Thursday, March 17, 2005

Red Line Reviews: A method to gauge real project progress 

Definition and Purpose
The purpose of a red line review is as follows:
  1. To determine the true degree of project completion

  2. To insure the project is being done to spec

  3. To find spec lines that are implied by but not cover by the spec or places where the spec could be in error or not understood, these are called SPEC GAPS

  4. To make sure all parts of the spec are assigned or at least verify what has yet to be assigned

  5. To identify areas of scope reduction or scope creep

  6. To allow estimate of person power actual vs estimated effort

In short to insure the project is on track and on time.

  1. The spec should be numbered.

  2. As spec lines are added to the spec the numbering should not be modified, instead the spec lines should receive new numbers. Numbering in the spec is designed to make the requirements traceable, the sequential order is not important

  3. If spec lines are "deleted" they should instead be stricken and be counted as being done for the purposes of calculation

  4. If an item is modified, it should receive a new number, the old number should be treated as deleted above this has the effect of increasing the number of spec spec lines with modification and is desired

  5. Using the actual product as it is delivered at the time of the review e.g. do not accept a statement of completion, verify it visually, go thought the spec scoring each requirement and counting the number of requirements

  6. Compute the doneness statistics as below

Scoring Criteria

Degree of DonenessScoreNote
Not Done At All0
Partially done and looks to match spec1/2Any degree of doneness less the 100% done
Done to Spec1
Done (all or partial) not to Spec-1Anything wrong is 100% wrong

Formulas for calculating project progress
Computed by person leading the Red Line

Total Spec Lines: The count of all lines in the spec Total Score: The sum of all the scores for the criteria

% Done = Total Score / Total Spec Lines

Total Undelivered spec lines: Sum of all spec lines with a 0 score
Total Under Delivered spec lines: Sum of all spec lines with a 1/2 score
Total Mis-Delivered spec lines: Sum of all spec lines with a -1 score
Total Delivered spec lines: Sum of all spec lines with a 1 score

Scope Creep %: (Total Spec Lines) / (Spec Lines at last review) * 100

Computed by the schedule keeper


Estimated Project Hours: From COCOMO or other LOE estimate at project start
Actual Project Hours: The number of hours expended on the project from the effort system
Revised Project Hours: (100 * Actual Project Hours) / ( % Done)
Project Drift (Effort) %: (Revised Project Hours) / (Projected Estimated Hours) * 100


Estimated Project Finish Date: The date the project was supposed to finish
Estimated Number of Project Days: The estimated duration of the project
Revised Project Days: (100 * Estimated Number of Project Days) / ( % Done)
Revised Finish Date: Estimated Project Finish Date + (Revised Project Days - Estimated Number of Project Days), Adjusted for work days (best done by MS project)

Results Processing

This section addresses what the results are and who should receive them

Result Types

Result Type Contains
Initial Red Line StatisticsTotal Spec Lines
Total Score% Done
Total Undelivered spec lines
Total Under Delivered spec lines
Total Mis-Delivered spec lines
Total Delivered spec lines
List of Spec GapsList of Lines Added/Modified Since Last Red LineScope Creep %
Schedule UpdateEstimated Project Hours
Actual Project Hours
Revised Project Hours
Project Drift (Effort) %Estimated Project Finish Date
Estimated Number of Project Days
Revised Project Days
Revised Finish Date
Spec Document RevisionsNew Spec Lines
Changed Spec Lines
Deleted Spec Lines

Bold: Minimum required items


Result TypeRecipients
Initial Red Line StatisticsDevelopers
Manager of Development Team
Scheduling Team
Product Management
Schedule UpdateManager of Development Machine
Scheduling Team
Product Management
Scheduling Subscribers
Spec Document RevisionsDevelopers
Product Management

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