New Perspective on Project Management: Remaining Work (RW) vs. Projection

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Isn’t it time to offer managers a new perspective on Project Management that would allow them to adequately monitor Projects in real time and, in addition, to properly evaluate the performance of the Development Team?

The fact is that the Manager has to take up more than one challenge in the Management of Development Projects, software or other; the task is arduous!

Indeed, IT Projects are almost always complex, involve many resources, and often take several months to complete. In addition, to obtain a clear vision, the Project Manager must almost always collect Project data from different systems.To obtain a clear picture, the Project Manager must almost always collect project data from different systems.

Thus, almost all software development teams use two systems daily:

  1. DevOps or Jira
  2. Time sheet entry application

And almost all Project Managers and Clients complain about the same things:

  1. Lack of visibility on the degree of progress of the project(s)
  2. Lack of metrics
  3. Having to deal with cost and schedule overruns

What is a Projection?

The main Project Management software, DevOps or Jira, is based on a fundamental data, the “Remaining Work” (RW); that is to say, the “time remaining to be done” in the execution of each specific task of the Project.

The RW is an interesting day-to-day concept because it allows the Development team to determine whether it meets the delivery objectives for a given Sprint.  We will therefore know, say for a period of 3 weeks, if the objectives in terms of deliverables will be met.

On the other hand, on a more global scale, the Project Manager, who is accountable to the CFO and his superiors, would be ill-advised to report that a particular Sprint is running smoothly or has hit potholes.

Yet, what everyone would like to know is the actual state of the project(s). And the state of health of a Development Project is normally defined in terms of budget and schedule.

So how can the health status of a project be assessed simply and easily?

Simply by calculating the projection!

And what is a Projection?

Project Projection = ACTUAL (hours completed to date) + RW (Remaining Work).

Thus, the Project Manager will know exactly for each given task, and therefore for his Project, the number of hours executed by the Development Team for this task plus the number of hours that “remain to be done” for this task, as calculated by the Project Management software, DevOps or Jira.


The added value of Projection to the Development Project?

At time 0, the estimation of a Project is totally dependent on the evaluation made by the Development team.  The more the project advances in time, the more precise the data will be.  For example, the projection of a project evaluated at 1000 hours of development at time 0 will be Projection = Actual (0h) + RW (1000h).

At the halfway point, the projection will be more accurate, it could be as follows: Projection = Actual (625h) + RW (500h); which would indicate an overrun of at least 125 hours and potentially more than 250 hours at the end of the project.

The projection gives the “right time” in real time, which raises questions and calls for action to understand the reasons for overruns, if applicable.  Is it a performance problem of one or more developers?  Is it a problem of global evaluation or under-evaluation of certain tasks?  Is it a problem of poor management of the Client’s change requests?  Has the scope of the Project been poorly defined? Has the Project itself been poorly defined?



As mentioned in the introduction, generally two systems are used in a software development environment: Project Management software and Time Sheet software.  Unfortunately, in almost all cases, these two systems do not talk to each other, which explains in large part the lack of metrics for Project Managers.

Moreover, the main project management software (DevOps / Jira) only looks to the future; that is to say, it only calculates the Remaining-Work without taking into account the hours executed to date.

In short, by clearly indicating the true status of Tasks, User Stories, Features, etc. throughout the Project, the projection allows you to monitor the status of your Project in real time and it will also allow you to make corrections in real time.

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