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ASK Process proudly makes all of these resources available to you to support your process improvement needs. Please tell us if you have questions or comments about any of these articles, or if there is a topic that you would like to see covered.

 

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Topics: Recent, All, Agile, ConfigMgmt, ITIL®, Management, Metrics, Planning, Process, Quality, Requirements, Risk, Standards  
 
 
  Planning Articles    

Affordable Peer Reviews
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Planning   •   Date Published: 14 Feb 2006
Many people know that peer reviews can help them to produce better-quality products. But most organizations do not use this potent tool because they can't justify the costs they would incur. But we can do Peer Reviews that pay back more than they cost by ensuring that they are focused on finding the kinds of defects that are difficult and much more expensive to find using other methods.

Does Senior Management Really Care About Quality?
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Planning   •   Date Published: 20 Sep 2006

Any executive will tell you that they want (no, they need) high-quality software systems. And yet from the vantage point of those of us who are tasked with building those systems, the opposite can seem to be true. Why the disconnect? And what can we do about it?

The Essence of Agility Series Part 7: Iterative Planning
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Agile, Planning   •   Date Published: 25 Jun 2009

Is it Agile? Or is it lack of discipline? How can we know for sure? The Essence of Agility consists of those sets of observable behaviors that distinguish a truly Agile team from a bunch of undisciplined programmers. In this last article of the series, I will address the final key characteristic: Iterative Planning.

Help! The Testers Want to Break the Bank!
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Quality, Planning   •   Date Published: 2 Feb 2006

I analyzed the project, I figured out what needs to be done, and I laid out an aggressive but achievable schedule. And then the testers cried "foul!" They tell me that they need three times as much time to ensure a quality product, and that the project is doomed to failure if their demands are denied. Their claims sound like hyperbole to me, but how can I know? They are the experts in testing! Am I really stuck with a choice between delivering late and delivering poor quality? How can I make the best decision for the project?

A High-Quality Plan
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Planning   •   Date Published: 20 Sep 2005

Do good plans affect the quality of the products you produce? Absolutely! Although it may not be obvious at first glance, the quality of your plans is one of the primary drivers of the quality of the products your project produces. Let's take a look at some examples of plans contributing to the quality of projects' products--or the lack thereof!

How to Estimate Program Size
Cost of Quality Redux

This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Metrics, Planning   •   Date Published: 12 Aug 2010

In my last article on Cost of Quality, I started out by blithely stating, "Let's say we're going to write a system of 25,000 Lines of Code." Teri (a perceptive reader) called me on it! She wrote, "If a new system is built, how do you guess at how many lines of code there will be? You possibly can guess at the number of programs from looking at the requirements but how do you guess the amount of lines involved for each program?" It's an important question, and doesn't have a quick and easy answer. This was what I told Teri.

Investing in Quality: When is "Enough" Enough?
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Quality, Planning, Metrics   •   Date Published: 27 Feb 2007

There is no doubt that we need to invest in producing a quality product. But it is not clear how much we should invest. Invest too much and we waste precious resources; invest too little and our product will be judged as poor-quality, and our project may be labeled a "failure." (Yikes!) The information you need to make good quality investments is in the records from your prior projects. Both the projects that produced "good" quality and those that did not set the stage for you to make the right decisions this time around.

Making Quality Planning Concrete
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Planning, Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: Jun 2006

Most of what you do while planning a project is concrete. But Quality is a "soft" concept that it is difficult to think about it in concrete terms. This makes it harder to plan for than the budget or schedule. If you want to plan for and manage quality with the same focus as you do for budget and schedule, then you must learn to measure it with the same precision.

Placing the Quality Bet
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Quality, Planning   •   Date Published: 11 Apr 2006

Most of us have heard the logic: Invest in quality early in the project, and it will pay back later. But when it's time to plan a new project, there is always a reason why that logic just doesn't seem to apply. Regardless of how compelling they seem to us, these "reasons" are illusions. Let's look at where to find the time for reviews in your project schedule. (Hint: look under "testing.")

Planning For Quality
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Quality, Planning, Metrics   •   Date Published: 11 Oct 2005

With all of the things we must worry about while planning a project, it is easy to miss the one thing that everyone expects so automatically that it goes without saying: Quality! The customer, management, even the development team expects that the software we produce will be "good" quality. But without proper attention to defining what we mean by "good" and then planning for it, achieving the levels of quality we need is far from assured.

Project Quality Management Series Part 1: Quality Planning, What is "Good Enough"?
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Quality, Planning, Metrics  
Date Published: 13 Dec 2006

The PMBOK ® Guide makes Quality Planning sound simple enough. But for many of us, the relevant quality standards are not immediately obvious. If we are to do appropriate Quality Planning, we must figure out how to answer these two pressing questions: (1) What does it mean for our product to be "good enough"? and (2) How can we ensure that our product will be "good enough"?

Quality That Is Worth the Cost
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Planning, Quality, Metrics   •   Date Published: 5 Jun 2006

QA activities do not produce any tangible products. The Cost of Quality (CoQ) is an overhead cost, and like any overhead cost, it should be minimized. But without a clear understanding of all of the things that should be counted, many organizations do the wrong things and actually end up increasing their total CoQ. Quality may be an intangible, but that doesn't meant it has to be invisible. Here's how to manage quality by the numbers.

Software Quality Data Series Part 2: Quantitative Quality Planning
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Planning   •   Date Published: 2003

In Part 2, we will look at Benchmark data for the measures discussed in Part 1, and how to use this information to produce a quantitative Quality Plan that we can use to understand our quality performance before the project is complete. This includes setting Quality Objectives we can check status against, establishing size estimates for the products to be produced, and determining the Defect Removal activities that will help us to reach our objectives.

Using Earned Value Series Part 1: Planning Software Projects
Topic: Planning   •   Date Published: 2003
How can 90% of our projects be 90% complete 90% of the time? Earned Value is a project planning and tracking method that removes much of the subjectivity from the process. In this first article (of two), we will discuss the principles behind Earned Value planning and tracking, and learn how to create an Earned Value plan for a software project.

We Cannot Trade Quality for Budget or Schedule
This article is also published on Global Knowledge.
Topic: Quality, Planning   •   Date Published: 14 Feb 2006

It is not uncommon for people to say, "Fast, cheap, or good; choose two." Most people interpret this to mean that if you want a short schedule and a low budget, you must sacrifice quality. And the corollary is that if you want quality, you must expect a longer schedule or higher costs. But "quality" is not one of the "Triple Constraints"! The PMBOK teaches us that every project must balance time, cost and scope. When budget and schedule are constrained, it is scope that must be given up, not quality! And it is increasing scope (not quality) that increases costs or schedules.

Yes, You Can Negotiate Project Constraints!
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Planning   •   Date Published: 2 Jan 2007

"This is what we need. You can use these resources. And you must deliver it by that date." Does this sound familiar? There are lots of dictates, no flexibility, and more often than not little realism in the demands. Although it may not seem to be true, we can negotiate unrealistic project expectations. And the key is to do a good job of estimating what it really will take to do the project.

 

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