Senior Project RED Flags
(Compiled from observations of past senior projects)

1. Team over commits, experiences early project burn-out or late project frustration.
(Scope, scope, scope! Realistically scope your project and establish reasonable deliverables given the fixed constraints of time and resources,)

2. Team creates a well written project plan and then never looks at it again.
(The project plan is a living document that needs to be tracked and tuned as the project progresses)

3. Team looks at project plan, realizes there is a slip, and handles it by claiming it will be "made up in the next cycle".
(Making up for a slip ain't gonna happen! You need to be open with your sponsor and address project scope as soon as you identify the slippage. You, of course, will only be able to identify the slip if you have a well thought out project plan.)

3. Team tracks progress using the following phrases:
a. "investigating new technologies"
b. "spent time playing with new tools"
c. "researching alternatives to problem X"

(Identify and track project outcomes (deliverables). Use small incremental milestones to better communicate and understand your progress.)

4. Team devotes time and resources to creating home-grown tools bug trackers, etc.
(There is an abundance of available project tools, use them. Do not squander project resources on non-project related tasks.)

5. Major project deliverables scheduled for end of second term.(a.k.a. - "Dump and Run")
(In reality, you should plan on significant deliveries of software no later than middle of the next to the last month (April or November). This allows for training and support issues as they arise over the last month. The last few weeks are a crazy period. Plan accordingly.)

6. Team's only project deliverables to the sponsor are scheduled for the end of the second term.
(Even if the sponsor doesn't request it, plan for incremental releases as frequently as possible to get feedback and insure you are meeting the sponsor's expectations.)

7. Team defines process and metrics the night before the interim project presentation.
(Don't fake it. It's obvious when teams are doing so. This is just blood in the water for presentation attendee sharks. Take time in the beginning of the project to identify a sufficient development methodology in your project plan.)

8. Team complains in the second term about all the extra work required of them in the form of project reports and poster presentations.
(There is no extra work. These are course deliverables that are defined at the start of the project and should be accounted for in the team's schedule. They are also items that can be worked on incrementally throughout the project. Look at the project timeline regularly to be aware of upcoming deliverables, and put the necessary tasks into your task list.)

9. Senioritis sets in as the last month approaches.
(This is a natural phenomena and much like a marathon runner hitting the wall, it takes a little self discipline and support from your team members to get over the hump. Sign a team contract that allows team members to intervene when another member is displaying senioritis symptoms.)