Defining the Goal and Scope of the Software

Defining the Goal and Scope of the Software

Defining the Goal and Scope of the Software Project

So far we have explained processes and life cycles as a framework for performing software project management. This section explains the beginning of formal project creation. In this section, we explain how the project and product processes fit together to define a unique project instance. The five steps of any project are why, what, how, do it, and did it. These steps are where the five PMI ® project processes of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing are carried out, regardless of the nature of the project. We saw how the five steps mapped into business, product, and project life cycles.

We'll see what is required to describe the goal and scope of a unique software development project. The techniques to be explained are the S.M.A.R.T. method for goal and objective completeness, and the Is/Is Not technique for goal and objective clarification. The goal and scope become the key content for the important documents that describe the project. These include the charter, scope of work statement, and software project management plan (SPMP).

Where We Are in the Product Development Life Cycle

Where are we in the basic software life cycle model that serves as our map? The first three steps of Figure (a) are where the goal and scope of the project get described. In concept exploration, the object of the system is identified at a high level in the statement of need. In the system exploration and requirements steps, the scope is refined until it is understood and manageable.

Where Defining the Goal and Scope of the Software Project Occurs in the Life Cycle

"Defining the Goal and Scope of the Software Project" Relation to the 34 Competencies

This section is related to the competencies shown in Figure (b). Explaining the project goal and scope directly relate to the initial assessment and product definition techniques of product development, and the project management skills related to estimating and documenting, using the people management competencies of leadership, negotiation, and communication and interaction.

How Defining the Goal and Scope of a Software Project Relates to the 34 Competencies

Product Development Techniques

3. Defining the product - Identifying customer environment and product requirements
7. Performing the initial assessment - Assessing difficulty, risks, costs, and schedule

Project Management Skills

12. Building a work breakdown structure - Building a work breakdown structure for a project
13. Documenting plans - Identifying key components
14. Estimating cost - Estimating cost to complete the project
15. Estimating effort - Estimating effort necessary to complete the project

People Management Skills

26. Interaction and communication - Dealing with developers, upper management, and other teams
27. Leadership - Coaching project teams for best results
29. Negotiating successfully - Resolving conflicts and negotiating successfully
31. Presenting effectively - Using effective written and oral skills

Learning Objectives for "Defining the Goal and Scope of the Software Project"

The main object of this section is to describe the goal and scope of the project so clearly that measuring progress is easy and there is no doubt that the project goals have been achieved.

There are various techniques and tools available to the project manager to describe the goal and scope clearly. Among them are the Is/Is Not technique and the S.M.A.R.T. goal checklist.

Upon completion of this section, the reader should be able to:

●  Describe why project planning is valuable;
●  Explain the value and contents of a project charter, scope of work statement, and software
    project management plan;
●  Make usable goal and objective statements;
●  Describe how to make crisp, clean boundaries around the project's scope;
●  Explain the five project process steps for any project, and explain how they relate to the
    product processes of business and software development;
●  Explain how the project charter, statement of work (SOW), software project management plan
    (SPMP), and software requirements specification (SRS) relate to each other.


project creation, life cycle, product development, project management
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