Due to the growing complexity of projects, keeping control of critical project parameters like effort, cost and time is increasingly difficult. In many cases, this results in late completion of projects and exceeded budget and effort leading to significant commercial loses both for the provider and the supplier. This is a common business concern and the main driver for this experiment whose objective is meeting customer requirements in terms of: timely delivery, costs as agreed and product as required.
The achievement of the objective above requires the improvement of project management practices and the implementation of methods and tools as follows:
a) Project management. Notably, project planning and monitoring of critical parameters (effort, time, costs) using Microsoft Project and Excel.
b) Configuration management using PVCS.
c) Change request management using ChangeFlow.
b) and c) are of particular interest to PRO DV as they commercialise customised systems based on different versions of several components. This implies a careful management and control of the configuration of the client application developed and the changes requested.
The experiment will be performed around IRIS (geographical information system developed by PRO DV and delivered to clients after customisation). Two IRIS applications will be compared (a power supply application will use new methods and tools while a gas application will use conventional ones).
PRO DV employs 80 people, 26 of them are involved in the IRIS team.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
PRO DV expects to gain know-how on keeping projects in line with planned effort, time and cost; improved estimation and planning of future projects and reliable managing of software documents as well as fast handling of change requests. A complementary goal at PRO DV is to raise the quality culture, i.e. the motivation and skills of all staff members.