1.3 The Search Methodology

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Before we get to the Search Tables, let’s look at the search methodology that is

applicable to all the Search Tables in Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5. The reason for this

methodology will become clear when we get to ‘‘How To Use The Compact

Disk (CD).’’ The purpose of Chapters 2 and 3 is to act as a checklist for planning

and checking a project, and the purpose of Chapters 4 and 5 is to get a derailed

project back on track.

In Chapters 2 and 3, read the assertions in order. If necessary, go to the

page number shown under the ‘‘Explain’’ column to get a broader and deeper

understanding of the assertion. If and when you can answer YES to the assertion,

proceed to the next assertion. In this way you can evaluate the plans you

have developed for your project either before the project is launched or while it

is running. Be critical of each assertion.

In Chapters 4 and 5 again, read the assertions in numerical order. This time,

however, you are looking for something that has failed on the project. In other

words, you answer YES or NO to the assertion, as appropriate. If and when you

can answer YES to the assertion, proceed to the next assertion. If your answer

is NO, go to the page number listed in the Search Table under that assertion to

find an explanation of the issue and a recovery plan to assist you in getting your

project back on track.

There are eleven Categories of Causes containing thirty-nine assertions

within the Programmatic Tables and twelve Categories of Causes containing

forty-three assertions within the Technical Tables.

After a category of causes has been identified, the search changes to looking

for the specific cause. The primary number of a cause is directly related to a

category of causes. For instance Cause Group 1 relates to the SOW, and Cause

Group 51 relates to the Architecture and so on. Each group is subdivided and

identified by a letter.

Do not assume that, just because you are in the design phase, the problem

itself is in the design phase. As you might suspect, problems that occur early in

the project, such as misinterpreting the SOW or specification, do not show up

until much later. Most problems or issues are not straightforward, and many

require extensive digging and analysis. That’s why you should always start at

the beginning of each checklist, and that’s why these checklists are so useful.

Now you should be ready to start using the Search Tables and, later, the

interactive CD.