Informatics 117: Project in Software System Development
Winter Quarter 2009
You have substantial flexibility in choosing
the specific form for the content of your deliverables. Below is a list
of items that should be included in your first deliverable, a project prospectus.
There is no need to select a manager and clerical support for this deliverable nor
will you be doing performance appraisals at this point. Rather you should
use this opportunity to brainstorm and get to know each other.
One of your major tasks for the current period of time is developing an
understanding of the various technologies and tasks concerned with your
project. This includes the tools and techniques that you will use in accomplishing
your task as well as the technologies that you will be extending, enhancing,
In this deliverable you should reflect your newly gained understanding by
writing an introduction to your project that highlights its various important
Due Date: January 20th
1. Technical Marketing Sheet
Include a one or two page technical marketing sheet (a bit more technical
than a "sales brochure") suitable for describing your product to a technically
literate outside audience. This document should be successful in reflecting
that you really understand what problem is being solved and can articulate
how your product will add value.
2. Project Plan
Use the outline below in presenting your project plan. Note that your future
deliverables will include updates to this plan, so treat this as a living document
-- one that you actually get value from.
- Scope and Purpose of Document (overview)
- Project Summary (short!)
- Major Activities
- Management and Technical Constraints
- Project Risks
- Risk Analysis
- Identification (what is the risk?)
- Risk Estimation (how big a consequence would it have?)
- Evaluation (how likely is it to occur?)
- Risk Management
- Risk Aversion Options (what can you do to avoid it?)
- Risk Monitoring Procedures (how do you keep track of whether it is going
- Project Work Breakdown Structure (wikipedia is not too bad on describing
- Time-Line Chart (when are you going to finish your various work products?)
- Resource Table (how is each team member going to be applied throughout
the weeks of the project?)
- (You could use a tool like Microsoft Project to help you with parts of
- Project Estimates
- Estimates (how long is each sub-task going to take?)
- Historical Data
used for the Estimates (personal data? team data? application-domain data
(from other projects?))
- Estimation Techniques
- Project Resources
- People (who is on the team?)
- Hardware and software
- Special resources?
- Staff Organization
- Team Structure (What do you expect to be the team's organizational structure?
Who reports to whom?)
Member Responsibilities (How are management and clerical tasks carried
out ? e.g., who will manage which phases and who will provide clerical
support? Have team members been assigned specific technology-area responsibilities?)
- Meetings: when, where, and how often?
- Tracking and Control Mechanisms
- (How are you going to keep track of where you are at? How are you going
to control your deliverables? (I.e. document management, version control,
- Appendices (if needed)
Each team must prepare a 15 minute presentation, after which we will
engage in Q&A. Prepare your presentation appropriately.
Your presentation should describe both your technical marketing and your
project plan. Focus on the essential issues: the key technical goals,
challenges, and risks. Don't spend air time on the obvious.
- With respect to your technical marketing plan, you can present things
- the problem being solved;
- important functionality your system will provide;
- why the system to be developed is important;
- what's the "value add" of your system;
- what are the selling points of the particular system you will develop
(e.g., what's different about your approach and/or chosen emphasis from other
products or possible approaches).
- With respect to your project plan, you might consider presenting:
- how you will develop it (what's your development process);
- what are the risks involved;
- time estimates for each task;
- critical resources.