Reasons for Planning System and Project Plan Activities | Software Engineering

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reasons for planning systemProject Plan Activities and Reasons for Planning System,
Software Engineering Notes | Sixth Semester,
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Reasons for planning system.
Project planning involves making detailed plan to achieve the objectives. Probably it is the most time-consuming project management activity. It is continuous activity from initial concept through to system delivery. And plans must be regularly revised as new information becomes available. Various different types of plan may be developed to support the main software project plan that is concerned with schedule and budget. There are some important reasons for planning system and they are as follows;

  1. To offset uncertainty:
    Aside from the uncertainty of business operations and the resulting need for better forecasting information, the special need for a system plan is evident because of advancing computer technology and its widespread effect on business operations. Both software and hardware have become so complete that the job of selection and utilization is much more difficult. As a result, the majority of organizations have fallen for short of their potential to use computers for processing the information necessary to manage the company effectively.
    A master plan may not remove the uncertainty, but it will almost surely place the firm in a better position to deal with the unknowns and to take advantage of development as they occur.
  2. To improve economy of operations:
    Planning the overall approach to an integrated system is also economical when one job or function is automated; the need for design and automation of contiguous functions frequently becomes obvious. Money can be saved and performance improved by an effective linking together of these neighboring functions through a good plan for integrated system design.
  3. To focus on objectives:
    A good plan for system development also serves to focus on company and system objectives. Planning cannot proceed in any area of endeavor until adequate objectives have been first set. It follows that development of a master system plan forces examination and definition of objectives.
  4. To provide a device for control of operations:
    Control is the activity which measures deviation from planned performance and initiates corrective action. System development, implementation and operations are among the most difficult of activities within the company to control. A major advantage of the development of system effort under a predetermined plan is that the plan provides a means for subsequent plan.

Project plans activities:
The following items should certainly be included in every project plan:

  1. Negotiate scopes:
    Scope defines the boundaries of a project and included in the statement of work, a narrative description of the work to be performed as part of a project.
    All parties must agree to the project scope before any attempt is made to identify and schedule tasks or to assign resources (people) to those tasks.
  2. Identity tasks:
    Tasks identify the work to be done. Typically, this work is defined in a top-down, outline manner. A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a hierarchical decomposition of the project into tasks and sub-tasks. Some tasks represent the completion of milestones or the completion of major deliverables during a project.
  3. Estimate task duration:
    Duration of any tasks is a random variable subject to factors such as the size of team, number of users, availability of users, aptitudes of users, complexity of the business system, information technology architecture, experiences of team personal, time committed to other projects, and experiences with other projects.
  4. Given the duration estimates for all tasks, we can begin to develop a project schedule. The project schedule depends not only on task duration but also on inter-task dependencies.
    The start or completion of individual tasks may be dependent on the start or completion of other tasks. These dependencies impact the completion of any project.There are four types of inter-task dependencies:

    • Finish-to-start (FS) – the finish of one task triggers the start of another task.
    • Start-to-start (SS) – the start of one task triggers the start of another task.
    • Finish-to-finish (FF) – two tasks must finish at the same time.
    • Start-to-finish (SF) – the start of one task signifies the finish of another task.
  5. Assign resources:
    The following resources may impact a project schedule: People, services, facilities and equipment, supplies and materials and money.
  6. One of the most important dimensions of directing the team effort is the supervision of people.
  7. Assess project result and experiences:
    This final activity involves soliciting feedback from project team members (including customers) concerning their project experiences and suggestions aimed at improving the project (and process) management of the organization.
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