Roles and Activities > Reviewer > Review Project Planning

Purpose
  • To approve the initial Software Development Plan
  • To review and approve changes to the Software Development Plan
Steps
Input Artifacts: Resulting Artifacts:
Frequency: Once at the start of the project, and then with each update of the Software Development Plan
Role: Reviewer

Workflow Details:

The initial Project Planning Review is held near the end of the Inception Phase, when the Software Development Plan is fully developed and includes a high level plan that the project team has a high degree of confidence in.

Subsequent Project Planning Reviews are held at scheduled points where the Software Development Plan is expected to be revised (e.g. at the end of each iteration). They are also held at "un-scheduled" points triggered by the need to make changes to the plan as a result of problems in the project.

Schedule Project Planning Review Meeting To top of page

Attendees of the Project Planning Review meeting should include representatives from senior management, and all groups that will have to commit resources to the project as required by the Software Development Plan (e.g., Development/Engineering, Operations, QA, Test, Customer Support, etc.). Typically these would comprise the Project Review Authority, along with team leads for the various functional areas of the project team.

Once the attendees of the Project Planning Review Meeting have been identified, set a date/time for the meeting to take place. It is important that you provide sufficient lead time to allow the participants to review the project materials that will be used as the basis for the approval decision.

Distribute Meeting Materials To top of page

Prior to the meeting, distribute the project materials to the reviewers. Make sure these materials are sent out sufficiently in advance of the Project Approval Review Meeting to allow the reviewers adequate time to review them. A minimum set of artifacts that should be presented for review is:

  • Vision
  • Business Case
  • Risk List
  • Software Development Plan (and its enclosed plans)

Conduct Project Planning Review Meeting To top of page

During the meeting, the reviewers assess the proposed Software Development Plan to determine whether it represents a program of activity that will deliver the project objectives. The reviewers also look for any erroneous assumptions or omissions in the plan. Consider such things as:

  • Does the plan address the needs identified in the Business Case and Vision?
  • Will the plan deliver the desired results within the schedule and budget outlined in the Business Case?
  • Has the plan been developed to a sufficient level of detail that the outcome of the project can be realistically predicted?
  • Have project estimates been prepared using sound analytical methods?
  • Are review points and milestones scheduled at frequent enough intervals?
  • Are plans in place to mitigate/avoid all serious risks?
  • Are sufficient resources identified in the plan, and are these resources available/acquirable?
  • Are roles and responsibilities clearly defined?
  • Are the monitoring and control processes defined in the plan acceptable?
  • Are all the supporting plans and guidelines completed to an acceptable level of detail?

At the end of the meeting, the reviewers should make their approval decision. The result can be one of the following:

Plan Approved The project will proceed as planned. Senior management commits remaining funds and resources for the project.
Project Canceled Project no longer viable given the known risks and project budget/schedule.
Decision deferred More information is needed, or further investigation is required before an approval decision can be made.

Record Decision To top of page

At the end of the meeting, a Review Record is completed capturing any important discussions or action items, and recording the result of the Project Planning Review. If the result was "decision deferred" a follow-up Project Planning Review Meeting should be scheduled for a later date.