Failing to plan is planning to fail!!

19 Feb

In my last post I gave an overview of traditional methods of software development. In particular the Waterfall model, the Spiral model and the V model. My colleagues will be discussing the Spiral and V model in greater detail and I will be looking at the waterfall model. As previously mentioned the waterfall model consists of 6 stages.

1. Planning

2. Analysis

3. Logical design

4.Physical design

5. Implementation

6. Maintenance.

Today I will be discussing stage 1 of the model, Planning.

Planning is an integral part in any process but in particular in software development as more than 50% of IS projects fail which can cause major setbacks in any organisations especially financial repercussions such as with the UK Inland Revenue when software errors caused them to overpay £3.45 billion in tax credits.
The main objective of project planning is to define clear goals for the project and to outline the work that will need to be done to achieve these goals. This is done by developing a Baseline Project Plan (BPP). This is a plan that shows the stakeholders involved what the planners hope to achieve with the project. The BPP will usually include information such as start and finish dates for the project, planned effort such as how many labour hours will be involved, and budgets for costs and revenue.

3 Main Benefits of Project Baselining

click here for more information on Baseline Project Plans.

Another objective of planning includes developing a Project Scope Statement (PSS). This is used to define the results that the project will yield. It should also include information such as the project name, the project owners, sponsors and stakeholders, the goals and objectives of the project, the project statement and the project requirements to name a few.
So what exactly is involved in the planning stage?

Aspects of project planning include:

  • Describing the scope of the project, any available alternatives to the project and investigating the feasibility of the plan.
  • We then divide the project into clear and achievable tasks.
  • A resource plan will need to be developed to determine what is needed to complete the project in terms of labour, equipment and materials.
  • Develop a schedule to ensure that the goals for each phase/stage are being completed in a timely and efficient manner.
  • A communication plan will be needed to inform all of the involved parties of the goals of the project and what is needed in order to achieve those goals.
  • We will also need to identify and assess the risks involved so we can minimise the chance of failure.
  • Finally a budget will be created.

Come back next week when we will be looking at the analysis stage 🙂




5 Responses to “Failing to plan is planning to fail!!”

  1. sad111708665 February 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Excellent……this is going to help me so much with my studies into IS….thank you!!!!!!

  2. sad112540853 February 20, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    great blog 😀 very descriptive and i like the way you expaneded on planning, the percentage makes it very clear of how important it is to plan as 50 % of projects fail which could lead to businesses losing alot of money. Could you tell me more about the difference between logical and physical design please?

    • sad111739211 February 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂 my next post will be on analysis, and the one after that is going to cover both design phases so keep an eye out!!

  3. sad111744291 February 20, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    UK Inland Revenue is a great example of a failure in planning stage. It shows that from the beginning of the system development there was many signs that the system can fail. I found very interesting article about events that happened then. Interesting blog 😀

    • sad111739211 February 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Thats a great article, it really emphasises the importance for planning, thanks 🙂

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