Simple win #2 Divide work into small deliverables

When projects are over a certain size, both in terms of people and elapsed time,  estimating the work, assessing progress and testing the work all become increasingly complex.

In general larger projects are very difficult to manage due to:

  • More uncertainty about the requirements still being relevant at the delivery date
  • Accepted tolerances can still be quite large as a 10% of a large number can also be large.
  • Overheads with communication channels.
  • Longer test period which hold up environments until all tests are completed.
  • Less focus to start with distant delivery dates.
  • Less known up front.

In order to counter these concerns projects should be divided into manageable “chunks”. This allows the customer to receive deliverables which provide business benefit earlier.

Within each release it’s ideal to prioritise work using MOSCOW (Must, Should, Could Won’t) so that essential work is delivered ahead of nice to have work. Difficult, risky and large work can then be prioritised within the must’s to address the risks as early as possible. Ideally you will also be working as part of a cross functional team (Analysts, Developers and testers) to further ensure the right work is developed at the right time.