Software Project Survival Guide

NASA's List of Dos and Don'ts

Dos for Software Success

  1. Create and follow a Software Development Plan
  2. Empower project personnel
  3. Minimize the bureaucracy
  4. Define the requirements baseline, and manage changes to it
  5. Take periodic snapshots of project health and progress, and replan when necessary
  6. Reestimate system size, effort, and schedules periodically
  7. Define and manage phase transitions
  8. Foster a team spirit
  9. Start the project with a small senior staff

Don’ts for Software Success

  1. Don’t let team members work in an unsystematic way
  2. Don’t set unreasonable goals
  3. Don’t implement changes without assessing their impact and obtaining approval of the change board
  4. Don’t gold-plate
  5. Don’t overstaff, especially early in the project
  6. Don’t assume that a schedule slip in the middle of a phase will be made up later
  7. Don’t relax standards in order to cut costs or shorten a schedule
  8. Don’t assume that a large amount of documentation ensures success