How to Get Projects Completed on Time

There are only fives core items that you need to make any project happen. The lack of any one can spell doom.

1. People (programmers, managers, testers)

2. Things (computers, office space, pizzas)

3. Money (enough to make it happen)

4. Time (how long is enough)

5. Process and methodology (how to make it happen)

It all comes down to having the necessary resources and using them wisely. Gone are the days when one computer programmer knew it all. Project managers could do much worse now than invest the greatest part of their working time finding, briefing, and orchestrating a complete band of specialists. The best way to get any project completed on time is to employ only programmers who have current experience in the areas you need. This way, you are not paying for people whose sole strategy is trial and error. They know the tricks and the traps. Code will flow from their fingers because they are in their element. Your prospective product may be leading edge, but if the components that make it work are already tried and tested, its chances of coming out on schedule skyrocket.

Further ways of managing the development process are discussed in Chapter 6.

What do successful program developers do that unsuccessful ones don't? They follow these guidelines:

♦ Involve end users from an early stage

♦ Assemble a clear specification of the program's requirements

♦ Plan thoroughly

♦ Cultivate support on the way

♦ Respond positively to changes and suggestions

♦ Have realistic standards

♦ Know how long things will really take

♦ Enjoy clear visions and objectives

♦ Communicate vertically and horizontally

♦ Enjoy competent, well-motivated, hardworking staff

♦ Set up regular milestones and reviews

♦ Turned experience into sound judgment

♦ Don't leave anything to luck

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