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Re-thinking Blog Contents

Visualizing the state of projects using geometric figures (follow-up)

Building a project status spectrum

In the previous post entitled "Visualizing the state of projects using geometric figures", it's possible to build a status spectrum for on-going projects with respect to time.

Framework: Define a set of variables: scope, time, budget, priority...Choose a chart in which to display the variables. The chart has to represent all variables. Each variable has a label and a value associate with it.For homogeneity reasons, each value should normalized in order to fit a predefined range. In this context the only fixed elements are the chart and labels of the variables. All the other elements vary with time.

T(1):Chart(1), T(2):Chart(2), T(3):Chart(3),...,T(n):Chart(n)

The "SUM" of all charts on the same timeline is the spectrum.
A predefined finite timeline and variables represents the time frame of a project.An infinite timeline with finite variable represents an on-going project.An infinite timeline with infinite variables repres…

Sizing Software Applications

Applications are software programs designed to perform functions for users. They use operating system services and other supporting programs to perform a designated function.
Before developing an application, it would be nice to have an estimate of its size in terms of effort and/or costs.
Applications can be big and complex or small and simple. An application that needs to interface and interact with users can be characterized by a certain number of elements, such as wireframes, use cases, business rules, data tables, reports, and correspondences. The size of an application can be determined by the number of these elements. The table below describes a hypothetical example.

Application Number of Elements Wireframes Use Cases Business Rules Data Tables Reports Correspondences 10 50 90 100 10 15 Estimated effort to develop one element of simple complexity level in man-days 3 5

Variance At Completion

In project management a variance is the difference between a planned cost and the actual cost incurred and, normally, this leads to corrective actions. A more general definition of Variance Analysis can be found in Wikipedia and in many other web sites that specialize in this topic.
Variance Analysis

At Time Now:
Ei= Initial Estimate (Planned or Estimated Budget) Actuals = A = Actual amount incurred Et-c = Estimate To Complete Ea-c = Estimate At Completion = A + Et-c Va-c = Variance At Completion = Ei  - Ea-c At New Time (Time Now + T): If the variance is high (too much error or discrepancy), then it will be appropriate to assign Ea-c as the new Ei. 
Hence, Ei (new time) = Ea-c (time now) 

Project Cost Estimate vs. Cash Flow Analysis

A follow up based on my previous post: analyzing graph of planned project cost against cash flow. 
A simple comparison can be done using the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) elements that contain all the tasks (the work to be done) of the project not yet realized. Each task has a cost assumption. Since WBS have a child / parent relationship, it's possible to roll up and summarize the cost information from the lower levels and upwards. The summarized total cost is the project cost estimate (or budget).

As the project advances, it's possible to validate the project cost estimate against the cash flow (actual cost). A good estimate makes a better forecast of project cost at completion (close to the final actual cost).

Project Cost Estimate and Cash Flow Analysis **The above graph illustrates three curves and is based on a hypothetical project with a number of tasks with an equal amount of work distributed equally over time,
The green curve is the ideal case. In an ideal situation the…