Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Management: Lifecycle, Project, Team

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Detailed Activity-Based Measure

Percent-complete measures can be based on a much lower level of granularity. Table 14-5 shows an example based on a very detailed breakdown of activities and rolled up to the project level. (Figure 14-4 is a simplification from an actual project but the general idea has been captured.) For each of the units to be designed, an estimated number of design hours were generated (based on a combination of parametric cost-modeling and engineering judgment). For Subsystem 1, Unit A will require an estimated 120 hours, while Unit B will require an estimated 88 hours. Each unit is assigned a weighting based on these estimates. For example, the 120 hours estimated for Unit A represents 120/1071 hours or 11.20 percent of the estimated design effort.

Figure 14-4Figure 14-4: Graphical representation of percent complete based on data in Table 14-5

Each design activity (for example, requirements trace or use cases) is assigned a weight based on a combination of historical data and engineering judgment. Thus, tracing the requirements counts for 15 percent, documenting use cases counts for 25 percent, and so on. We can multiply the two sets of weights to derive detailed weights for each unit by activity combination. For example, for the activity of requirements trace, we multiply 11.20 percent times 15 percent to arrive at a weighting of 1.68 percent for Unit A. This means that a credit of 1.68 can be claimed only after the requirement trace for Unit A from Subsystem 1 is completed, documented, and signed off (by SQA or whatever exit criteria are in place for calling a design activity complete). Each of the other design activities—use cases, object model, and peer review—is associated with planned and actual completion dates and weightings. For the sake of saving space, these dates and weightings are not filled in.

You can use this same method to track code progress or integration and test progress. The percentages can be summed on a weekly basis to show overall progress. By looking at the detailed data in the spreadsheets, it is possible to see the progress of individual tasks for individual units.

This is the approach underlying the concept of Earned Value, a topic that is beyond the scope of this chapter. An excellent reference is Earned Value Project Management by Quentin W. Fleming and Joel M. Hoppelman.

The strengths of this detailed level of tracking progress include the following:

  • It is more objective than the less detailed example above because concrete exit criteria were associated with each of the design activities.

  • Weekly reporting made this much closer to real time than the monthly reporting of the first example.

  • The detailed reporting provided a clear drill-down capability for the project manager, who could look at progress from the perspective of the entire project or for individual subsystems and units.

The weakness in this example was the need for a detailed level of planning (certainly not a weakness in itself, but an immature process will not support this level of planning and tracking).

Product-Based Measures of Progress

The second type of measure—work unit progress—looks at progress from the perspective of the work product rather than the intermediate activities. Instead of counting activities completed, we count units of product that pass objective completion criteria. The key word here is "objective." Work unit progress can be measured at any phase in the development (units designed, units coded, units completing unit test, units integrated, tests successfully executed, problem reports closed). Units can refer to any work entity that is meaningful, including design components, function points, lines of code, screens, reports, and so on.

The basic concept is to start with an estimate of the total number of units, a planned start and end date, and a plan line that represents the number of units completed at various points. The completion of work units often follows an S-shaped curve similar to that shown in Figure 14-5. Progress appears slow at first, but the rate increases and then tapers off as the final and most difficult units are completed.

Figure 14-5Figure 14-5: Typical S-shaped curve

Figure 14-6 shows a measure of planned versus actual progress based on this type of measure. Again this example is from a real project.

Figure 14-6Figure 14-6: Work unit progress

The work unit progress measure shown in Figure 14-6 has the following strengths:

  • It is objective to the extent that it is based on concrete exit criteria for counting a unit as coded.

  • It can support roll-up and drill-down. We can look at coding progress for the entire project, or we can drill down and look at individual subsystems.

  • The biggest strength: Work unit progress can be very useful, even in the absence of a detailed planning process. It provides visibility into the rate of progress required to meet the planned start and endates for any given activity. In that sense, it can be a useful counterpart to a Gantt chart by allowing us to answer the question "How many units do we need to have completed at any given time?"

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020