Milestones, WBS, and Product Development
1 Project Milestones
Chambers.com provides a comprehensive overview of Project Milestones. Put succinctly, a milestone:
- is an important event during the project timeline, a key deliverable.
- signifies a significant accomplishment with measurable outcomes.
- has an associated start date and completion date.
- will be considered complete once all of its tasks have been completed.
2 Work Breakdown Structure
Why Break a Project into Tasks?
- Puts work into most logical sequence
- Modularizing the project into manageable segments
- Determines the skills needed
- Allows communication of work to be done
- Ensures that all the work sequences are identified and understood
What is a Task?
- Represents some relative package of work completed toward getting the work done
- Should be unambiguous
- All work should occur within a sequential or parallel time frame
- Should only include work related items
- Should use the same team members
The Work Plan
- Identify the major tasks
- Organize tasks in logical sequence
- Identify team members
- Identify resources
- Communicate work to be done
- Organize related tasks into logical milestones
- Organizational chart for the project
- tree method
- outline method
The Network Diagram
- Explains at a glance how the work on the project goes together
- shows sequences and relationships among tasks
- Identifies relationships of milestones
- Shows interrelationships of tasks in different levels of hierarchy
- Establishes a vehicle for scheduling
- Helps reduce uncertainty
Five Steps to Creating a Network Diagram
- List tasks using task list or WBS
- Establish relationships between tasks
- Identify milestones
- Layout tasks and milestones as a network
- Review logic
- Materials and Supplies
3 Product Development Process
Product development, perhaps the most complex of all the main business processes, takes place in an environment where:
- Conditions change over time.
- The pace of change is accelerating with e-Business.
- Each product has unique aspects and requirements.
- Consistent procedures do not guarantee a successful product.
Each new product will have its own mix of requirements:
- technical performance,
- cost trade-offs, and
A flexible product development process allows for these changes and leverages the ever-evolving environment to achieve the most benefit.
- Objective - what product will do
- Product environment – Where does it operate? Who are the customers?
- What is it (physically, functionally)? - How will it meet its objectives?
- Functional details
- Architectural details
- Performance Specifications
- Testing approach
Product development, prototyping, testing
- Software/Hardware development
- Product documentation (design, test, users/maintenance manuals, etc)
- Prototype – Proof of Concept basis (or “platform”) for incremental/spiral development
- Production feasibility assessment
- Production plan and cost assessment
Product delivery - maintenance – update
- Testing and acceptance
- After-sales support
- Life-cycle maintenance/improvement plan