Boundary conditions are parameters negotiated by the team and upper management at the time of project approval. These parameters may include such aspects of a project as cost, schedule, features and quality. These conditions are then used to create a contract between the team and management that allows the team to move forward with minimal guidance provided that the project stays within the boundary conditions. If the project crosses those boundaries, a tool called an Out-Of-Bounds Check may be used to correct the team’s course and realign it around a new plan.
Check-ins are meetings between the team and management that allow each party to ensure alignment on the most important product and project attributes. In contrast to traditional reviews or gates, they are peer-to-peer discussions where the team and management assess where the project stands in relation to previously agreed-upon parameters. Typically, there are three check-ins during a project:
A core team consists of four to six functional leads, typically from project management, product management, engineering, design, manufacturing and quality assurance. They share the responsibility of delivering the project within the defined objectives, while the ultimate responsibility rests with the project manager.
If a project crosses its boundary conditions, a tool called an Out-Of-Bounds Check may be used to correct the team’s course and realign it around a new plan.
A staffing ratio is the number of personnel in one function divided by the number of personnel in another. In product development, the base number used to calculate the ratios is often the headcount of design engineers. The numbers of personnel in other functions are compared with design engineers in order to measure the balance of human resources on the team.