Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

May 25, 2009

Project Planning

Good requirements simplify the process for project planning. With a clear understanding of the requirements, you can then break the work down into the elemental tasks required to meet the system requirements – and only the system requirements. Perhaps, just as importantly, you can define the necessary testing to validate that the system meets the requirements.

The V-modelV-Model

Defined in the 1980s, the V-Model has been used heavily in the automotive industry, was designed to simplify the complexity associated with developing systems. Today is commonly used in control design and software development. It summarized the main steps corresponding to deliverables in a system validation framework. The left side represents the decomposition of requirements and the creation of system specifications. The right side represents the integration of the parts and their verification according to the design and system requirements. Although the names of the individual steps may differ from one context to the next, the fundamental principle of correspondence applies. For instance:

  1. User Specifications – can correspond to the requirements that must be validated during the Site Acceptance Test (SAT).
  2. Functional Specifications – can correspond to the requirements that must be validated during the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT).

Work Breakdown Process

Ultimately, the work breakdown process results in the individual ‘work packages’ to develop the system. For each work package, you should be able to define:

  1. Definition of work – what is to be implemented
  2. What’s needed – equipment, knowledge, prior work (on the project)
  3. Time/cost – the estimated time and cost to complete the work package
  4. Deliverable – what must be produced to complete the task

Check out other blogs about the V-Model.