Project Management Institute

Managing software development project size

overcoming the effort-boxing constraint

Many recent studies have discussed the failures commonly plaguing information technology (IT) projects: Of costs and schedules exceeding stakeholder expectations, of quality and scope falling short of project estimates, of failures often resulting in either rework cycles or cancelled projects. This article examines how project managers can use an incremental development (ID) model to successfully realize fixed-effort projects, particularly IT development projects. In doing so, it explains the dynamics of managing the triple constraint and the way these dynamics affect a project's development and outcome; it describes an ID approach for balancing triple constraint demands and the way this approach enables IT project managers to achieve project success. It also discusses the criticality of time in relation to IT projects and the need for a planning approach based on key IT project milestones and targets as well as parallel-running multiple minicycles.
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