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pulsar, pulsar consulting

Pulsar Application Management Methodology

Pulsar has developed its own project management methodology by integrating the practical experience of its consultants and by simplifying and integrating different methodologies and tools: waterfall approach against cyclic RAD approach, Earned Value analysis, Oracle-CDM (custom development method), Belgacom-Promis project methodology, Agile and SCRUM.

This methodology, after adaptations depending on the project specificity, is followed during each project, helping us to deliver on time and on budget

Application Management

The term "Application Management", by opposition to the usual "Project Management" indicates that we are aiming here at covering the whole lifecycle of an IT application, from its first business requirements to its last enhancements, over a succession of fixed-price and maintenance projects.

Lowering the TCO of an application with Pulsar Methodology

Several topics must be considered when one wants to keep the total cost of ownership (TCO) as low as possible and execute Fixed-Price or Time-and-Material IT projects in the most efficient way all along the lifecycle of an application.

  • A practically proven methodology for Fixed-Price IT project development should define project phases and document templates, but also cover aspects like:
    • generic development principles
    • knowledge transfer & trainings
    • controlled change management process
    • maintenance.
  • An Application Maintenance framework should propose very flexible Maintenance or Outsourcing agreements allowing, after application development to:
    • easily extend the application
    • keep track and count each change, each patch and version
    • allow the customer to control and take advantage of each consumed man-day.
  • Established Quality Assurance and Risk Assessment & Management processes should ensure excellent quality of the final application delivery.

All these topics are covered by Pulsar’s methodology, allowing us to be very competitive in terms of return on investment (ROI), but also in delivering high quality applications, maintainable, extensible, and adapted to customers' needs, in time and in budget, with reduced risk contingencies.

In all cases and whatever the operating mode, a project must be conducted according to a capacity plan, which will allow combining skills to reach the expected results within the assigned deadlines and budget:

 

 
The Magic Triangle shows the relationships between the 4 main concepts defining a project, the available budget, the requested functions, the deadlines (including milestones), and the resources, including people and their skills. There is an equivalence between the budget, the functions, and the deadline, when one is changed, the others change too, or can be changed to compensate. For instance, when the functions are reduced, the budget will decrease too. Or, when a project risks to get out of budget, a compromise can be searched with the client to either reduce the functions or postpone the deadline. The team skills appear in the middle of this triangle because the skills impact all of the 3 main concepts. For instance, when a project is out-of-budget AND out-of-schedule, more experienced people can work faster and do the work in less days, positively impacting the budget and the deadline, and bring the project on-track.   The Magic Quadrant shows how the notions of budget and deadline, as defined in the Earned Value Analysis Method, allow determining the status of a project, allowing to follow-up the evolution of the project and if it goes off-track. The over-budget yellow quadrant can be solved within the project frame by taking out resources, and thus consuming less budget. The over-planning yellow quadrant can be solved within the project frame by adding resources and thus consuming more budget to progress quicker. The over-both red quadrant can sometimes be solved within the project frame by replacing resources with more experienced ones, but often this is not possible or not enough, leading to project re-baseline (re-framing the project on whole magic triangle).

Phases & Modules Management 

The Projects we develop are usually split in several functions/modules, and for each function/module we apply a waterfall approach. This way of working allows us to be very flexible in terms of phases overlaps. 

 
Documents Delivered to the customer 

During the Project, part of the documents is delivered to the client. The application related documents that are generally delivered to the customer are:

  • Business and architecture requirements documents (BUSREQ and ARCREQ)
  • Architecture Document (ARC)
  • GUI Document (GUI)
  • Database Document (DB)
  • User manuals and on-line help (if applicable) (UMAN and HELP)
  • Test flows (if applicable) (TEST-FLOWS)
  • Installation Document (INST)
  • Version Changes Document (VERSION-CHANGES)

The project management related documents that are generally delivered to the customer are:

  • Project proposal (PROP) and delivery list (DELIV-LIST)
  • Project Plan and/or work breakdown structure and tasks (PROJ-PLAN, TASK)
  • Meeting Minutes (MM)
  • Project Progress Report (PROJ-PROGRESS, ESTIM-VS-PERF)
  • Maintenance agreement (MAINT-AGREE) and maintenance activity tracing (MAINT-TRACE)

The other project deliverables are:

  • The application mock-up
  • The application source code (if specified in the contract) and binaries

At client request, other documents can be made and must be estimated in the project scope (if fixed price). Even if not specifically requested, some other documents are done at Pulsar site for internal documentation purposes. When they exist, they can be made available to customer at simple request. Example: TEC, CLASS.

Table of content - Pulsar Methodology Handbook

  1. Application Management
  2. Application Structure & Templates
  3. Version Control
  4. GUI Design Guidelines
  5. Architecture Design Guidelines
  6. DB Design Guidelines
  7. Team Working
  8. Generic Development Principles
  9. Quality Assurance
  10. Documents writing Guidelines
  11. Maintenance Agreement Guidelines

Feel free to send us a request to get our methodology handbook.