I N T R O D U C T I O N
How to Write Software Project Plans is a plain-english, simplified version of IEEE 1058 - Standard for Software Project Management Plans.
The project plan documents the planning work necessary to conduct, track and report on the progress of a project. It contains a full description of how the work will be performed.
The benefit of using this how to guide is the consistency of presentation, enabling management to assess the plans, for their merits or limitations, more readily. In particular this how to guide specifies the format and content for a project plan by defining the minimal set of elements that shall appear in all project plans (additional sections may be ap-pended as required).
The project plan includes the:
- scope and objectives of the project
- deliverables the project will produce
- process which shall be employed to produce those deliverables
- time frame and milestones for the production of the deliverables
- organisation and staffing which will be established
- responsibilities of those involved
- work steps to be undertaken
S C O P E
How to Write Software Project Plans applies to the medium to large scale software development projects.
O B J E C T I V E S
How to Write Software Project Plans allows the project manager to:
consider all relevant aspects of the project, ensuring they will be considered during the project planning stage produce project plans with consistent content and format clarify the objectives, deliverables and manner of execution of the project
Contribution to IS Quality. The literature of software quality widely recognises that up to 70% of IT development projects fail (in terms of either not being completed, or completed but not used by the client due to it unsuitability). One of the major contributing factors to this alarming situation is that the project was not planned comprehensively enough.
While it is not possible to foresee every misfortunes that might possibly befall a project, there are nonetheless a well-defined set of actions and attributes which if employed in the planning stage can result in all foreseeable matters being addressed. This how to guide is an easy to use checklist, as defined by IEEE 1058, and template to achieve this end. It embodies the principle of failing to plan is planning to fail..
In the same way as a systematic and comprehensive Statement of User Requirements can capture a more complete set of requirements, a project plan as provided by this how to guide allows the project manager to make sure he/she has considered all relevant matters in the planning stage, allowing them to avoid, as far as possible, unpleasant surprizes later.
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About the Author
David has been an academic since 1999. For 15 years before academia David was a consultant for public and private sector IT clients in Australia and the United Kingdom. He combines theory and practice in a focussed and disciplined way that has proved effective for solving problems for clients.