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