How do I plan a long-term software development project?

How do I plan a long-term software development project?

Planning a long term software development porject

Just yesterday, I got the long-awaited message, “The Eagle has landed!” yesterday from our Sales Rep. Eagle was the code name for an ambitious development project we had proposed, and the good news was that we had a go-ahead.

I see some exciting times ahead of me, planning and executing this one. Immediately I took out my trusted Checklist I keep handy exactly for such an occasion.

These are the things that I learned working on a number of successful and some not-so-successful projects over the period. Each one of them has taught me more about completing a project successfully.

Create a roadmap in Broad strokes –  Requirements finalization – Architecture Design – Execution plan should be done at the start of the project in Broad strokes. This cycle is to make sure that all the stakeholders from Users to Developers and Buyers to Top managers are on the same page about what everyone is getting from the endeavor. This roadmap is used to create the big picture, without getting too entrenched in the finer details at this time.

Actually, as some wise man stated, the plan is outdated as soon as you create it, but it is the most important document since it makes the whole team think in the same direction, the drill is done, now they are ready to handle and course-correct as the changes arise still keeping the big picture intact.

Processes should work for you and not the other way round. So set them up as you are planning for the project. Adapt them to the situation and get the maximum out of them.

Fill in the details closer to the execution. As the execution starts, fence off the work that you will complete in this iteration. Guard against the work creep and then fill the fine details for that work meticulously. And follow that plan to the T

Early indicators and regrouping. One important thing to plan is identifying the indicators that will help you gauge the health of the project. Scope – Timeline – Resources, you have to know the permissible margin on each one for your project at any given point. If these indicators start turning red, immediate action is to be taken to course correct them. In order for this to happen the indicators have to be planned and measured well.

These principles have always helped me and I am trusting them to make the land “Eagle” soar high!

Do you also follow any checklist?

Share this post