Features - Introduction
The outcome of a successfully completed project is:
- A new item, product or process with a specific list of new or modified features
and / or
- An existing item or process with a different set of features
All projects, however simple, will have at least one Feature [Product].
The final product of a project may have just one element or it may have many. If the project is to re-paint the outside of a building green it will have just one feature, a green looking building.
If the project is to arrange temporary office accommodation for 3 extra workers the finished product, a temporary office, would have several features including:
- Portable building with X m2 of floor space
- 3 desks and chairs
- 3 fully operational computer workstations
Each feature will require specific resources to complete the tasks required to achieve the agreed outcome, in some cases items will need to be purchased.
Building a list of all the features that the end user would like the completed product to have, will help ensure the customer is satisfied that the project has delivered what was required.
If you fail to list a feature you could end up with the proverbial "You told me it would have...." disagreement, which can often turn out somewhat costly.
PerformWork has been designed to make it easy for you to plan how each feature will be delivered, with each feature consists of three elements:
- Description - Define the feature [product]
- Assign the various resources required to complete the feature [product], the time each resource will be needed for and (optionally) how much each will cost.
- Add any "bought in" items that will be needed to create the feature [product]
Tasks, Activities and Actions
- A task consists of one or more activities
- An activity is made up of a series of actions and therefore will have a time [cost] element
In PerformWork tasks are completed using resources. Hence the need to assign resources to a feature.
Simple actions that do not involve a cost or significant use of a resource (i.e. Checking a contractor has the required insurance cover) are managed using the Action List feature; some might even call these "Micro Tasks".
The Action List can also act as your Daily Log, should your project need one.
As the Action List is for items that do not have any associated cost, they are not included in the project's budget reports.
In reality, customers may not always be able to have all the features they would like, this may be due to cost, time, availability of certain items etc.
Because of this each feature can be given a MoSCoW rating. These are:
- Must Have
i.e. The windows must be double glazed
- Should Have
i.e. The windows should have security locks
- Could Have
i.e. The windows could have blinds
- Wont Have Now
i.e. The windows will not be coated with anti-glare film
When used correctly this simple rating system gives those delivering the final product a degree of flexibility. It might be that to keep within budget some items need to be downgraded i.e. from "Could Have" to "Wont Have Now".
Careful consideration needs to be given to any risks involved with each feature.
e.g. In our previous temporary building example, these might include:
- Have we checked that the temporary building will not be over any service manholes
- Has the location been checked for flood risks
- What legal liabilities do we have for enabling disabled access to this temporary building
PerformWork enables you to add any risks associated with the project to the risk register as well as associating them to a specific feature.