April 22, 2009

Shovel Ready Projects

The phrase Shovel Ready, taken from its roots in government is defined as a project that has been fully vetted and approved at the state and local level. In order to call a project shovel ready, one must be able to break ground the next day and begin construction. Shovel ready can be applied across many different types of projects, not just ways to spend that Obama money.

Having a project that is shovel ready plays a large part into whether or not it receives funding - Chancellor Perlman hinted at this with UNL receiving federal funding for the innovation campus expansion.

This same principle can apply to software projects. Having a software project shovel ready involves any or all of the following (please note that this is an abridged list):
I am a firm believer in starting a development project strong - this is especially important in Agile software development (the top principle). The faster a team can produce working, accepted code, the happier clients will be. This can play a huge role in the life of a project. A young project that covered its bases from the start will have a higher probability for success.

Entrepreneurs often claim that they have projects that are shovel ready and are waiting for the shovel (funding) to get the project moving. This is an indication that the project in question is not shovel ready. It does not take millions of dollars of funding to get a software project started. Grab a few friends and crank out a detailed prototype of a feature of the product. Coupling this prototype with a business plan will ensure that the project is shovel ready.

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