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CS605 - Software Engineering II - Lecture Handout 25

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Tracking a Schedule

A schedule is meaningless if it is not followed and tracked. Tasks and milestones defined in a project schedule must be tracked and controlled as project proceeds. Tracking methods include:

  • Periodic project status meetings
  • Evaluating  the results of all reviews
  • Determine whether project milestones have been accomplished by the scheduled date
  • Comparing actual start date to planned start date
  • Informal meetings with the practitioners
  • Using earned value analysis
  • Error tracking

The last two techniques are discussed in further detail in the following paragraphs:

Earned Value Analysis

Earned Value Analysis or EVA is a quantitative technique for assessing the progress of a project. The earned value system provides a common value scale for every software task, regardless of the type of work being performed. The total hours to do the whole project are estimated, and every task is given an earned value based on the estimated percentage of the total. In order to do the EVA, the budgeted cost of work schedule (BCWS) is determined as follows:

Let
BCWSi = effort (person-days etc) for taski

BCWS is then the Progress so far – add all BCWSi so far.

Now
BAC = budget at completion = ∑ BCWSi

Now if BCWP is the Budgeted Cost of Work Perform, then

Schedule performance index        SPI = BCWP/BCWS
Schedule variance                         SV = BCWP – BCWS

SPI close to 1 indicates efficient execution.

Similarly
Percent scheduled for completion = BCWS/BAC
Percent complete = BCWP/BAC
Actual cost work performed ACWP
Cost performance index CPI = BCWP/ACWP
Cost variance CV = BCWP – ACWP

Now, value of CPI close to 1 means project is within its defined budget.

Therefore, by using SPI and CPI we estimate how the project is progressing. If we have these values close to 1, it means that we have had good estimates and the project is under control.