Software Project Plan

Quick Summary
A thorough and detailed template for creating a software development plan, with annotations. It includes making tradeoffs on scope, resources, schedule and other issues with a quality focus, Excel worksheets for capacity planning, and much more.

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What this is

A detailed, 11-page plan document template for a complex software project, with annotations.

Why it's useful

This plan template encompasses not only typical project plan contents such as project objectives, constraints, and assumptions, but also covers areas highly-specific to software development projects. It includes sections for project sizing estimates (e.g. lines of code estimates using formal estimating methods like Delphi, and estimates of review and inspection time) to ensure that even early schedule estimates are sized appropriately for the large amounts of code to be developed. This format encourages a team to develop such critical top-level planning and scope information early in the project. The goal is to ensure that project sizing and resulting tradeoff decisions are based on enough analysis to be reasonably sound even early on.

How to use it

Create the plan with your project team while in the early investigation and planning stage of your project. Each section is annotated with an explanation of its purpose and what it should contain; blue text is meant for commentary only and should be deleted, green text indicates elements that may be optional for your software project.

About the Author

Barbara Zirolli is a Senior Software Development Manager for Hewlett-Packard with over 16 years of industry experience, and over a decade in project management. She is involved in complex projects which create infrastructure tools and applications (e.g., configuration management, content management and delivery, installation) for hardware/software systems. She contributed this software plan format when asked for a "favorite project deliverable template -- one you wouldn't do a project without." ProjectConnections members can read Cinda Voegtli's interview with Barbara here.

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