each other. <br />
  43. 43. page 11<br />September 21, 2011<br />Structured Communication needed for offshore / onshore team management<br />
  44. 44. page 12<br />September 21, 2011<br />Example from team knowledge base<br />
  45. 45. page 13<br />September 21, 2011<br />Proactive steps by Technical & Bus. Teams<br /><ul><li>Content Mgmnt System User Interface Improvement (v 4.5)
  46. 46. Internal Tools Developed
  47. 47. Environment Details (Displays the multiple development streams in progress)
  48. 48. Dependency Tracking tool (Helps to reduce environment Issues during System Test & Deployment)
  49. 49. Instant Data Creation tool (Helps in System Testing)
  50. 50. Server Monitoring tool –(Helps in Production support)
  51. 51. Download cleanup (Cleans up expired content in download folder)
  52. 52. Parallel Development (New System Code Management Process using Clear-case)
  53. 53. Fortnightly Patch process (More defect fixing in minor release)</li></li></ul><li>page 14<br />September 21, 2011<br />Project Processes<br />When? At beginning to get rough idea of scope & schedule. <br />Several versions needed before plan is final and used to manage deliverables. <br />Who? Project manager leads this effort with project leads<br />What to do?<br />Use the “iron triangle” of Scope, Schedule and Resources at all times!<br />Management must understand and supports project planning discipline<br />“Bottoms up” plans and “Tops down” goals rarely synch up at first. Save time for ‘re-fitting’<br />Create major risk identification plan and update periodically<br />Get project team comfortable with simultaneous work in various areas (eg - user needs & technology capabilities ) and possible re-work <br />Once the plan is ‘final’ use it to track, report and verify progress<br />
  54. 54. page 15<br />September 21, 2011<br />Create a Structured Project Plan<br />System Test (15)<br />
  55. 55. page 16<br />September 21, 2011<br />Effort & Staffing Status<br />
  56. 56. page 17<br />September 21, 2011<br />Managing Risk<br />140 risk factors assessed<br />Risk Management plan developed<br />Risks monitored continuously<br />
  57. 57. page 18<br />September 21, 2011<br />Risk Analysis Summary<br />Key Risks with High/Medium Impact<br />Impact and How Likely are weighted as 1-High, 0.6-Medium, 0.3-Low; <br />Risk Index = Impact * How Likely<br />Tracking Intensity = weekly if Risk Index is high, once in 2 weeks if Medium and once in 4 weeks if Risk Index is Low<br />
  58. 58. page 19<br />September 21, 2011<br />“Case Study of Projects” with key missing practices <br />
  59. 59. page 20<br />September 21, 2011<br />When key practices are ‘missing’<br />“Case Studies”<br />Project Sponsorship<br />Project Planning <br />
  60. 60. page 21<br />September 21, 2011<br />“Missing” Project Sponsorship<br />Problem – Project Sponsorship not at right level in the correct organization. <br />Issues:<br />Sponsor had many competing priorities<br />Improper staffing for project (skills, experience, total people)<br />Little cooperation from within organization or outside stakeholders<br />No clear user needs list created<br />Outcomes:<br />2 years & $50 million spent<br />System had few users at launch<br />Abandoned system within a year of launch<br />
  61. 61. page 22<br />September 21, 2011<br />Project Planning Processes not used<br />Problem – Management not knowledgeable on project planning.<br />Issues:<br />No support for documenting user requirements. (just build something like “Charles Schwab” has)<br />No understanding of value of project planning tools (eg, requirements analysis, planning, scope and priority trade-offs)<br />Wanted a system built ‘outside’ of existing business processes. “Build it and they will come!”<br />Outcome:<br />1 year and $3 million spent with no functioning system<br />The technical team ‘abandoned’ the project for more attractive work<br />UPSIDE: Failure of project sparked a divisional re-org that enabled a successful follow-on project.<br />Lessons from failure informed the follow-on successful project. <br />
  62. 62. page 23<br />September 21, 2011<br />A success story with a geographically distributed team <br />
  63. 63. page 24<br />September 21, 2011<br />A More Successful Project<br />A Challenging Start<br />Causes for Success<br />A few lessons from Success<br />
  64. 64. page 25<br />September 21, 2011<br />A Challenging Beginning<br />Challenges:<br />High degree of organizational complexity (worldwide, cross divisional software development, cross functional - sales, marketing, engineering – offshore & onshore)<br />Compressed timeline – initially a year planned from defining requirements to delivering system<br />Team mostly new to each other<br />Initial Scope unclear <br />Mix of old and new technologies chosen<br />Offshore (India) development team new to technology<br />Business teams and development team never worked together<br />1st time the project manager had worked with off-shoring model<br />New division organization<br />No agreed upon communication and project processes, or supporting technologies<br />
  65. 65. page 26<br />September 21, 2011<br />Why the Project Succeeded (1 of 2)<br />Strong sponsorship and management support both vertically and horizontally<br />Upper level management stayed involved and stepped in for key problems<br />Project was a top division priority and one of few the sponsor had<br />Resources (people, money, technology) assigned as project scope defined<br />Support for Project Planning<br />Vice-President understood the Scope, Schedule, Resource ‘triangle’<br />Time allowed for detailed project plans<br />Contingency and backup plans <br />Risk assessments created & actively managed<br />Measured progress and re-planned based on metrics<br />
  66. 66. page 27<br />September 21, 2011<br />Why the Project Succeeded (2 of 2)<br />Communication Processes utilized<br />Cognizance of time, place and with experience, cultural issues<br />Project manager (PM) educated team mates on when and how to use various types of communications based on situation & culture<br />PM coached team to assume nothing and to be willing to communicate any news (good or bad) quickly<br />Team Processes implemented early<br />Startup meeting held with people flown in for face to face<br />Caucused team to find out what skills they wanted to contribute and improve during the project<br />Created and constantly clarified processes with team input<br />Built personal relationships via travel, Instant Messaging, sharing personal stories<br />Used humor to ensure open-ness. (need to be careful in using humor in cross-cultural situations! Self-deprecation by PM worked) <br />
  67. 67. page 28<br />September 21, 2011<br />A Few Lessons<br />Project was a success, but still had some big lessons<br />Short sighted in adoption of an older technology (tcl scripting language) due to internal political pressures<br />We were on the “bleeding edge” of adopting corporate ‘standards’ <br />Some user requirements were short-changed due to time pressures. - Caused substantial re-work later.<br />Didn’t apply prioritization strictly enough and made some parts of application too complex for efficient operation. (tried to do something for everyone!)<br />Not enough due diligence on other internal HP corporate divisional “partner” capabilities. - Caused substantial re-work and 6 month timeline slip. <br />
  68. 68. page 29<br />September 21, 2011<br />Using Metrics to Manage Onshore / Offshore teams<br />
  69. 69. page 30<br />September 21, 2011<br />Operating Offshore / Onshore Technical & Business teams <br />Key statistics gathered and used to monitor technical team progress and issues<br />Tied statistics back to business goals and needs<br />Monitored both operation and developmental statistics<br />Monitored release schedule and interaction with technical / business processes<br />Effort estimates and actuals versus Phase comparison to improve planning process<br />Defects initiation and Phase comparison to address quality issues<br />Action plan and Retrospectives<br />
  70. 70. page 31<br />September 21, 2011<br />Development and Operational Metrics<br />Portal Releases<br />Major<br />Patch<br />Thematic<br />
  71. 71. page 32<br />September 21, 2011<br />Patch Release<br />
  72. 72. page 33<br />September 21, 2011<br />Planned vs. Actual Schedules<br />
  73. 73. page 34<br />September 21, 2011<br />Re-planning Triggers<br />
  74. 74. page 35<br />September 21, 2011<br />Defect Containment R5.0<br />
  75. 75. page 36<br />September 21, 2011<br />Phase-wise defects R5.0<br />Phase-wise defects found<br />Phase-wise defects introduced<br />
  76. 76. page 37<br />September 21, 2011<br />Size & Scope Status<br />
  77. 77. page 38<br />September 21, 2011<br />R 5.0 Defect Prevention & Process Improvements<br />Defect Data Analysis of internally found defects:<br />Highlight the PI activities carried out in the review period<br />
  78. 78. page 39<br />September 21, 2011<br />Retrospective Action Items<br />
  79. 79. page 40<br />September 21, 2011<br />“The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical delusion of our consciousness.”<br />Albert Einstein<br />Quote slide<br />