PostHeaderIcon Interface Definition – The Essentials

PMI gives only scant coverage to interfaces (inter-project or external dependencies) in its Standard for Program Management. However, mis-managed interfaces have the potential to cause days or even weeks of delays and consequently wreak havoc with schedules – and often do.

Effective interface management involves full and complete interface definition. A good list of defining attributes would include the following:

Outputs don't always match input requirements

Outputs don't always match input requirements

  • Interface name
    (unique naming and identification)
  • Interface description
    (nature and purpose of the interface)
  • Output source
    (which sub-project supplies the output)
  • Output owner
    (who is accountable for the output)
  • Input receiver
    (which sub-project is the ‘customer’ for the output)
  • Input owner
    (who is accountable for receiving the input)
  • Completion criteria
    (what the interface ‘looks like’ when its done)
  • Date constraints
    (if applicable)

The completion criteria should be defined as a checklist of requirements from the input owner. He/she will then use these as the basis for full acceptance of the interface as ‘done’ or ‘not done’.

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