Artifacts > Project Management Artifact Set > Software Development Plan

Software Development Plan
The Software Development Plan is a comprehensive, composite artifact that gathers all information required to manage the project. It encloses a number of artifacts developed during the Inception phase and is maintained throughout the project.
Role: Project Manager

Software Development Plan Template for Small Projects is a partially completed Software Development Plan suitable for helping small projects get started more quickly.

The following are complete examples:

More Information:

Input to Activities: Output from Activities:

Purpose To top of page

The purpose of the Software Development Plan is to gather all of the information necessary to control the project. It describes the approach to the development of the software, and is the top-level plan generated and used by the managers to direct the development effort.

The following people use the Software Development Plan:

  • The project manager, to plan the project schedule and resource needs, and to track progress against the schedule.
  • Project team members, to understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and what other activities they are dependent upon.

Enclosed Artifacts To top of page

Note: Although the RUP  recognizes the possible need for an Infrastructure Plan, Documentation Plan, Subcontractor Management Plan, and Process Improvement Plan, they are currently outside of the scope of the process and no explicit guidance is provided for their creation or for their contents.

Timing To top of page

Developed during Inception phase, this artifact is updated at each major milestone.

Responsibility To top of page

The Project Manager is responsible for compiling the enclosed documents and making sure the latest versions are made available through the Software Development Plan.

Tailoring To top of page

There are situations when a standard is called out in a contract that stipulates the outline and contents of a Software Development Plan. In this case, you would use that instead of the proposed outline shown in the HTML template, but you should form a clear mapping of the information requirements of that standard to the outline in the template provided.

Additional Information To top of page

Good software development plans evolve. A useful Software Development Plan is periodically updated (it is not stagnant shelfware), and it is understood and embraced by managers and practitioners.

The Software Development Plan is the defining document for the project's process. Prepare a single Software Development Plan that:

  • complies with organizational standards for content
  • complies with the contract (if any)
  • provides traceability to, or waivers from, contract and organization requirements
  • is updated at each major milestone
  • evolves along with the design and requirements

A standard format promotes:

  • reuse of processes, methods, experience, and people
  • accountability for organizational expectations
  • homogeneous process objectives

A key discriminator of a good Software Development Plan is its conciseness, lack of philosophy, and focus on meaningful standards and procedures.

Copyright  1987 - 2001 Rational Software Corporation

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