Original Post Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's finally Spring!  And along with the leaves on the trees, the beautiful flowers and the happy chirping birds.... it is once again Baseball Season.  Baseball season is a beautiful thing - and not just because, as a resident of South Jersey, my team is the 2008 World Champion Phillies.  I just love the game and everything about it.  I believe this is because with baseball the impossible becomes possible because anything can (and will) happen and with a good plan in place you can still be successful.

I didn't always love baseball.  When I was a kid growing up in Baltimore - my Dad - a huge baseball fan - would take our family to Memorial Stadium to watch our beloved Orioles play. It was fun for the first few innings but after the hot dogs, sodas and peanuts were finished - it started to get a little boring (Sorry Dad but I just didn't get it).  Years later, as the mother of young little leaguers I actually detested baseball.  The only things worse than spending all your evenings at the little league field watching bad pitchers (cause they were learning) throw balls to bad batters (who were also learning) was the drive home with aforementioned (now angry) bad pitchers and/or hitters.  But as my boys matured something miraculous happened.  The kids started to play well and I started to enjoy the games.  The more enjoyable the games were the more I cared about the rules, the nuances, and the numbers of baseball.  Only after this journey did I realize what a great game baseball is.  A good team with good players, passion and a coach with a good plan can turn almost certain defeat into victory.

Project Planning is not all that different. When starting a software development project you need to start off with a plan and then you need to recognize that absolutely anything can happen.  Like a good coach you need to understand your risks - and you need to have contingency plans in case something unexpected happens.  A tool like PRICE Systems  TruePlanning for IT is a good place to start.  TruePlanning not only supplies cost and effort estimates based on descriptions of your project and your team, but it lets you indicate the uncertainty in these descriptions to add a level of confidence to the plan produced.