Product Release Planning : Methods, Tools and Applications book cover
1st Edition

Product Release Planning
Methods, Tools and Applications

ISBN 9780849326202
Published June 16, 2010 by Auerbach Publications
339 Pages 93 B/W Illustrations

USD $125.00

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Book Description

Business success hinges on successfully creating products with the right features. You must correctly analyze the needs of the customer and match these needs with your resources to not only produce a product and but also deliver it in a timely manner. An in-depth understanding of systematic release planning can put you on this path. Authored by renowned expert Günther Ruhe, Product Release Planning: Methods, Tools and Applications presents methods and tools to apply sound planning to product development and product management.

The book covers the different aspects of supporting product release decisions ranging from foundations to methods, tools, and applications. Equal parts art and science, the actual decision-making is described as a process of combining rigorous methods with the intuition and experience of human experts. Ruhe provides a guided tour through the methodology and use of release planning, starting with technology and market needs and proceeding to product planning and finally to development projects. He studies three fundamental classes of problems: prioritization of features, product release planning on a strategic level (roadmapping), and release planning on an operational level (staffing).

Presenting and discussing tool support for all the methods covered, the author supplies case studies that underpin the methodologies with practical examples. He also supplies trial accounts (read only) for the two most important decision tools for prioritization and product release planning. The author freely admits that the techniques presented are not supposed to be the ultimate truth, but a direction to go to support human decision-making, to better understand the rational of the decisions made, and to grow in the capability of mastering the whole planning process.

About the Author: Günther Ruhe holds an Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering at University of Calgary. His main results and publications are in software engineering decision support, product release planning, project management, as well as measurement, simulation, optimization and empirical research for software-based systems. From 1996 until 2001 he was deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has comprehensive experience in industry collaboration projects and is the Founder and CEO of Expert Decisions Inc. Dr. Ruhe is a member of the ACM, the IEEE Computer Society and the German Computer Society GI.

Table of Contents

Overview and Introduction
What is Release Planning and Why Do We Care?
Misconceptions about Release Planning
How the Book is Structured
Some Assumptions to Share
Who Should Read This Book?
Expected Benefits

Decisions and How to Make Them
Three Product Release Decision Scenarios 
Classification of Decisions
Decision-making versus Decision Support
The Decision-Making Process
Evolutionary Problem Solving
An Integrated Approach to Decision-Making

Features and Their Prioritization
Feature Elicitation
Criteria for Feature Prioritization
Selection of Stakeholders
Prioritization by Comparison: The Analytic Hierarchy Process AHP
Prioritization by Scoring
Prioritization Method Multi-Score
Voice-Of-The-Stakeholder Analysis

Planning for Product Releases: An Overview
The Planning Onion
Release Planning in a Nutshell
Rigorous Release Planning Methods
Release Planning in Practice: The Status Quo

Modeling for Product Release Planning
Decision Variables and Horizon of Planning
Dependencies Between Features
Effort Constraints
Cost Constraints
Resource Constraints
Risk Constraints
Planning Objectives
Generation of Qualified Alternative Solutions
How all the Modeling Components Come Together 

EVOLVE II: A Systematic Method for Planning Product Releases
Evolutionary Problem Solving for Product Release Planning
EVOLVE II: Description of the Process
Comparison with Other Methods

Re-Planning of Product Releases
Problem Formulation
Re-planning Method H2W*
H2W* Process Description
Illustrative Case Study

Staffing for Product Releases
Background and Related Work
Staffing for Maximum Total Release Value
Staffing for Minimum Project Duration
Staffing for Maximum Competence Match
Industrial Case Study

Advanced Topics
Effort Estimation for Release Planning
Decision Support by Explanation of Results
Release Planning in Consideration of Design Constraints
The Impact of Uncertainty in Operational Release Planning

Tool Support
Support For Prioritization: The Tool VeryBestChoicelight
Product Release Planning: The ReleasePlannerTM Tool
Staffing: The Tool RASORP

Case Study: Product Roadmapping
Preparation for Planning
Prioritization of Features by Stakeholders 
Planning without Tool Support
Generation of Optimized Release Plan Alternatives
Re-running the Process

Case Study: Staffing for Product Releases
The Impact of Improved Productivity
The Impact of Predicted and Unpredicted Absence of Developers
The Impact of Unpredicted Change of Effort Estimates
Impact of Adding a New Feature During Release Development
Decision Support for Hiring

Case Study: Adaptable Project Management
An Adaptable Project Management Approach
Case Study
Discussion of Results

Application Scenarios
Roadmapping for Multiple Products
Release Planning with Consideration of Quality Demands
Agile Project Management Following Scrum
Planning for Competitiveness of Products
Project Portfolio Planning

How To Get It Started
Step 1: Characterize and Understand
Step 2: Define the Problem and Its Stakeholders
Step 3: Define the Process
Step 4: Execute the Process
Step 5: Analyze the Process and Its Performance
Step 6: Package Experience and Results
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Final Remarks

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