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The Complete Software Project Manager by Anna P. Murray

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Chapter 6Final Discovery; Project Definition, Scope, and Documentation

You have reached the phase of your project where it is necessary to pin down scope, timelines, final project plans, and budgets and document it all.

You may say, “Wait! Don't I have a ton of documentation? I went through a whole research phase!”

Yes you do have a lot of documentation, and good for you! Right now, if you've followed the advice in this book, you probably have material documenting your “current state,” the technology you already have, its quirks and considerations. You also have investigated your choices of technology solutions. You've got journalistic material, researched from the field, to help you decide. You may have talked to vendors and other resources needed in your project. You probably even have high-level budget numbers about what it will all cost. You may have a project charter or “vision” document. But you do not yet have a plan. We're about to get you one!

This phase of getting to the final plan is often called “final discovery” or “determining final business requirements.” I have found people find these terms confusing because a lot of investigation and discovery has already taken place. It can also become a sticking point, especially if a vendor has been engaged in this activity. A client is asked to invest more in “final discovery.” The client may say, understandably, “Final discovery? What have you been discovering all along?”

Final discovery simply means the last phase necessary ...

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