Project plan Javier Baro Israr Ahmed Student of MSc. in Software Engineering Blekinge Tekniska Hogskola SE-37225, Ronneby, Sweden Student of MSc. in Software Engineering Blekinge Tekniska Hogskola SE-37225, Ronneby, Sweden [email protected] [email protected] Nattakarn Phaphoom Josef Hardi Student of MSc. in Software Engineering Blekinge Tekniska Hogskola SE-37225, Ronneby, Sweden [email protected] ABSTRACT In this paper, we present our own perspective about the definition of a plan for a particular software development project. This perspective is based on several main characteristics like: formal, agile, process based and dual complementary perspective. It is the beliefs of this development team that formality it is not a synonym of bureaucracy. For the achievement of the final goal in any kind of software development project: delivery of the final product in time, under budget with the adequate resources and with the quality levels required by our customers, some kind of formality is required. But, formality applied in an agile way. By agile, this development team wants to express the idea of selecting and/or defining, customizing and applying the right processes to fit the management and development requirements of the project in a dual a complementary perspective. By dual and complementary perspective this team wants also to express their view that separating the management and development processes in a complementary way, we can expect the achievement of one of our main concerns that is to maintain the project under control. So we will be able to know in any time the real state of the works undertaken to the final achievement of the goal. Categories and Subject Descriptors K.6.3 [Software Management]: Software development General Terms Software development, software process. Keywords Software project plan, software project management method, software project development method, software processes, PMP, PMI, Unified Process, Agile Unified Process. 1. INTRODUCTION In this paper we describe the personal decisions undertaken by the software engineering team in the context of academic environment in order to produce a software project plan for a practical example. Section 1 is the introduction to the context of our project. Section two is the assumptions introduced to the premises of the practical example. In Section three, the dual perspective of management and development is introduced. In Section 4, the details of the project management methods are Student of MSc. in Software Engineering Blekinge Tekniska Hogskola SE-37225, Ronneby, Sweden [email protected] explained. In Section 5, the selection of the software development method is provided and finally in Section 6, the main conclusions achieved by the team were elaborated. 2. ASSUMPTIONS The following assumptions have been considered for this project in particular: The overall budget for the project is 60.000 € The salary for each one of the roles involved in the project is: Project manager: 600 € / day Analyst: 350 € / day Developer: 250 € / day The software required for the management, development and execution of the project belongs to the infrastructure of the company and we do not have to care about this. 3. DUAL PERSPECTIVE PROCESS For our team, the overall development of the product was split into two different but related models- project management method and software development method. The reason for this division was to separate the management concerns, more related with scope, time, cost and resources management, from the pure development concerns which are more focused on the functionality, the creation of artifacts, and the implementation of the software. Both models should not be seen as independent models. They both interact each other so that the pure development activities, tasks and the artifacts, produced as a result of the execution, are managed both by the development processes themselves, and also, by the management processes in all the aspects related with scope, time, cost, resources, etc. As we mention in the abstract of this paper, the main objective of this dual perspective is the control of the project for the deliverance of the right product, in time, under budget and with the quality required by our customer. 4. PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHOD In this project, two different approaches for project management process, traditional and agile process, are considered as alternatives. The first one characterized in the form of the Project Management Process (PMP) method from the PMI  and the second one characterized in the form of the Scrum method. The following advantages and disadvantages have been identified. Table 1 PMP Advantages Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages PMP is the only formal model that the team members having experiences. It is a risk to learn a new model in limited time. It is a well-known model, proposed by people from industries with standard practices and implemented worldwide. It provides a good control about the impact of changes along the life cycle. The formality has been proposed could also be seen as a disadvantage, because the project has to elaborate and produce a number of deliverables within time constrain. Since it is a process oriented method, the project are going to expend time selecting, defining, etc. not only implementing the software. Table 2 Scrum The simplicity of the process, the way it provides value to all stakeholders and the scalability it offer makes it very attractive methodology to choose It provides control mechanism for project release as it is designed for iterative development. The team members do not have experience and/or knowledge and training is required. According to the advantages and disadvantages, the following decision has been taken. The agility approach is promising, but its less formality is concerned. So although we were conscious about the great effort required, we proposed to choose the PMP as the project management method to use. The project minimized the impact of the process formality by limiting the number of processes to the minimum required for an adequate plan, execution, control and closing of the project. 4.1 Project management processes The followings are the selected processes: team motivation and communication, scope, scheduling, quality and risk. To all these PMP processes we added another one more process called change control. It is added as a new independent process to remark the importance given to the overall change control of the project. 4.1.1 Team motivation & Communication In any kind of a software project, the persons are the most important resources over processes and tools. How persons interact each other and the level of commitment with the project are two of the key factors for project success. That is the reason why we decided to include this process in the project. 18.104.22.168 Team motivation The team members came from different backgrounds and culture. According to Expectancy theory, it can be said that our members have different needs and goals. In order to understand each other needs and goals we decided to develop several formal meeting groups for team cohesion. In those meetings the team members were also agreed according to Goal-setting theory that each one was going to have the responsibility over some different aspects of the project. We split mainly in three: meeting goals and responsibilities, management goals and responsibilities and development goals and responsibilities. Each member of the team has to assume a different role at each time of the project. The different roles are: for meetings: leader, facilitator, chronometer and quality. For management: scope and scheduling, quality, risk and change control and finally for development: requirements, design, deployment and the team are going to assume the role of developers. These roles are not permanently assigned so each one of the members has the freedom to satisfy their own needs and expectancies at every time of the project. 22.214.171.124 Communication For communication purposes, the team was agreed that the meeting is the fundamental tool for group communication. The main objective with these meetings is that each one of the team members has the opportunity to participate in the decisions and also receive feedback from the other team members. One important aspect when dealing with communication is how to solve the conflict situations that will arise. Because in an academic perspective we do not have the possibility to establish a hierarchical structure, all the conflicts should be resolved in a completely cooperative way. Based also in the concept of role, the techniques chose for conflict resolution was altering the team structure. By this way we can limit the influence of some members on situations of conflict in decisions taking. 4.1.2 Scope Following activities were undertaken for the project plan. 126.96.36.199 Scope statement The project scope was established as: “Develop a software mobile phone application for uploading and downloading images to and from Internet”. Inside the scope of the project, sub-activities are: image format, an installable application, interface with the mobile phone virtual machine, interface with the server side, browse between the images stored in the server file system. Outside the scope of the project are: deal with how the image comes to the mobile phone, how the user download our application, how or when the VM is installed, how to deal with the mobile phone Operating System, manage the file system in the server, develop web browser functionality, develop communication protocols (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP). In order to deal with scope, we used a technique called WBS (Work Breakdown Structure). The reason for using this technique in particular is because WBS allows a better overview of the overall scope of the project. Applying this technique through a process of decomposition provides better definition of the project scope. 188.8.131.52 Scope control The team agreed in the definition of a formal process of change control to the project’s scope. As a result of this agreement, for scope control we decided to define a Change Control Board (CCB). The main responsibility of the CCB is to control the changes to the scope baseline. Only trough formal petitions to this board, one of the team members is allowed or not to do a change to any one of the documents or artifacts under “base line”. More information about the CCB and the change control process is elaborated in the change control management process. 4.1.3 Scheduling One of the most important activities in the project planning phase is scheduling. By scheduling we can understand the definition of the activities and tasks of the project, their sequence and the estimation of their duration. The first step in project scheduling is the identification of all the activities and tasks inside the scope of the project, usually through the application of the WBS technique introduced in the scope statement. For us the application of this technique is considered as a very important step, only by the rigorous decomposition of our project into smaller tasks, we will reach the objective of obtaining a better management and control of the project. The WBS we have done in this project in particular has been represented in a hierarchical tree and transferred to a Gantt chart and developed enough detail in order to transit smoothly to the following phase that is product identification. In product identification, the objective is to compile a list of the products or deliverables that are going to be produced as a result of, at least, the main activities. With this list we were able to produce the PBS (Product Breakdown Structure). In this case our objective was the compilation of all the important products for our project. Once the PBS was developed, we were able to further identify from the whole list of documents the ones that are going to constitute the milestones of our project. This list is also very important for us because only through the control of the intermediate products or deliverables, we will be able to guarantee the quality levels required by our customers. In parallel, once the main activities were identified, we were also able to begin a series of other activities like: identification of the resources required by our project. These resources were compiled in a RBS (Resources Breakdown Structure)and establishment of the sequence of the activities and works. The tool chosen for this network establishment has been network diagrams, in concrete, the precedence diagramming method (PDM), technique that uses rectangles connected by arrows to show the dependency of activities within the project. The main reason for adopting this technique is because we used Microsoft Project and is the only technique supported specifically in this tool for network diagramming. From the four possible tasks dependencies available in this technique, we chose the finish-to-start dependency type, because it is the most recommended technique when the project is oriented to ongoing development like our project is. Once the definition and sequencing of the activities were established or, at least, well known, we began to assign resources to those activities. In order to do so, we needed to do some estimation about the size of the activities in order to assign the correct number of resources for their fulfillment. The estimations were done in first step in size applying the technique of Function Points and then translated to lines of code (SLOC) in order to do the cost estimation by applying the technique of COCOMO II. We chose both techniques because both are well known and proved techniques in the software community and also because there are some public available estimation databases that we can use for our own estimation purposes. Once the effort required was known, we finally were able to assign resources to each one of the different tasks. As a result of this cross between tasks and resources, the responsibility diagram matrix was done in order to have a visual representation in tabular form of the different tasks to execute and the person responsible for its execution. Finally, all these data about time, resources and cost were also transferred to the Gantt chart in Microsoft Project. With this last document we close the responsibility circle: Process-ActivitiesWorks-Products-Effort-Resources-Cost. 184.108.40.206 Scheduling analysis One important decision when dealing with scheduling is the decision about when the techniques can be performed once the resources has been assigned. The technique we chose for this important aspect was critical path method (CPM). This technique helped us to identify the project’s critical path by determining the longest path through all the works in a project that can be done in the shorter time. 220.127.116.11 Scheduling control The project team decided to have closely control over project schedule because limited project execution phase is considered as primary concern. Schedule control allows us to see variance between current situation and the project plan. Therefore proper corrective actions (e.g. scope refinement, activity reassignment) can be taken in time. The scheduling control technique chosen was: Progressing Report. This technique presents the progress of activities identified in project WBS. Our project used percentage of completed work product as a measurement of project progress. In order to present project progress we used Gantt chart as the base template for inserting percentage of work done. The reason of using Gantt chart, instead of WBS, is that Gantt chart presents not only project activities in hierarchy, but also includes starting date, duration, and planned finish date. It reminds the responsible person both the remaining work and remaining duration, so (s)he can effectively plan to get everything complete in time. There are two worthy reasons to generate progressing report weekly. First of all, it helps us identify risky activitiesthat have tendency to miss dateline, and second it represents performance of team members.. 18.104.22.168 Cost control The cost control technique chosen was: Earned Value technique (EVT). This technique was applied to control cost of the project. EVT presents planed curve, actual curve, and earned value curve in the same diagram. There are several reasons of using EVT. First of all, it not only allows us to see the cost variance between planned and actual cost, but also predicts the overall cost when project completes. Secondly, it connected cost control process to risk management. This diagram provides earlier sight of problems. The analysis result will be an input for risk identification process that we adopted to the project as well. Even there are other cost control techniques available, we selected EVT because it is a standard technique that most of team members have experiences and do not require more reading. 4.1.4 Project Quality Management The objective of explicitly defining quality management process in the project is to ensure quality of the work products that will be delivered to customers and be internally used. It also ensures that agreed procedures are well understood and followed by all team members. The feedback from work product inspections represents the common mistakes and leads to process improvements and staff development. Quality management plays a crucial role in maintaining completeness and correctness of deliverables, even though the size of team is small and the project scope is very limited. This is because it reminds the project team that the standard level of work products need to be reached before delivered to the stakeholders. Our project adopted 2 processes for quality management that is quality assurance and quality control. We used work product inspection for quality assurance and Pareto diagram for quality control. 22.214.171.124 Quality assurance Work product inspection is the method to review the documents before submitted to the baseline or delivered to other stakeholders. There are 3 levels of inspection that is self review, supervisor review, and team review. The crucial documents need to be inspected and given feedback by project manager, and communicated to the whole team. There are three reasons for adopting the inspection process. First of all, we do not know background of team members. Some Agile methods believe in competency of team member and the work product is reviewed by its generators. This technique results in fast and flexible development, but it can be risky in case that the background of team member is unknown. Second, the inspection ensures that the contents of document are validated and verified by appropriated person. Therefore other member can refer to or reuse the documents with confidence. Third, result of the inspection shows the common mistakes and misunderstood issues. These can be used as a guideline for improving processes and staff training as well. The only concern of inspection process is that it requires lots of time to review all work products at team level. To avoid time consuming, we decided to have 3 levels of inspection. The team review is performed only for crucial work products (e.g. scope statement, project management plan, project schedule). Documents that are mainly use in one phase such as test plan can be inspected by peer review. And other documents like a minute of meeting can be inspected by self review. The result of inspection is record in a defect form. It identifies severity level, defect type, and injected phase. For further detail, Table 3 shows the defect table. Table 3: Defect Table 126.96.36.199 Quality control By quality control our objective is to have a visual representation of some of the results of the project. These results are compared with the quality standards defined. As a result of this comparison, we will be able to identify causes of our main problems. This identification is considered also very important in our project because it will serve as an input for other process, like risk management process to identify the main risks we are facing in our project at each time. Refer to PMBoK, there are variety basic tools of quality (e.g. Fishbone diagram, Control chart, Flowcharting). The technique we chose for quality control was Pareto diagram. A Pareto diagram represents the distribution of variables related specific events. The height of column shows the frequency of the variables and the curve, the accumulative sum of the frequency of all the variables. Our project selected Pareto diagram to represent the causes of common problems found in work product inspection and causes of identified risk. We considered Pareto chart the most appropriated tool for our project for 4 reasons. First of all, Pareto diagram combines characteristics of Fishbone chart, Histogram chart, and defect review. All problem causes are presented and we can easily point out the cause that created the greatest number of defects and fix it first. Secondly, Pareto diagram is easy to be created and understood comparing to other tools like Control chart. Thirdly, it does not require a special tool to generate the diagram. Lastly, team members are all experience in this technique. In order to generate Pareto diagram, the input is defect list of work product inspection process (showed in Table 3). Defect type, injected phase and defect cause can also be used to present problem characteristic in different perspective. We decided to create the Pareto diagram once a week in project execution phase, in order to implement proper corrective action (e.g. template adjustment, process improvement). 4.1.5 Risk Management The objective of the risk management is to make a plan for risk management; which affect the cost, schedule and deliverables of the project. In our project we had a number of risks, such as time management, lack of knowledge, project complexity , error in document generation and resource availability. All these risks affect our goals and objectives. The scope statements and WBS structure help to identify some of the risks. Our project have taken constrains (e.g. time, members’ background) as pre existing risks. During project life cycle, new risks might be discovered as a result from quality and control processes. . Therefore, risk management processes are needed to deal with them. 188.8.131.52 Risk Management Plan The purpose of making a risk management plan is not only to identify the risk but also to manage them in a proper way, so they have a very little impact on project’s schedule and cost. In our project we mainly focus on risk based on project scope statement and work breakdown structure, but we will also have to identified during execution or other activities. In quality management, the work product inspection led the discovery of risks; which will later be managed through project management plan. Based on the information provided in the project scope statement and WBS; the project manager called for a meeting to manage the risk management plan for the project. The attendees in the meeting are the development team. Plans for risk management activities, risk responsibilities are defined. The goal of making the risk management plan is to manage project risks and to adopt a suitable technique. The activities to perform during risk management process, technique, roles and responsibilities regarding risk management, budget, time, risk breakdown structure and other definition and recommendation to rate when a risk occur all defined in the risk management plan. 184.108.40.206 Risk Identification The identified risks were documented along with their characteristics e.g. source of risk, risk impact, and description etc. The participants in this activity include the project manager and team member. The risk related to the project includes time constraints, team member’s availability, lack of knowledge and participation, resources, complexity of project, experience and skills of team members. The technique used for risk identification is Checklist. For our project in particular, checklist was developed from the checklist taxonomy proposed by the SEI. This checklist was applied to our project based on the information and knowledge compiled from the scope and the WBS mainly. Other techniques related to risk identification are brainstorming, information gathering technique, diagramming technique that focus on group meeting and building diagrams respectively will consume time in handing risk identification and may affect other project activities. The output of the checklist is a risk register that are used for further activities of this plan. The main advantages of using check list that it is repeatable, comparable and cost efficient. 220.127.116.11 Risk Analysis Qualitative risk analysis was performed to access and prioritize the identified risks. The participants in the qualitative risk analysis are the project manager, team member and the assigned risk member. The risk register was reviewed and updated by the project manager. The risk probability and impact assessment technique used for the qualitative risk analysis. This technique used group meeting. The main agenda of this meeting was to find the level of probability for every risk; its impact and source were evaluated. The level of probability and the impact were rated based on the definition described in the risk management plan. The reason for adopting this technique was the limitations and lack of knowledge. Decision tree analysis technique was performed in qualitative risk analysis. The risk that was prioritizing earlier during qualitative risk analysis was structured using decision tree analysis. The purpose of this approach is to identify available choices and scenarios. This technique will help to estimate cost at each choice and the scenarios. This helped the development team to estimate the right decision along with the cost. 18.104.22.168 Risk response Planning To minimize risk threat and take necessary actions to resolve risk, risk planning was adopted. The “strategy for both threats and opportunities” technique was used to eliminate the risk from the project. The rest of techniques for risk response either deal with risk with potential positive impact or risk with negative impact. The active acceptance strategy was adopted to establish contingency reserve to handle risks and opportunities. 4.1.6 Change control management The goal of change control management is to provide methods or procedures for handling project changes in order to minimize impact of the risks and consequently to help maintain the quality and operations in the project. 22.214.171.124 Change Control Process In our project, we will try to practice the change control management for case that major changes is happened in the project. In the process, the change control board or change committee is the most important role in the system. The committee responds for making decision whether or not to accept change requests that are inevitable as project proceeds. For doing the role, we agreed that the project manager is the chair of the change committee. The team members brainstorm necessary adjustment in scope statement, project plan (e.g. schedule, resources) if changes are approved. There are three reasons that our projects appointed a formal change committee to justify change requests before implementing. First of all, we want to prevent unnecessary and costly changes for derailing project schedule. Second, we want to ensure that the most appropriate solution is taken. And lastly, the impact of changes that might affect personal schedule is acceptable by all parties. 126.96.36.199 Configuration Management The configuration management (CM) serves as the subset of the change control management, which its purpose is to maintain the evolving project products under control. Our primary concern in this area is to provide the tool and the storage for every entity produced during the software development project. 188.8.131.52 CM Tool Two parts of CM is the software configuration management (SCM) and the operational configuration management (OCM). While SCM focuses on managing source code during development, OCM focuses on managing the configuration items (such as documentation and service definitions) within a project management. In this project, we agreed to practice these two parts of CM as integrated portion by using single management tool. For that purpose, we selected Subversion as the configuration tool. Regarding with the other CM tools option, we put notice on Concurrent Versions System (CVS) and Subversion only. The reason is because we want to exercise for tools that have been widely used and known by the software development communities. Furthermore, the comparison between these two tools shows that Subversion has many useful advantages rather than CVS. For example, the Subversion's atomic commits will assure the data consistency in the system so the repository will always stable. In this manner, persons who update their working copy will never miss any changes left from the others' commits. Another useful feature is that Subversion can also manage changes of the binary files. This feature is very helpful because in the project not only source code text will be maintained in the system but also the documentations in binary format (i.e. Microsoft Word document or Portable Document File), thus, the project team will still be able to trace changes or find differences between various revisions. For further details, Table 4 shows the features summary for both CVS and Subversion. Table 4: CVS and Subversion Features Comparison CVS doesn't provide atomic commits. Subversion provides atomic commits which mean a collection of modifications either goes into the repository completely, or not at all. CVS only tracks the history of individual files. Subversion implements a ``virtual'' versioned file system so files and directories are also versioned. CVS doesn't support copy and rename operations. Subversion supports add, delete, copy, and rename for both files and directories. CVS only supports text (human-readable) files when Subversion differences expresses file using a binary sensing changes or tracing differences. CVS only uses its proprietary protocol for the networking. differencing algorithm, which makes Subversion supports on both text (human-readable) and binary (human-unreadable) files when sensing changes. Subversion can also use another network protocol as an extension (i.e. HTTP or HTTPS). There are also three another reasons Subversion became the preference. First, Subversion is free open software. So, it is obvious that the team does not need to spend hundreds or thousands US dollar to purchase proprietary license. This gives significant saving money for the overall project cost. Second, Subversion has enough features to perform several important revision control needs for the project. Third, some members in the team are quite familiar with using Subversion and the remaining has heard the usage of the tool. This initial knowledge helps to speed-up the exercise using Subversion. effective communication and understanding among the team rather than creating tedious specification documents. Regarding with the other software development models (SDMs), we selected only the SDM that has a clear definition about project management inside it. For several SDMs we have surveyed, the project management process was not very clear and even incomplete or ambiguous. For example, the extreme programming does not define risk management process . Another concern is about the time constraint and the part-time dedication of the team members to the project. For example, the waterfall model and the spiral model is too tedious for the team to define everything in advance and do prototyping. Table 5 shows the comparison between the other software development models. Table 5: Software Development Model Comparison SDM AUP 184.108.40.206 Repository Location SVN repository is the product of implementing the Subversion service. The repository can be accessed online through the Internet and only the members of the team have the fully readand-write operation. Public members can get access but with limited permission. The repository can be located using URL address: http://photohand.googlecode.com/svn. All incremental codes and documentations will be stored in this repository. 5. SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MODEL In the project, we used the Agile Unified Process (AUP). AUP is a simplified version of the Rational Unified Process (RUP). AUP describes a simple and understandable approach using agile techniques and concepts yet still remaining true to the RUP practices. The reason AUP became the choice is because AUP provides a clear structure for project management process and its development process. AUP defines four phases and seven disciplines to be followed by the team. And in Section 4 we have covered the management process activities. For example, in the Inception phase of AUP, the team covered almost all the project planning processes, such as scope planning, time estimation, budget allocation, human resource assignment, risk identification and so on. Later in the Construction phase, the team will execute the project based on the plan. AUP works as an incremental and iterative approach that suitable in our assignment's case. The benefit of this approach is it helped the team to break down the tasks and grouped them into a single iteration work. Later, multiple iterations recur to create a fully integrated product. AUP also proposes a small amount of deliverable artifacts. This value of AUP fits with the time constraint that the team faced. Thus, the team could have enough time on focusing to the working code rather than on composing the documents. For example, AUP can use other agile practices in order to have XP Advantages Similar to RUP characteristics, AUP has a clear define phases and activities AUP uses iterative and incremental approach, risk-driven model. It is an agile approach that oriented to change management. Spiral Spiral defines several project management activities Waterfall It is a simple process, unidirectional and sequential flow. Disadvantages Hard to maintain the agile practices in control. The successful of XP’s project depends on people’s competency and experiences. This become problem in our team that we have various different backgrounds. A lot of overhead, like creating prototype, is produced before start implementing. It is difficult to gather all the requirements in advance at the early stages of the project. It is difficult to manage changes and when possible implies big cost. 6. CONCLUSIONS Is the believe of this software development team that the set of decision adopted along the plan, in both, the project management area as well as the software development area are going to drive our project to our final goal. A goal based on the delivery of our final product under cost, in time and with the quality level required by our customer. This assumption is based on two main decisions, the customization of the PMP for the project management area and the adoption of an agile perspective of the unified software development process. During the elaboration of the present project plan the main difficulties we have found were: the transition from a group of people to a team. The adoption of a common understanding about the activities and tasks required for a software development project. The distinction between project management activities and software development activities, as well as the relation between them, have been a difficult area of agreement. 7. 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