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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Basic Principles of Project Scheduling

Scheduling is the culmination of a planning activity that is a primary component of software project management. When combined with estimation methods and risk analysis, scheduling establishes a road map for the project manager.

- Compartmentalization : The project must be compartmentalized into a number of manageable activities, actions and tasks. To accomplish compartmentalization, both the product and the process are decomposed.
- Interdependency : The interdependency of each compartmentalized activity, action, or task must be determined. Some tasks must occur in sequence while others can occur in parallel.
- Time allocation : Each task to be scheduled must be allocated some number of work units. In addition, each task must be assigned a start date and a completion date that are a function of the inter dependencies and whether work will be conducted on a full-time or part-time basis.
- Effort validation : As time allocation occurs, the project manager must ensure that no more than the allocated number of people have been scheduled at any given time.
- Defined responsibilities : Every task that is scheduled should be assigned to a specific team member.
- Defined outcomes : Every task that is scheduled should have a defined outcome. For software projects, the outcome is normally a work product or a part of work product.
- Defined milestones : Every task or group of tasks should be associated with a project milestone. A milestone is accomplished when one or more work products has been reviewed for quality.

Each of these principles is applied as the project schedule evolves.

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