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Don F. Erwin


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Title: Don F. Erwin

Software Project Management
  • Don F. Erwin
  • Buffalo State College
  • Buffalo, New York, USA
  • Part 3 Communication, Leadership, IT

What are the top 5 issues you need to solve on
your software project?
  1. The difficulties in estimations (budget,
    schedule, etc.)
  2. Wrong assumptions
  3. Customer changing mind
  4. How to manage client expectations
  5. Not enough qualified resources

We Plan to Cover
Project Management Basics Project Management on
Software Projects Managing Stakeholders
Expectations Risk Management Project
Communication Leadership in Software Project
Management IT Governance Other???
Tailoring the Approach
1. Analyze Situation
Where were we?
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Risk Assessment

2. Develop Approach
  • Strategy
  • Organization
  • Feedback

(De Baar)
Project Communication
  • Develop a Communication Plan
  • Based on Stakeholder Analysis and Risk Assessment
  • Define who needs to be informed
  • What?
  • When?
  • Who does the actual communicating?
  • Product Developers But the PM assures the
    communication is taking place
  • Process - PM

(De Baar)
Sample Communication Schedule
Author Communication Purpose Audience Communication Vehicle/Location Frequency
State Project Manager Executive Status Report To keep the executives informed on the project's progress. Executive Sponsor Status Report, Presentation, or Bulleted Handout Monthly
SunGard HE Project Manager Project Status Report To keep project manager informed of the team's progress on the project. State Project Manager, SunGard HE Project Manager. Status report template Monthly
Implementation Team, SunGard Higher Education Project Manager, Project Manager Project Meetings To keep the PM informed of decisions, issues and open items discussed during project meeting State PM, SunGard HE PM and Team Leads as appropriate Meeting minutes template Weekly
SunGard HE Functional and Technical consultants Trip Reports To keep PM informed of accomplishments, open items and issues of consultant visits Buffalo State PM, SunGard Higher Education PM and Team Leads as appropriate Trip report template, Within 1 week after each visit
  • How to get requirements from users heads into
    the final product?
  • Requirements development is very difficult
  • Remember the 110100 rule
  • Challenges
  • Basic human communication issues
  • Processes will change with the new system
  • Not a Project Management task, but assuring its
    quality is

(De Baar)
The Flow of Stakes
recorded by
Project Management
negotiated to
(De Baar)
Gathering Quality Requirements
  • Expect requirements to change over time
  • Stakeholders Change Mind
  • Project Team Interprets Requirements Differently
    Than Intended by Stakeholder
  • Forgotten Requirements Pop Up
  • Changes in the Project Surroundings Affect
  • So
  • Be aware of that fact and prepare for it
  • Feedback will identify changes required
  • Even the Ill Know It When I See It (IKIWISI)
    method needs a first cut

(De Baar)
Getting the Best Possible Requirements
  • Just ask
  • Workshop / Interview
  • Tailor to the project and the stakeholders
  • Educate the stakeholders on how their part fits
    into the big picture
  • Satisfy everyone?
  • Probably not
  • Some have no interest in project success, but
    dont let them disturb the process.

(De Baar)
Prepare for Requirements Gathering
  • Checklist (Not an agenda)
  • General Information (title, place, and time)
  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Subjects
  • Controversy
  • Strategy
  • Result
  • Participants
  • Roles
  • Tools
  • Feedback/Follow-up
  • Agenda

(De Baar)
Conduct the Workshop
  • Getting Information
  • Ask
  • Be stupid
  • Ask what you already know/be incorrect
  • Repeat
  • Ask how and why five times
  • Dont forget assumed requirements (uptime,
    performance, modern UI)

(De Baar)
Conduct the Workshop
  • Formulate the Requirements
  • Cant satisfy everyone, but try to reach
    consensus by the end of the workshop.
  • Associate peoples names with requirements
  • Group related requirements together
  • Get participant approval
  • Establish priorities among requirements
  • Document process issues that come up separately
    from product issues

(De Baar)
Document the Requirements
Finite Requirements or User Stories Formal or Info
rmal Structured or Free Format
Can be easier, but takes more time to get it right
Better if more iterations are planned
(De Baar)
Communication Types
  • Open
  • Encourage word-of-mouth
  • Discover what is NOT known
  • Inclusive
  • Always an open seat at the table
  • Networked relationships
  • Win / Win
  • Organization/Industry growth
  • Guarded
  • Loose lips sink ships
  • Keep what is known secret
  • Exclusive
  • Meet behind closed doors
  • Good old boys club
  • Win/Lose
  • Individual growth

Defined as Transparency Result
(De Baar)
Win-Win Communication
Problem Heavy-handed use of towel dispenser
distracting to lady on other side of wall
  • Win-Win Approach
  • Men get their towels
  • Lady gets her quiet

Process Requirements
  • Cost
  • What are the drivers behind the stated cost
  • Fixed cost be sure you know what you want
  • Time Materials be sure you can end the project
  •  Time
  • Man-months are for cost estimating, not time
  • Have those doing the work give the estimate (for
  • Scope
  • Change control process

(De Baar)
Process Requirements
  • Selling your Approach
  • Plan as best you can
  • Estimate what you dont know (with disclaimers)
  • Relate everything back to business priorities
  • Emphasize the triple constraint
  • Iteration and feedback increase Time, Cost and

(De Baar)
Product Feedback
  • Managing expectations
  • Communication is influenced by peoples
  • Feedback helps get to common interpretations
  • Why feedback?
  • Validation
  • Reassure Stakeholders
  • Reduces Risk of Miscommunication

(De Baar)
Product Feedback
  • How?
  • Verbal, cheap, easy, but hard to refer to
  • Written, takes time, no one likes to read of lot
    of text
  • Mock-up, takes time, usually throw-away, but
    great for getting message across
  •  So, consider
  • The audience
  • The time it is needed (temporary or
  • Cost of feedback (is it acceptable within the
    triple constraint?)

(De Baar)
Requirements to Design
  • Design addresses how
  • Designs are build-to specs, but stakeholders
    want to see where their requirements are going
  • A design is a medium to explain how the
    requirements will be translated in the real
  • Often considered by techies as their document.

(De Baar)
PM Role in Design
  • Project Manager needs to make sure that techies
    communicate their interpretations of requirements
    to stakeholders in a timely manner
  • Be aware of the need to do it
  • Design choices should not be based solely on
    technical know-how
  • Take more time that you think, spend it on
  • As PM, encourage communication, and follow up
    with stakeholders to verify info was effectively
  • Document decisions, including the arguments for
    the decision
  • Map design elements to requirements sort by
    stakeholder for ease in presentation
  • Designers need to be prepared to start over
    (iterative process)
  • Get agreements in writing people pay more
    attention to their agreements

(De Baar)
More Product Feedback
  • Pilots and Prototypes
  • Use them to give/get feedback
  • But throw them away after the lesson is learned
  • Build time for this into your project
  • Benchmarks
  • Benchmarks provide a measure to compare actual
    products to
  • Benchmarks can be created as part of a pilot

(De Baar)
More Product Feedback
  • Technical
  • What works
  • What does it break
  • Iterative
  • Functional
  • Software is like a banana. It ripens at the
    customers house
  • Plan for it in advance
  • Provides final feedback and acceptance

(De Baar)
Change Management
  • A major part of PM role (Integration Management)
  • Different ways to address change
  • Dont allow it
  • Set up a process for managing change

(De Baar)
Process Feedback
  • Time, Cost, Quality and Scope
  • Statement on either Project Progress or Status
  • Consider
  • Frequency
  • Medium (written/verbal)
  • Level of Detail
  • Goal Address feedback in terms of stakes, not
  • Be creative in negotiating progress on budget and

(De Baar)
Process Reporting
  • Schedule
  • Gannt Chart is not the project plan
  • But many people relate to it
  • Therefore it is a good tool for reporting status
    of the project

(De Baar)
Process Reporting
  • Budget
  • Gather all expected costs / Provide a summary
  • Estimating time required
  • Let the programmers do it
  • PM needs to temper programmer estimates with
    experience and other realities
  • Understand the critical path
  • Get agreement
  • Challenge of getting agreement from programmers
  • Dont change their estimates
  • Estimate At Completion (EAC)
  • Know when to say the project is no longer viable.

(De Baar)
Project Manager as Leader
  • Your Job
  • Get people who may not like each other to work
  • Convince people who believe they can not do
    something to do it well.
  • Motivate people who may not be interested in
    seeing the project be successful.
  • Do it OTOBOS (On Time, On Budget, On Scope).
  • Make your boss look good.
  • Stay sane

Project Manager as Leader
  • 5 Ways to Be A Naturally Visible Leader
  • Dont demand recognition, inspire it.
  • When your team hits a big milestone, commend them
  • Recognize individuals that go out of their way to
    help you.
  • When someone doesnt credit, dont react in
    indignation, fix it.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge by contributing and
    commenting in any forum.

Creating the Right Environment
The Fifth Discipline4 and SW Project Management
  • Personal Mastery
  • Know/Develop Personal skills
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • Mental Models
  • Our favorite vs. actuality
  • Different models help to understand others
  • Models affect reality
  • Systems Thinking
  • Focus on interrelationships among components
  • Look at processes of change to form conclusions

Individual Disciplines
(De Baar)
Creating the Right Environment
The Fifth Discipline4 and SW Project Management
  • Shared vision
  • Establish initial vision
  • Transform initial vision to shared vision
  • Team learning
  • Insightful thinking on issues is complex
  • Coordinated action on specific tasks
  • Encourages other teams to participate

Group Disciplines
(De Baar)
Creating the Right Environment
  • Why ?
  • It is a lot of effort, personally and for the
  • It takes time away from the project(s)
  • Not everyone is as excited about this stuff as
    you are
  • Because
  • Youll have to work with the same people on other
    projects (hopefully)
  • Common language/methods are more productive
  • Team members will enjoy the work, take pride in

Frames of Leadership3
Metaphor Central Concept Image of
Leadership Basic Leadership Challenge
Structural Factory or Machine Rules,
Roles, Technology, Environment Social Architectur
e Match Structure to Task, Technology
Human Resource Family Needs,
Skills, Relationships Empowerment Align Org
Human Needs
Political Jungle Power, Conflict Competition,
Politics Advocacy Develop Agenda Power Base
Symbolic Carnival, Theatre Culture, Ceremony,
Stories, Heroes Inspiration Create
Faith, Beauty, Meaning
Expanding Managerial Thinking3
How Managers Typically Think
How Managers Might Think
Limited view of Organizations (e.g. problems
attributed to individuals errors).
Encourage inquiry into a range of issue, people,
power, structure, symbols.
Often choose rational solutions facts, logic,
Consider an array of options, e.g. celebration as
well as organizing.
Value certainty, rationality, control Fear
ambiguity, paradox, going with the flow.
Develop creativity, risk taking, playfulness in
response to lifes dilemmas. Find the right
question as well as the answer.
Rely on one right answer surprised by
Commitment to principle combined with flexibility
in understanding and responding to events.
Leadership Frames in SW Project Management
  • Projects usually mean something will change
  • End users New product, new process
  • Developers New tools, new processes
  • Functional Team Day job as well as project
    duties, two bosses
  • During periods of change, focus on Political and
    Symbolic frames
  • Political Build support, allay fears,
  • Symbolic Set examples, demonstrate other
    successes, make it fun!

Frames of Leadership3
Metaphor Central Concept Image of
Leadership Basic Leadership Challenge
Structural Factory or Machine Rules,
Roles, Technology, Environment Social Architectur
e Match Structure to Task, Technology
Human Resource Family Needs,
Skills, Relationships Empowerment Align Org
Human Needs
Political Jungle Power, Conflict Competition,
Politics Advocacy Develop Agenda Power Base
Symbolic Carnival, Theatre Culture, Ceremony,
Stories, Heroes Inspiration Create
Faith, Beauty, Meaning
Sum It Up
  • Stakeholders define how the project will perform
  • Project management is about people, not
    technology, schedules, processes, etc.
  • A different approach for every project

(De Baar)
IT Governance
Refer to presentation Project Management 2.
Portfolio Management By Craig Brown http//www.sli
cess-week-2/ (Start at page 66)
List of Works Cited
  1. Project Management Institute (PMI), Project
    Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). 3rd ed.
  2. De Baar, Bas. Surprise! Now You're a Software
    Project Manager. 1st ed. Lakefield, Ontario
    Multi-Media Publications, 2006.
  3. Bolman, Lee, and Terrence Deal. Reframing
    Organizations. 3rd ed. San Fransisco
    Jossey-Bass, 2003.
  4. Denge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline The Art
    Practice of The Learning Organization. 1st ed.
    USA Doubleday Publishing, 2006.
  5. Henak, Brandon. "5 Ways to Be A Naturally Visible
    Leader." 23 July 2008. Newly
    Corporate. 26 Aug 2008 lthttp//
  6. Brown, Craig. Project Management 2. Portfolio
    Management" 17 Aug 2008. 7 Aug 2008 lthttp//www.slidesh