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Additional Tools

"The best technique for intervention is prevention. In this chapter, we look at five additional management techniques to those covered in the previous chapters that you can employ during project startup and execution. We look at processes that help you keep your project on track and create audit trails for when projects get out of control. These tools can be used before a project begins or during project execution."

Functional Requirements Management

Every project is initiated to meet a demand. The demand may be for a solution to a problem, for example a business needs to reduce the amount of time it takes to process an order in order to remain competitive. It may be a demand from the market place for a product, for example the mobile phone. It may be a demand to reduce the cost for producing a product or it may be a demand to solve a business problem. These demands must be clearly articulated in business terms, captured in requirements and then translated into a solution by the project. This process is called "Functional Requirements Management" in this series of articles and you can learn some valuable tips and tricks about managing requirements for your software project by clicking on this link.

Another area of this web site contains some helpful tips and tricks to help you capture the right requirements and translate them into meaningful specifications. After all, if you fail to gather all the requirements or don't capture them in language that can be translated into a solution your project won't succeed no matter how well you manage them. You can access that help by clicking on this link.

Change Management

Change is endemic in every project undertaken. The marketplace isn't static so we shouldn't expect our projects to complete without having to accommodate some degree of change. The issue isn't whether our projects accommodate change or not, but how well the changes are managed. Every project manager needs to have a plan of action in place before the first request for change arrives on their desk or in-box. To learn more about the elements of a tight change management plan, click on this link.

Risk Management

There is an element of risk to every project we undertake, or at least every project that has the potential to bring us benefits. We start out with a set of goals and objectives: we need to build a 50 story office building, a bridge, or an order entry and tracking software system. We need to complete the project in 8 months and we need to meet certain quality objectives: zero lost time accidents, or 0 severity 1 or 2 defects. There are threats to these goals and objectives lurking at every turn in the project. The dry wallers strike that could delay completion of the building, the loss of a key programmer that might delay the project or introduce bugs in the finished code. The identification and management of these risks is what differentiates the successful project from the failure. To learn more about how to manage risks to your project click on this link. We've also captured an article on how to identify risks to the project. Click on this link to read it.

Issue Management

Not every impediment to project success will come to you in the form of a change or a risk. How you handle the daily obstacles to achieving your project's goals and objectives can make or break your project. The delays caused to User Acceptance Testing caused by a limit to the number of concurrent users on the test platform is neither a risk or a change, but could cause your project to deliver late if it isn't managed properly. Learn how to deal with project issues by clicking on this link.

Acceptance Management

You've followed all the advice and have produced the deliverables and met all the project deadlines or milestones. Your work is done here and you can go on to the next project success, right? Wrong! You are not the final arbiter on what constitutes a satisfactory deliverable, or whether the milestone has been satisfactorily met, your project sponsor or executive sponsor is. Find out how you ensure that deliverables and milestones are systematically approved by the right approvers by clicking on this link.

Closing Perspective

For a brief overview of how these tools work together to facilitate getting the project back on track and keeping it there, click this link.

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