SMART Requirements

August 4, 2008

In my opinion, requirements are the most under-rated aspect of most projects. In an unbelievable number of corporate projects they are completely non-existent and in the vast majority they are really no more than a paragraph or two of high-level requests which are unlikely to be delivered on successfully. In a very few of the countless projects I have worked on I have seen adequate, or an attempt at adequate, requirements. These projects, without fail, are the most successful projects that I have seen.

Why the passion, you ask? Without clear, complete and agreed upon requirements there is almost zero-chance, yes zero, that the project will be delivered successfully. And when I say successfully, I mean on-time, on-budget and matching the desired scope. Sure, most projects will get delivered without good requirements but you will see project delays (possibly numerous), budget overruns, and final scope that doesn’t satisfy the customer. Many people believe this is the way projects should progress or at the very least consider it a natural course for projects to take. This is not the case. Starting with adequate and thoughtful requirements can eliminate, or at the very least, significantly reduce, the amount of issues and re-work that are required in a project. So let’s start with the basics of requirements. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Triple Constraint

August 2, 2008

Ah, the triple constraint, the cornerstone of project management and project management (PM) lingo. Along the way, I will try to cover the most common acronyms and lingo that are used in the discipline. I neither intend to promote nor condone any particular use, or in many cases, overuse, of project management lingo. My goal is to create familiarity with the terms as they are commonly used in practice.

The triple constraint refers to the three inputs that govern the ability to deliver a project. The three commonly agreed upon constraints are budget, time, and scope. They are often drawn in a triangular shape to represent the relationship between them. This triangular arrangement helps to represent that any adjustment to one of these factors will have an impact on the other two. This relationship will become clearer with examples. Let’s start with definitions: Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome

August 2, 2008

After thirteen years of project management experience, mostly in software engineering, I figured I had something to share. I have a lot of passion around the triple constraint (if you’re not sure what that is, read on) and I love to teach. I’m currently a project manager in the corporate environment and would rather be teaching, so I though I would start this blog to share my experience with those that are interested.

My goal is to post a series of topics that relate to project management and more specifically effective project and requirements management. This is not meant to mirror a textbook and is written in an extemporaneous fashion. I hope to get a few readers along the way and am very interested in requests for topics as well as questions readers may have as a result of topics posted or issues they are facing in their own projects or project disasters, whichever the case may be.