Baselines and Freezes: Milestones 5 through 8
During the preliminary engineering stage, subsystems are optimized and performance
requirements are translated into technical specifications for sub subsystems or
subcomponents. In a building project, for example, a decision may be made to use
hot water heating in preference to steam or forced air. The process design for
the hot water system would be optimized and technical capabilities of subcomponents,
such as the circulating pumps, would be decided (throughput volume, inlet and
outlet pressure, operating temperature range, etc.). As shown on Figure
2, the WBS is expanded at milestone 5 to reflect these preliminary design
decisions. In the defense materiel procurement cycle, this is called the allocated
baseline. Functional capabilities are allocated to specific hardware and software
items, and development specifications are written for the items.
McCoy and Brodkorb label the deliverables at milestone 5 the "functional specification."
They suggest the functional specification should describe not only the configuration
item itself, but also the associated documents that must be delivered as evidence
of successful design and implementation. Such documents include test and commissioning
procedures, permits, and regulatory approvals.
Often subsystems or components are procured as a single item on the basis of
the functional specification. The vendor is made responsible for preparing the
detailed design and for subsequent fabrication of the component. In many organizations,
the cost estimate prepared from the preliminary design is the basis for the major
funding authorization for a capital project.
Once it has been reviewed and found compliant with both the statement of requirements
and the functional baseline, the preliminary design is "frozen" as the basis for
the detailed design.
In the detailed design stage, working drawings and detailed specifications
are prepared as a basis for the fabrication, construction, or procurement of physical
items. In the case of computer software, the design provides detailed instructions
to the programmer: flow charts of processing logic for each module, naming conventions,
programming language, and required documentation. The detailed design is reviewed
against the requirements and the previous design baselines.
If compliant, the detailed design is "frozen" as the "product baseline." The
deliverables issued at this point, milestone 6, would include material and equipment
lists, test and commissioning procedures, working drawings, and detailed specifications.
The WBS, as suggested in Figure 2, will typically
be expanded to lower levels again during the course of final design.
During the implementation stage, hardware and software items are inspected
for compliance with the product baseline. This scope management activity is often
called "quality control." At milestone 7, the completed physical deliverable is
certified as compliant with the detailed design. In the start up stage, the users
- those who will inherit the results of the project - rehearse regular operation
and maintenance with guidance and support from the project team. The users satisfy
themselves that they have been adequately trained and that they have the necessary
manuals and documents.
Milestone 8 marks the conclusion of the project. Smythe,
and McCoy and Brodkorb, suggest that
there should be a final certification to mark the acceptance of the project results.
Both the beneficiaries and the sponsor should agree that the project scope objectives
have been fulfilled. The acceptance checklist should be drawn from the statement
of requirements. The final certificate should make direct reference to the documented
F.A, and Brodkorb, R. Enhancements in Measuring With a Project Engineering Management
Process. Proceedings of the 1986 Seminar/Symposium Drexel Hill, PA: The Project
Management Institute, 1986, p193
77. Smythe, E.B. The Project Management Process Copies of overhead
transparencies used in a seminar, Vancouver, B.C.: Executive Programs, the University
of British Columbia, 1981, p48
78. McCoy, F.A, and Brodkorb, R. Enhancements in Measuring With
a Project Engineering Management Process. Proceedings of the 1986 Seminar/Symposium
Drexel Hill, PA: The Project Management Institute, 1986, p194