Abstract for: How to Deliver Multi-phase Software Development Projects: System Dynamics Simulation of Alternate Project Strategies

This paper examines what differentiates multi-phase software development and integration projects from other complex projects. It argues that effectiveness in identifying defects in the early phases of a project results in early rectification (rework) and initially slows down the project. But, this is necessary to improve likelihood of successful delivery of subsequent phases. Lower levels of effectiveness in identifying defects early, creates the need for higher levels of subsequent rework, raising the possibility of rework of rework. The need for seemingly indeterminate amounts of rework is examined. The key drivers of successful reduction in amounts of rework are investigated through the use of system dynamics modeling and simulation. Most importantly for managers of projects involving software development is that scenario planning can be used to identify where management and engineering efforts are best directed. Through the use of system dynamics modeling and simulation, this can be done before committing to a particular software development project.