A checklist for analyzing, planning, communicating and executing the Integration Phase of a large or complex software project, or a project combining hardware and software.
What this is
A checklist that gives the project manager or software integration team leader a way to analyze, plan, communicate and execute the Integration Phase of a large or complex software project. The checklist gives reminders of needed activities and suggested behaviors that are not necessarily documented in the project life cycle, and highlights considerations that the project manager or integration team leader can use to minimize risks and delays inherent to the Integration Phase.
The checklist may be useful for project managers in IT or other areas that have to integrate off-the-shelf components. Also, many projects do not have an explicit "Integration Phase", but the checklist gives some suggestions on integrating the various components, sub-systems, etc. of a project and can be tailored to a complex, non-software project.
Why it's useful
This checklist highlights considerations that the project manager or integration team leader can use to minimize risks and delays inherent to the Integration Phase. Following a plan and executing against that plan relieves the team of suffering through the "Big Bang" approach to integration. The checklist helps with focusing the team and evangelizing to management the need for early activities and the need for participation by team members that may not have been involved in the past. It helps also by assertively pushing for a stable system. This stable system will be minimally composed of the critical sub-systems and will produce better results with a higher degree of customer satisfaction and less stress for everyone involved.
How to use it
The person responsible for planning and leading the Software Integration Phase of a project reviews the list of suggested activities and behaviors. Select the items that reflect obvious past problems or possible current problems.
Discuss some of the possible past problems with experienced team members while reviewing the list and identify these as Risk items. Identify the checklist items that will help in eliminating or reducing these risks.
Add any team input to the checklist, as appropriate.
Follow the activities suggested on the modified checklist.
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