Getting a Software Measurement, Process Improvement or Outsourcing Programme to work and deliver real value is notoriously difficult. There is a wide choice of data to collect and viewpoints to satisfy. It takes time to establish good processes, to gain acceptance for a programme, to collect and analyse reliable management data and to extract useful information. Then it takes more care and attention to capitalise on any improvement opportunities identified.
Whether you are extending or just starting a programme, or wonder whether an existing programme is delivering real value, a Scope Study can help plan the best way forward.
The objectives are to determine how a programme of work (or consultancy engagement) may best help an organisation to achieve its goals and investigate the effort, duration and costs to implement and sustain such a programme.
Scope and Process
The Study proceeds through four stages:
- Management meeting to establish the organisations' short- and long-term goals and priorities and to identify where a proposed programme of work can help
- An assessment of current practice, measurement capability and available assets, including training needs and cultural attitude to change
- An Options Workshop to present possible approaches and recommendations to management
- Preparation and delivery of the Scope Study Report, recording findings, conclusions and an outline plan of future action.
Scope Study Procedure
Constraints and Assumptions
The Study will be "timeboxed". Total effort involved is dependent on the number of staff and projects (or packages of work) at the client site(s), so Terms Of Reference will be agreed before work commences.
The impact on current activities will be limited to participation by a few staff in interviews and/or workshops. It is assumed the client will provide a Site Liaison Officer to facilitate the Study and access to typical technical and project management documentation.
- Initial Study Schedule and Plan
- Regular verbal or email reports during interview period to highlight progress and raise any issues
- Findings and Options Workshop with management
- Scope Study Report with recommendations.
Scope Study Report - defining the optimal way forward for the programme, acting as a vehicle to obtain commitment and authority to proceed. It will:
- identify the viewpoints and stakeholders that must be satisfied
- record critical success factors and the fit with existing project lifecycles
- record available resources and current measurement/process assets
- indicate applicability of specific measurement, improvement and management techniques - reviewing the options
- propose suitable high-level plans and estimates
- highlight any other opportunities.
Senior Management will understand and commit to the programme's goals, resource needs and plans.
The organisation at large will understand the aims and impact of the programme and the various accountabilities for success.