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These FAQs are contributed by you (our online community members). They are organized by our knowledge base topics. Specifically, by the Proj Man sub-topics.

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9 PM, Process, and PSDP FAQs

Group: PM, Process, and PSDP

Topic: PSDP Artifacts

-Collapse +Expand Q1. I'm starting a new project, should I use PSDP Artifacts or just collect individual items?

The problem with collecting individual items is that the user inputting the item tends to put to much information in tasks and use requirement items and design items only as a secondary thought. When collecting project information, you generally collect a combination of what the customer wants (the requirement), how you want to code it (the design), how to test it (the test script), and even a bit of end-user documentation. Your tendency will be to put all of it in whatever bucket your looking at. A PSDP Artifact puts you on a single page where you can put information into their correct place, their correct bucket.

By using primarily Artifacts, you put yourself in the correct frame of mind while developing that feature from the first time you talk about it through testing it, and artifacts make managing linked items easier (one location to deal with name, category, linked actors, etc.)

Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100941, KB Topic: PSDP Artifacts
-Collapse +Expand Q2. I'm struggling with what to define as a PSDP Artifact. I'm worried I'll get too detailed or too general. What is the scope of a typical PSDP Artifact? Is there a rule of thumb?

There is no right or wrong way to define the scope of a PSDP Artifact. More artifacts leads to a heavier process, less to a lighter. A good rule of thumb is to create them based on intended deliverables or on the content of the requirements.

For deliverables based, you can start with one PSDP Artifact per form and report and/or per table in the database skipping minor items. For websites you may want one per page. This works only if you're prototyping and creating the database at the same time that you are gathering requirements (PSDP recommends this approach).

If you are gathering requirements up front without defining the database nor prototyping, deciding on what artifacts to create takes a bit more effort. Sometimes you can delay creating them or you can group them based on their content. If you're using UML diagrams, you could create one PSDP Artifact per Use Case Diagram or per Use Case.

Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100950, KB Topic: PSDP Artifacts
-Collapse +Expand Q3. I've assigned the PSDP Artifact to one developer, how do I manage the filling in of design, the building of the artifact, and testing?
Answer: If one person is assigned to the filling in of the design items, create one or more additional tasks assigned to that person with a description to fill in all artifacts. If, for example, two developers are then going to build (code) the artifacts, assign one or more tasks to each developer with a description to build specific artifacts. For testing, you'll want a minimum of two tasks, one to complete the test scripts and one task to test each build (a test suite and results is associated with a build). The resulting defects have workflow with assignment built into each defect (a defect is really just a specific type of task).
Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100947, KB Topic: PSDP Artifacts
-Collapse +Expand Q4. How do PSDP Artifacts relate to UML Diagrams and other traditional software documentation?
Answer: If you're doing full blown UML based requirements, then you may wish to not use the requirements section of PSDP Online. However, if you're just using UML Use Case Diagrams to document process, then you can use one PSDP Artifact per use case as a guideline.
Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100970, KB Topic: PSDP Artifacts

Topic: PSDP Change Orders

-Collapse +Expand Q5. When should I execute a change order on a time and material project?
Answer: At a minimum, execute a change order whenever the project budget will increase and when it will decrease by a substantial amount. Although not required, you should execute a change order whenever features migrate or are swapped out for other features. You should execute a change order even when the swap has no apparent impact on budget. I say "apparent" because analysts frequently do less research on changes especially when they look like they will have no impact on the budget.
Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100701, KB Topic: PSDP Change Orders
-Collapse +Expand Q6. With a PSDP online project, when should I activate the change orders module and when should I create a change order?
Answer: At Prestwood Software, all billable projects over 40 hours must make use of the change order module. Your first entry in the change order module is your first estimate/budget (a change from 0 to an initial minimum budget). After that, add a change order whenever the project budget increases (mandatory), decreases substantially (optional), or features are changed or swapped out (optional).
Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100702, KB Topic: PSDP Change Orders

Topic: PSDP Phases

-Collapse +Expand Q7. How do PSDP Phases relate to PSDP Artifacts and the usage of each?

They don't really. In PSDP Online, you set the PSDP Phase of tasks and their two sub-types defects and artifacts only. Requirement Items, Design Items, and Test Scripts do not use the concept of PSDP Phases because they are documentation-only items. You add various development tasks set to the appropriate phase to create, flesh out, and use them to build and test but they do not contain workflow themselves.

The PSDP Phase of Defects is always Phase 6 Testing & Rework. Although Tasks and PSDP Artifacts can be set to any PSDP Phase, their default is Phase 2 Requirements. For PSDP Artifacts, most of the time you will leave it set to it's default. On the other hand, you will set tasks to whatever phase the task belongs to.

Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100952, KB Topic: PSDP Phases
-Collapse +Expand Q8. What is the default phase for a task, artifact, and defect?

The default phase for a defect is Phase 6 Testing & Rework. The default phase for a task or PSDP Artifact is Phase 2 Requirements. Whether or not you have enabled PSDP Phases for a project, the defaults are always set just in case you enable PSDP Phases.

Even though PSDP Artifacts contain a Task, Requirement Item, Design Item, and a Test Script, it belongs to the requirements phase because the Requirement Item is the first real software documentation item. An additional task or tasks of filling in design items belong to Phase 4 Detail Design. The task of coding the artifacts belong to Phase 5 Initial Coding, and finally the task of completing of the test scripts and testing a particular build belongs to Phase 5 Testing & Rework.

Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100948, KB Topic: PSDP Phases

Topic: PSDP Project Management

-Collapse +Expand Q9. In PSDP, when is it appropriate to review the project budget and project tasks?

The short answer is at the end of each phase. For larger projects, you may wisth to review more frequently. For all size projects this should not interfere with the normal communication.

If you're using PSDP Online, review the tasks online at the end of each phase. It's a convenient way to view both the big picture total hours as well as drilling down into each task. You can view by phase, category, checkpoint, start date, or due date. If the scope of the project is too large, move items to the wishlist.

With the Rolling Estimates approach, the minimum project budget is adjusted at the end of Requirements, and Detail Design phases. The true scope of the project is known at the end of the detail design phase.

Posted By Mike Prestwood, Post #100967, KB Topic: PSDP Project Management

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