Iterations Methodology - A Process and Algorithm to Accommodate Date-driven Projects
Original Publication Date: 2008-Oct-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Oct-31
All too often the only thing that is seemingly cast in stone when an information technology project starts is the project’s target completion date. The project may also begin with a defined scope and a monetary budget but changes to the scope and the budget are normally applied ahead of any change to the target end date. While the project’s scope and budget are readily negotiable, the target end date is often only modified as a last resort.
Iterations Methodology - A Process and Algorithm to Accommodate Date -driven Projects
Our method to work with end date oriented projects is used in conjunction with a project planning tool such as Microsoft Project. The project manager or user of the project planning tool accesses our method via a custom toolbar.
The project manager would begin by launching our method's interface from the toolbar inside of the project planning tool. The project manager is presented with a series of options to select and specify regarding the criteria of the project.
Within the interface, the primary aspect of interest to the project manager working with end date oriented projects is to select whether they want the project plan generated with a natural end date or a targeted end date. If the project manager chooses the targeted end date option, the initial date presented uses the following algorithm:
* The Gregorian date from the computer is obtained
* The Gregorian date of the following Monday is determined * Four months are added to the determined date
The project manager is free to leave the default target end date or to select a custom target end date of their own choosing.
Next, the project manager selects whether or not they want to generate a costing report in addition to the generated project plan. The costing report contains a section on risk to alert the project manager as to the
probability of the project time frame being achieved.
While navigating the interface, the project manager chooses templated project plans and arranges them in peer, linear, and sub-project plan dependency sequences. Within the template each deliverable is associated to a factor that can be used to help derive the amount of time that should be taken to prepare the deliverable.
Associated with the factor is a warning threshold that can assist the method's algorithm in calibrating how realistic is the time allotted to a deliverable - the level of risk.
Example of Risk
The idea of the desired end date is to be date driven - potentially at the expense of scope and monetary cost.. In fact, under certain arrangements, the scope and/or monetary cost could increase. For example, if one programmer is tasked to write five programs. Each program has to be written in a linear manner. If however the project was arranged th...