A powerful strategy to help avoid delays in your ColdFusion project

Gantt chart

How to know which tasks to focus most on

Versioning- why it’s important

Waterfall vs Agile

Smaller projects — Waterfall approach

  • Your customers understand costs, size and timeline for their projects;
  • Every phase contains specific deliverables.

More complex projects — Agile approach

Risks of Waterfall approach:

  • technical risk because you only test your design or architecture until late stages of the project.
  • product risk because don’t even know if you are going in the right direction until it’s too late to make any changes.

Less risk with Agile approach:

  • Testing from the beginning constantly improves quality
  • You have more control and visibility because you are half-way through the project after building half of the features.
  • Product risk is smaller because of early feedback
  • Key stakeholders can suggest changes which can be implemented relatively cheaply.
  • Planning (and setting a specific deadline) can be tricky.
  • Team must be comfortable and skilled inthe chosen Agile framework
  • Difficult to operate in big teams

Task lists- why it’s important

What makes a good tasks list?

  • It’s numbered
  • Clear task names and descriptions
  • No more than 5 days of effort in any task.
  • Comprehensive — all tasks are included
  1. data migration,
  2. integration testing,
  3. load testing.

Tasks estimates

Milestones

  • Prototypes completion
  • Prototype review and sign off by client completion
  • Database design completion
  • Development completion
  • Provision of test data by users
  • Software and servers purchase
  • Staging and live servers configuration
  • Internal testing completion
  • Data migration completion
  • Acceptance testing by users on staging server completion
  • Acceptance testing by users on live server completion

Tracking percentage is misleading

Track time for better estimates

  • A client-caused slip extends the official deadline and I notify the client of the new deadline that we are doing our best to meet.
  • A team-slip does not extend the deadline (but I still notify the client of the estimate delivery date change).

Improving your estimates

Better project visibility

Tools

Risk reduction

  • the DBA isn’t available at a key time
  • the users didn’t understand that they were supposed to give all their feedback upfront when you’ve gone through the formal signoff but they didn’t give all their real feedback till you actually delivered the app.

How to start?

  • You can have a checklist of common things
  • Brainstorm on what extra risks can come up.
  • Look at the dependencies (are there any you’re not sure that would succeed?) ,
  • Look at tasks list (any tasks that seem less risky or depend on people from outside of the organization?),
  • Take a look at the technology (maybe it depends on a new technology that you haven’t tested before)
  • how many of these risks that we need to deal with have come up
  • are there any risks that are more likely
  • are there any new risks that need to be addressed?

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ColdFusion development, security and optimization. CEO at TeraTech. Host of CF Alive podcast.

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Michaela Light

Michaela Light

ColdFusion development, security and optimization. CEO at TeraTech. Host of CF Alive podcast.

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