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Thursday, October 13, 2011

What is project scheduling? What are the basic principles of project scheduling?

Software project scheduling is an activity that distributes the estimated effort across the project duration that is planned by allocating the effort to specific software engineering tasks. There are two perspectives of scheduling for software engineering projects:
- End date for release of computer based system has already been established. The organization is constrained to distribute effort within the time frame.
- Rough chronological bounds are discussed but end date is set by software engineering organization.

The basic principles that guide software project scheduling are:
While developing a schedule, compartmentalize the work, note task inter-dependencies, allocate effort and time to each task, define responsibilities, outcomes and milestones. Each of these principles is applied as project schedule evolves.

- Compartmentalize the project into number of manageable activities, tasks and actions. Both product and process are decomposed.
- Inter-dependency among various activities, tasks and actions should be determined. Some tasks can occur in sequence and some in parallel.
- Time frame should be allocated to each task. Task should be assigned a start and end date and whether the work is done on a full time or part time basis.
- Effort estimation is allocating number of people on software team. Project manager should ensure that no more than the allocated number of people are scheduled at any given time.
- Responsibilities should be defined for every team member.
- Outcomes should be defined for every task that is scheduled.
- Milestones should be defined for every task or group of tasks.

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