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Scheduling Projects to Development Release Schedules

By trenton.wilkins ·
I'm just started with a new company as a PM. It's a large legal and tax publishing company.
The development group is using a 'software release' schedule to develop pieces of functionality to products. It's a 7 week duration - 4 weeks dev, 3 weeks Q&A. The problem I'm having is trying to schedule in MS Project this type of situation (new to me). I have tasks, and LOE's for each, but I never know when a specific task will get worked on or what 'release' it will come out of.
I hope this makes some sense to someone. I've never worked in a development shop that worked this way.
Any ideas????


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How Does the Team Decide Tasks?

by Wayne M. In reply to Scheduling Projects to De ...

First off, probably determine how the development team is determining which tasks to work on and how they communicate to the QA team what work has been done.

Unless there is some reason to do so, you may want to skip MS Project, it does NOT seem like there are many dependencies in this effort, so tasks may get scheduled based on priority and availability of resources rather than anything inherent in the tasks.

If the team is using a totally unstructured approach, you may want to recommend Scrum ("Agile Project Management with Scrum" by Ken Schwaber). This development process is built around 1 month development cycles with planning at the start of each cycle.

Edit to add omitted "not" in second paragraph.

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Too many unknowns

by trenton.wilkins In reply to How Does the Team Decide ...

After I posted this I had a discussion with my Director. Turns out this has been an on-going battle between the two departments for years. Several outsiders have suggested that they move to some SDLC process but continue to refuse. But, you are correct that items are getting scheduled on some availability of resource. I found out that they have budgeted for 5 more developers in that department.

I'm going to get the 'Agile w/Scrum' you suggested and suggest this structure.

But, I think I am also going to suggest skipping MS Project altogether, as least as a scheduling tool. I've thought that we would be better off with a 'Product Feature=milestone' type of spreadsheet anyway.

And Thanks for the advice!

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That can't be right

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Scheduling Projects to De ...

If you have legislative issues you have to be comliant with, then changes have to be done in advance of them taking effect. How much of a change as in super duper UI help you make a decision, vs here's the form write on it yourself is an option. Not being compliant isn't, if you want to stay in business.

As for the way you shop works, if you don't what's being worked on when then it doesn't work it's some sort of bad joke.

If they are very dynamic you might be having a comms failure, but if the are in control and you are the PM and you don't know, then you are being ignored. Given you look like you should be responsible, it wouldn't be wise to put up with that more than another minute or so.

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