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Programming Visual Basic 2008 by Tim Patrick

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The Life of a Project

Projects have a lifetime all their own. Some are short-lived; I've written programs that were used for two weeks and then discarded when the business project was complete. Some programs go on forever, with continual improvements made over a series of version iterations. I'm typing into such a program right now.

As a developer, you should be aware of the lifetime of your project. Once you understand the lifetime, you can apply business processes to each major phase of the project's life. The skills needed to guide a project to its conclusion, or through each successive version of the project, are collectively called project management. Many organizations have dedicated project managers, especially for larger projects. For small projects, the programmer may have to carry the project management burden alone.

Fortunately, most project managers don't just make things up as they go (although I have met some who did). They work within a system, a project methodology framework, a management system that keeps the project plan on track. I will hit the highlights of a typical framework in the remainder of this chapter. If you go back to the bookstore where you received a discount on this book, you will find a full shelf of project methodology framework resources. Microsoft even has its own recommended framework, called the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF). Because most of the projects Microsoft develops are renewed through successive versions, the MSF is cyclical or ...

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