Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Risk Management – Sharing the Learning - Scenario 4

Crunched schedule project

Potential Challenges:

1. If a project is crunched beyond a certain limit (say > 40% as per the COCOMO Model), there is a high risk for failing the timelines and or poor quality.

2. Resource utilization becomes a challenge when many tracks run in parallel. Result can be high effort over-run.

3. Team morale typically takes a hit in such project

4. Low tolerance for defects. Higher or in cases even normal DIR (defect injection
rate) can impact project timelines.

5. Crunched projects typically have a context at the client end e.g. come commitments to business, regulatory needs, etc. Hence it is important that such projects are done first time right and succeed in achieving its objective.

Mitigation Strategies:

1. Joint Application Development – Jointly working with the client is a good de-risking strategy. Issues are identified and resolved early. Also, this helps in creating a team spirit.

2. Modify team structure and reporting – The development team can be empowered to take certain decisions. Also the reporting structure can be changed to facilitate attention of the top most stakeholders and fast decision making

3. Leveraging GDM – Work can be carried out at various geographical locations. Roles and responsibilities of each and every team needs to be were well defined.

4. Improved communication – Top to bottom every one needs to be made aware of the objectives and implications. SPOC can be defined for all the teams. Stand-up meetings, daily handover meetings, weekly status meetings, Net Meetings and white-boarding – all possible means of communication can be leveraged to ensure that every information and change is communicated appropriately.

5. Process Tailoring – Can be done to suite the situation and potential risks of quality mitigated by better quality resource commitment.

Note - People are the single most factors that can make or break a project. If all the teams are driven by the single objecting of making it happen, the engagement can succeed. There is no prescription / mitigation step to motivate people but some things that can help are:

1. Common communication from the top most executive to all e.g. The IT CEO addressing all development teams in cafeteria.

2. Articulating the objective of the project, its need and criticality very clearly to all the teams

3. Team Leaders need to lead from front by example.

4. Usually the toughness of the challenge itself can tick ☺

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