Sunday 21 July 2019

Software Project Scheduling

Project scheduling is an important step in the software development process, software project managers often uses scheduling to perform preliminary time and resources estimates, general guidance and analysis of project alternatives.

One of the major challenges in software project management is that it is difficult to follow to the schedules due to the uncertainties related to requirements, schedules, personnel, tools, architectures, budgets, etc…

Project scheduling is the process of deciding how the work in a project will be organized as separate tasks, and when and how these tasks will be executed. 

You estimate the calendar time needed to complete each task, the effort required and who will work on the tasks that have been identified. 

You also have to estimate the resources needed to complete each task, such as the disk space required on a server, the time required on specialized hardware, such as a simulator, and what the travel budget will be. 

Project scheduling activities
  1. Split project into tasks and estimate time and resources required to complete each task.
  2. Organize tasks concurrently to make optimal use of workforce.
  3. Minimize task dependencies to avoid delays caused by one task waiting for another to complete.
  4. Dependent on project managers intuition and experience.

The project scheduling process
 In order to schedule project activities, a software manager needs to do the following basic principles.

Compartmentalization: The project must be compartmentalized into a number of manageable activities and tasks. To accomplish compartmentalization, both the product and the process are refined.

Interdependency: The interdependency of each compartmentalized activity or task must be determined. Some tasks must occur in sequence, while others can occur in parallel. Some activities cannot commence until the work product produced by another is available.

Time allocation: Each task to be scheduled must be allocated some number of work units (e.g., person-days of effort). In addition, each task must be assigned a start date and a completion date that are a function of the interdependencies and whether work will be conducted on a full-time or part-time basis
Effort validation: Every project has a defined number of people on the software team. As time allocation occurs, you must ensure that no more than the allocated number of people has 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.

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 and has been approved.

The Relationship between People and Effort

In small software development project a single person can analyze requirements, perform design, generate code, and conduct tests. As the size of a project increases, more people must become involved. Adding people later in a project often has a wrong effort on the project, causing schedule to slip even further.

An Empirical equation

We can determine the highly non-liner relationship between chronological time to complete a project and human effort applied to the project. The number of delivered lines of code


Where “L” is the effort and development time, “E” is the development effort in person /month, “P” is the productivity parameter that leads to high quality software engineering work, “t” is the project duration in calendar months.

Effort distribution 

Each of the software project estimation technique leads to estimates of worth units requires completing software development. A recommended distribution of effort across the definition and development phases is often referred to as 40-20-40 rule. Forty percent of all effort is allocated to front end analysis and design. A similar percentage is applied to back-end testing. You can correctly infer that coding (20 percent of effort) is de-emphasized. A range of 20 to 25 percent of effort is normally applied to software design. If software is human rated (i.e., software failure can result in loss of life), even higher percentages are typical.


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