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Project Standards

"In project rescue situationsl, great attention is given to how fast the project is going to be completed but not to how the project is going to be completed. In a mad dash to cross the finish line, project quality suffers. In what may be the most difficult situation, especially when budgets and schedules have been drastically exceeded, the project management office, the project manager and the system architect must take a united stand on doing the job well. The project office standards person can play a significant role in quality assurance from a project deliverable perspective in both the content of a deliverable as well as the method by which the deliverable was produced."
"The best person to fill this role of the project office standards person is someone with extensive experience in the methods employed by the technical team. Senior level architects and engineers that possess excellent communication skills can provide very valuable assistance to the project manager and especially to the sytem architect. As the number of teams within the project grows, more and more pressure is put upon the system architect. The project office standards person can assist the project architect in the following ways:
  • Conduct peer review sessions  No matter what phase of the runaway project is being executed, the most effective strategy is to conduct extensive peer reviews. These sessions, also known as walkthroughs or informal reviews, allow small teams to remove defects early, when the cost of the defect is still low. The more reviews your teams conduct, the more they will be able to remove defects before they get implemented. Unfortunately, the more sessions that are conducted, the higher the demand on the project architect's time. Having an experienced substitute will allow for more sessions and lead to higher quality.
  • Review deliverables  Project deliverables must meet a standard of quality and consistency according to the process or methodology employed by the technical team. Because the project office standards person has intimate knowledge of these standards, the deliverables can be prescreened before the final review by the project architect enabling a faster, higher quality review.
  • Mentor team members  Some team membersw may be stretching their personal knowledge and experience on the technical methods they are trying to employe. Similar to the delivera ble review activity described previously, the project office standards person posseses an intimate knowledge of the technical method and can assist the project architect in helping the less experienced team members work through the methods while on the job."
"As with the other project management office positions, the standards person should be an assistant, but the responsibility of assuring the technical team adheres to quality and process standards still belongs to the project architect."
The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.