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Hollywood Secrets of Project Management Success

Book Description

Learn best practices for managing software development projects from an unexpected but surprisingly relevant source: the producers of major motion pictures.

What can Hollywood’s hundred years of filmmaking experience teach the software industry? Like movies, software projects can be complex, creative, and high risk. But Hollywood has a better track record for delivering projects to plan. Now you can apply the project-management best practices used by motion-picture producers and production managers to your own work—and get better results.

The author—an expert in software engineering and process improvement—shares what he’s learned from film-industry project managers to deliver software projects on time and on budget. You’ll gain practical insights and effective techniques you can apply right away for estimation and planning; controlling costs, schedules, and changes; coordinating multiple teams; tracking progress; reporting status; managing logistics; management reviews; and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Hollywood Secrets of Project Management Success
    1. Introduction
      1. Gates of Heaven, Worlds of Water
      2. Project Management in the World of Information Technology
        1. An American Success Story
        2. Managing the Projects
        3. The Cost of Success
      3. The Project Management Landscape
        1. Solutions Are Available
          1. The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge
          2. Iterative/Agile
          3. Capability Maturity Model Integration
          4. International Standards Organization’s ISO 9001:2000
          5. Microsoft Solutions Framework/Six Sigma/The Custom Approach
        2. Available Does Not Mean Used
      4. Why the Association with Hollywood?
        1. Developing the Intangible
        2. Shaped to a Business Need
        3. Significant Investments
        4. Specifications Open to Change
        5. Specialized Production Protocols and Technologies
        6. Specialized Teams
        7. Common Life Cycle
        8. Strategic Delivery
      5. The Purpose of This Book
      6. The Audience for This Book
        1. Program and Project Managers
        2. Upper-Level Technology Managers
        3. CIOs
      7. How This Book Is Organized
      8. From Principles to Practice
      9. Find Additional Content Online
    2. I. Development
      1. 1. Know the System
        1. Two Percent Over, with a Lot of Explaining to Do
          1. Consistency
          2. Predictability
          3. Accountability
          4. Communications
          5. Trackability
        2. The Hollywood System of Production Management
          1. Phase 1: Development
            1. Market Analysis
            2. Property Analysis
            3. Concept Development
            4. Script Development
            5. Packaging
            6. Financing
          2. Phase 2: Preproduction
            1. Staffing
            2. Planning
            3. Script Refinement
            4. Casting
            5. Location Scouting
            6. Design
          3. Phase 3: Production
            1. Shooting
            2. Rough Cut Editing
            3. Production Reporting
            4. Adjustments
          4. Phase 4: Post-Production
            1. Final Editing
            2. Mixing
            3. Audience Testing
          5. Phase 5: Distribution
            1. Marketing and Advertising
            2. Printing
            3. Release
        3. A Similar Model for the Technology Industries
          1. Phase 1: Initiation
            1. Business Analysis
            2. Project Development
            3. Project Scoping
          2. Phase 2: Planning
            1. Requirements Refinement
            2. Staff Acquisition
            3. Plan Development
          3. Phase 3: Execution and Control
            1. Change Control
            2. Design, Development, Testing
            3. Progress and Performance Reporting
          4. Phase 4: Closure
            1. User Acceptance Testing
            2. Resource Release
            3. Lessons Learned
        4. Management Objective: The Project from the System
        5. Case in Point: Modernization Project at the Internal Revenue Service
      2. 2. Know Your Properties
        1. Rocky XXIII, Friday the 13th Part 14, and Titanic 2—Makin’ It to the Top
        2. IT Portfolio Management as Strategic Positioning
        3. The Need for Applications Portfolio Management
          1. Environments Are Complex
          2. Directed Growth Requires a Known Starting Point
          3. Software Development Is Expensive
          4. Effective Planning Begins with Scope
        4. The Adverse Consequences of Black Box Management
          1. Scope Fluctuations
          2. Lost Stakeholders
          3. Amorphous Boundaries
          4. Redesigns
          5. Added Work
          6. Problematic Implementations
          7. Ambiguous Test Results
        5. Hollywood and Portfolio Management
          1. Identifying Investment Value
          2. Analyzing Present Value
          3. Leveraging Future Value
        6. Launching IT Portfolio Management
          1. Step 1: Inventory the Applications Portfolio
          2. Step 2: Model the Applications Universe
          3. Step 3: Manage the Portfolio Through Governance and Guidelines
        7. Case in Point: Kohl’s Department Stores
        8. For a Deeper Look. . .
      3. 3. Establish Green-Light Rules
        1. Inside the Hughes Hangar
          1. Eagle Eye
          2. Bearer of the Green Lantern
        2. Technology’s Unlocked Gate
        3. The Green-Light Path in Hollywood
          1. What’s on the Slate?
          2. What’s the Property?
          3. What’s the Potential?
          4. What’s the After-Market?
        4. Project Portfolio Management for IT Organizations
          1. PPM Control Points
            1. Organizational Applicability
            2. Payout Optimization
            3. Resource Allocation
            4. Pipeline Management
            5. Communication Management
          2. Beginning PPM in Your Shop
            1. A Basic Maturity
            2. A Baseline Inventory
            3. An Evaluation Board
            4. Evaluation Criteria
            5. Performance Metrics
        5. Case in Point: CalPERS of California
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      4. 4. Invest in a Solid Script
        1. The Package Drives the Script
        2. The Business of Weak Requirements
          1. Speed-to-Market Business Pressures
          2. Lack of Technological Appreciation
          3. Lack of Commitment to Analysis
          4. Variations in Personal Expression
          5. The Comfort of the Clacking
        3. Continuing the Parallels at Parallel Entertainment
          1. The Non-Negotiable Do’s of Hollywood Script Development
          2. The Cardboard Box of Might-Have-Beens
          3. System Requirements as Technology’s Script
        4. Addressing Requirements Development
          1. Seven Productive Requirements Development Practices
            1. Practice 1: Orient Your Customers to Your Requirements Development Process
            2. Practice 2: Establish the Business Mission
            3. Practice 3: Commit to Analysis
            4. Practice 4: Standardize a Form of Expression
            5. Practice 5: Derive the Functional Requirements from Business Requirements
            6. Practice 6: Balance the Requirements
            7. Practice 7: Link Requirements to an Early Test Strategy
          2. Promoting the Investment in Requirements Development
        5. Case in Point: Athena Technologies
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      5. 5. Time Box the Projects
        1. Form, Format, and Formula
        2. IT Runaways and Throwaways
          1. The Unlocked IT Gate
            1. Open Release Schedules
            2. Open Entry Criteria
            3. Short-View Business Mission Support
            4. Reactive Project Management Controls
          2. The Classic Endgame
            1. Unending Scope Discovery
            2. Mounting Rework
            3. Perpetual Development
            4. Resource Quicksand
            5. Schedule and Budget Overruns
          3. Limiting Through Form and Format
        3. Toward a Controlled Development Tempo
          1. Build Around Development Sprints
          2. Evolve a Managed Product Backlog
          3. Connect with the Product Owner
          4. Leverage Knowledge Teams
        4. Benefits of the Time Box Approach
          1. Promoting Focus and Prioritization
          2. Nurturing Reliable Scheduling and Dependable Budgeting
          3. Support of Effective Resource Utilization
          4. Fostering a Long-Term View of the IT Mission
          5. Accommodation of the Project Management Program Framework
        5. Case in Point: Time Boxing at Oatland Container Corp.
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
    3. II. Preproduction
      1. 6. Strip Board the Script
        1. The Time-Money Equation
          1. Strip Boarding the Script
          2. Order Through Understanding
        2. Form Following Function in Technology Development
        3. The Two-Dimensional Work Breakdown Structure
          1. Establish the Assessment Team
          2. Organize the Requirements
        4. Benefits of Source-Organized Work Breakdown Structures
        5. Case in Point: Pryor Development Services
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      2. 7. Staff to the Genre
        1. The Central Role of Casting
          1. "Ninety Percent of the Job Is Casting"
          2. Working with the Right Types
        2. Any Casting Is Not Right Casting
        3. Assign By Design
          1. Mission and Project Definition
          2. Repository Design
          3. Centralized Resourcing
          4. Repository Maintenance
          5. Development and Recruitment
          6. Cross-Training
        4. Benefits of "Type Staffing"
        5. Case in Point: Athenati Integration Services
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      3. 8. Budget to the Board
        1. Liberty Within Limits
          1. The Numbers Behind the Story
          2. The Mark of Professionalism
        2. The IT Budget and the Bottom Line
        3. Budgeting Tips for Technology Projects
        4. Benefits of Multifaceted Budgeting
        5. Case in Point: Westpoint-Taylor
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      4. 9. Sign on the Dotted Line
        1. Contracts and Commitments
        2. Stakeholder Involvement for IT Projects
          1. Balance Through Involvement
          2. Hollywood Lesson
        3. Facilitating Stakeholder Involvement
          1. Identifying Stakeholders
          2. Involving Stakeholders
            1. Plan Stakeholder Touch Points
            2. Seek Early Input
            3. Seek Periodic Feedback
            4. Demonstrate Agreement
            5. Sustain Commitment
            6. Control Change
        4. Benefits of Stakeholder Agreement
        5. Case in Point: Kohl’s Department Stores Revisited
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
    4. III. Production
      1. 10. Stick to the Script
        1. The Script as Bible
        2. The Requirements as Contract
        3. Hollywood-Style Change Control
          1. A Bump on the Head
          2. Following the Script
          3. Technology Interpretation
        4. Moving Toward Improvement
          1. The Discipline of Requirements Management
            1. A Simple Requirements Control Procedure
            2. Tracking the Scope
        5. Case in Point: The Fall of Indus
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      2. 11. Work to the Call Sheets
        1. Yes Man
        2. Tracking the Work in IT
        3. Incrementing the Solution
        4. Benefits of a Work Authorization System
        5. Case in Point: Palter-Taft Technologies
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      3. 12. Ante Up the Completion Bond
        1. Gospel Hill
          1. Protecting the Investment
          2. The Practice of Insuring Success
        2. Losing Sight of Process in IT
          1. Hollywood Lesson
        3. Establishing Project Quality Assurance Oversight
        4. Benefits of Project Quality Assurance
        5. Case in Point: Pitney Bowes
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      4. 13. Manage the Hot Costs
        1. The Trailer Next to Sound Stage 4
          1. A Cool View of the Hot Costs
          2. The Clock Is Running but the Camera Ain’t
        2. Floating Over the Numbers
          1. "It’s out of our control."
          2. "No one takes it seriously."
          3. "It’s gonna change anyway."
          4. "It’s only funny money."
        3. Managing by the Numbers
        4. Benefits of Managing Through Measures
        5. Case in Point: Micronetix
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      5. 14. Cut as You Go
        1. Way Down East
          1. Cutting to Ensure Increase
          2. Cut, Print, Shape
            1. On-Set Playback
            2. Working with Dailies
            3. Shaping the Answer Print
        2. Waterfall Ahead
          1. Separating Us from Them and Then from Now
          2. The End-of-the-Line Crunch
        3. Integrating an Iterative Test Approach
        4. Benefits of Iterative Testing
        5. Case in Point: Public Health Software Systems
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
    5. IV. Post-Production
      1. 15. Edit to the Investment
        1. The Butcher’s Wife
        2. Divergence and Discontinuity
        3. Continuity of Quality
          1. Helpful Reviews
          2. Shaping a Peer Review Process
        4. Benefits of Peer Reviews
        5. Case in Point: MCI Worldcom
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      2. 16. Study the Test Cards
        1. Changing the End
        2. Working with the User
        3. Listening to the User
        4. Benefits of User Acceptance Testing Together
        5. Case in Point: Agilys
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
      3. 17. Count the Box Office
        1. The Bucket List
        2. The Unconscious Organization
        3. Leveraging Knowledge Management
          1. Define, Organize, Shape
            1. Define
            2. Establish
            3. Collect
            4. Organize
            5. Store
            6. Distribute
          2. Present, Access, Rely
        4. Benefits of Leveraging Lessons Learned
        5. Case in Point: Advantage Computers Inc.
        6. For a Deeper Look. . .
    6. V. Wrap-Up
      1. 18. Honor the System
        1. The System Is the Solution
          1. The Machine Rolls On (or Over)
          2. The Surety of Familiarity
        2. Hesitation in IT Shops
          1. "Everything’s fine."
          2. "We’ve got other fish to fry."
          3. "We’re too different."
          4. "A program will weigh us down."
          5. "We’ve already tried that."
          6. "Our customers won’t support it."
        3. Project Management as an Operational Asset
          1. Predictability, Consistency, Repeatability
          2. Synchronous Customer Relations
          3. Effective Strategic and Tactical Planning
          4. Enhanced Performance
        4. The Lean Machine at Work
        5. The Secret to Project Management Success
          1. Executive commitment
          2. Right-sizing
          3. Involvement of associates
          4. Governance
          5. Training and coaching
          6. Recognition
        6. Case in Point: Thoughtmill
      2. 19. The Lessons Reviewed
        1. Treat Your Business Like a Business
        2. Lesson 1: Establish a Project Management System
        3. Lesson 2: Manage Your Applications Portfolio
        4. Lesson 3: Establish Project Assessment and Approval Guidelines
        5. Lesson 4: Devote Time for the Development of Requirements
        6. Lesson 5: Employ Incremental Development Windows
        7. Lesson 6: Use WBSs as a Basis for Estimation and Planning
        8. Lesson 7: Identify Needed Knowledge and Skill Sets
        9. Lesson 8: Establish Budgets and Schedules That Tie Directly to the WBS
        10. Lesson 9: Obtain Commitments from Key Stakeholders
        11. Lesson 10: Focus on the Delivery of Required Functionality
        12. Lesson 11: Manage Through Incremental Progress Targets
        13. Lesson 12: Welcome the Quality Auditors
        14. Lesson 13: Track Scope, Schedule, Budget, and Quality on a Regular Basis
        15. Lesson 14: Test Early, Build Often
        16. Lesson 15: Test to Verify Requirements
        17. Lesson 16: Focus on User Acceptance Testing
        18. Lesson 17: Conduct Project Retrospectives Across Stakeholder Groups
        19. Lesson 18: Follow Your Project Management System
        20. Summary
    7. A. Credits
      1. Jim Behnke
      2. Michael Beugg
      3. Alan Blomquist
      4. Pat Crowley
      5. Carey Dietrich
      6. Stephen Dunn
      7. Marty Ewing
      8. Bill Fay
      9. Eric Jones
      10. Amy Kaufman
      11. Patty Long
      12. Peter Macgregor-Scott
      13. Scott Rosenfelt
    8. B. James R. Persse
    9. Index