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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Defining a Task Set For The Software Project

No single task is appropriate for all projects. The set of tasks that would be appropriate for a large, complex system would likely be perceived as overkill for a small, relatively simple software product. Therefore, an effective software process should define a collection of task sets, each designed to meet the needs of different types of projects.

To develop a project schedule, a task set must be distributed on the project time line. The task set will vary depending upon the project type and the degree of rigor with which the software team decides to do its work. Most software organizations encounter the following projects :
- Concept Development projects : These projects are initiated to explore some new business concept or application of some new technology.
- New Application Development projects : These projects are undertaken as a consequence of a specific customer request.
- Application Enhancement projects : These projects occur when existing software undergoes major modifications to function, performance, or interfaces that are observable by the end user.
- Application Maintenance projects : The projects that correct, adapt, or extend existing software in ways that may not be immediately obvious to the end-user.
- Re engineering projects : These projects are undertaken with the intent of rebuilding an existing system in whole or in part.

Individual tasks and subtasks have inter dependencies based on their sequence. A task network, also called an activity network, is a graphic representation of the task flow for a project. It is sometimes used as a mechanism through which task sequence and dependencies are input to an automated project scheduling tool. The concurrent nature of software engineering activities leads to a number of important scheduling requirements. Because parallel tasks occur asynchronously, the planner must determine intertask dependencies to ensure continuous progress toward completion. In addition, the project manager should be aware of those tasks that lie on the critical path.

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