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Effective Software Project Management by Robert K. Wysocki Ph.D.

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Constructing the Software Development Project Schedule

At this point in the planning of your project, you have identified the set of tasks that must be done and estimated the duration of each task. The next step for the planning team is to determine the order in which these tasks are to be performed. They could certainly be performed one at a time but that would extend the completion of the project beyond the tolerable. Your objective in this step is to determine the minimum time to complete the project by figuring out how to work concurrently on tasks rather than sequentially. The more concurrency you can introduce into the schedule, the shorter will be the completion time of the project.

The Project Network Diagram

The tasks and their duration are the basic building blocks needed to construct a graphic picture of the project. This graphic picture provides you with two additional pieces of schedule information about the project:

  • The earliest time at which work can begin on each task that makes up the project

  • The earliest expected completion date of the project

This is critical information for the project manager. It will establish the earliest time the project can be completed. Once this is known, the required resources and their availability will be factored in to give a more accurate picture of project completion times.

A project network diagram is a pictorial representation of the sequence in which the project work can be done. To establish that network diagram, you need to ...

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