- Project Scope and Objectives
- Systems investigation Report
- The current business systems functions
- Technical Aspects of the system
- Their interpretation of want I want the system to do
- Feasibility Study Report
- Economical Consideration
- System Analysis
- Logical Model of existing Systems
- Data Flow Diagrams
- Data Modeling Diagram
- Data mold of Business entities
The user interface (screens)
- The interface to other systems.
- The data and how it will be stored.
- How the systems process will work
- Set of program specifications
- Data flow diagrams
- Physical components of the system such as PC’s, phone lines, electrical wiring etc.
What do you need to see before you commit more money to the project?
One of the very first questions that I would ask is:
- Have you ever developed a system like this before?
- If so, do you have examples of your work or references?
- If all the documentation is in order.
- It is clear and concise.
- I understand the end game of each phase.
- I personally feel confidant in the development team and the management.
- There are no sales guys present.
- I have had personally one on one casual conversations with key players and developers.
- If the budget was reasonable and customary.
- If I believe in their proposal.
- If my past experience with the development team was positive.
- Other customers are positive about the development team.
- The development teams personal commitment, attitude and observations of work ethics.
For example a simple walk through the office I can tell by what type of computer, OS and software tools as to where management is given the development teams the appropriate and industry standard and currently used tools. If the development team are all Linux developers, creating a Windows application that will immediate throw up a red flag. Why? Linux users/developers are much less likely to follow the development guidelines publish by Microsoft for developing Windows applications. Another red flag would be if all the developers are running on Windows 98. That tells me management is not supporting the development team with the latest tools and it is very likely the development team has little experience and exposure to developing for Windows XP or the platform I require.
What will cause you to pull the plug on the project?
With all the things stated above:
- If some or most of the above that are negative.
- Unclear and confusing documentation.
- Smoke and Mirror documentation.
- Lack of planning.
- Lack of documentation.
- The project is completely off base from my vision.
- Too expensive.
- The development team is not experience enough in the are that I need development for.
- I feel uncomfortable with the people I am working with because of the attitude and their motivation.
- I feel unsure of the teams abilities.
- They have greatly exceeded the last proposal budget.
- They are severely late with the deliverable.
- I have found someone else that is better, that is cheaper, faster and better.
- I have been told by management that I must discontinue the project for reasons that my company might give such as being bought out by another company, or (the customer and I work for the same company) and we are bought out.
- The business situation changes, such as the lead developer quits, dies or leaves the project.
- There is a major break down in communications and personalities.
- Lack of cooperation from the development team.