ou may not know what makes a development successful, but you know what makes for trouble:

♦ Unfinished plans

♦ Hazy objectives

♦ Trite planning

♦ Unrealistic timescales

♦ Insufficient funding

♦ Too long or too short development cycles

♦ Having the wrong people on the team

♦ No real support from higher up

For all the talk about planning and fundraising that has gone on before, development is the point where software turns from a dream into reality. Essentially, development is about the production and management of the software, but it doesn't work unless the timetable, the team, and the techniques gel.

A well-considered and well-structured project plan will make development a much more straightforward exercise. Once the resources, sequencing, and milestones have been worked out in detail, you can motor ahead for much of the time at a fairly constant speed. You do not have to make key decisions in mid-flight.

However, just as the simplest computer routine can be complex, so can development. As formally taught, it requires you to keep your eye on four balls simultaneously: people, product, projects, and process. What follows is a practical hands-on guide to juggling without dropping the balls. Fortunately, if you have been following the advice in this book thus far, you have done a lot of the work already.

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