The Defect Management Program should give priority to implementing the program on pilot projects so that benefits are realized quickly. The concept of a pilot project is designed to implement the program in a controlled manner so that issues and obstacles to successful implementation can be identified and resolved quickly. Other projects may choose to implement the process, but initially only projects designated as “pilot projects” will receive support and be a fair test of the approach. The number of pilot projects should be consistent with the staff available to support the projects. Criteria for selecting pilot projects should include:
Management Approval and Support: Management must support the project team and the objectives of the defect management effort if it is to be successful.
Receptivity of Project Team: The project team should wholeheartedly embrace the program. Project management, in particular, must take ownership for the successful implementation of the program.
Project Duration: The project should not be so long that results will not be known for a long period of time. A project duration of three to six months is probably ideal.
Project Risk: The project should be sufficiently large and complex that the results will be taken seriously, but not so large and complex that success of the pilot project is unlikely.
Early in the Life Cycle: The defect management program should be integrated into project plans and not retrofitted into a project whose approach is well established.
Once pilot projects are selected, the program should be implemented in the following steps:
Conduct Training: The project team should be trained in the Defect Management concepts.
Incorporate Defect Management Into Project Plan: Each pilot project should adapt the Defect Management approach to its particular circumstances. Emphasis should be placed on automating as much of the process as practical, and measuring the process. Data collected from the pilot projects should form the baseline for the Critical Metrics Set.
Review Results and Refine Approach: Progress implementing the Defect Management Program should be monitored and the approach refined as appropriate.
Report Results: Periodic status reports, which report pilot project results, should be issued.