Project Plan

The project plan captures your schedule and division of work. What you will produce are simple tables (spreadsheets work fine), hierarchies (work breakdown structure), and timeline charts (Gantt charts).

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Before trying to schedule and assign tasks, you first must identify the tasks in the project. Do this top down, breaking the task into sub-tasks and then further each sub-task into parts. Arrange these items in a hierarchical representation. You may use an outlike or a tree. Examples are in the class powerpoint on project management.

Basic Calendar

We will break down the activities by weeks for this class (projects on which you are working as a full-time employee might have daily granularity). You are to have deliverables and milestones, with something due each week (some weeks you may have several things due). That is really the most slip that you can recover from in one semester. At the end of each identified activity, you should have a "deliverable" that allows you to say unquestionably whether or not you have met that goal. All class deliverables should be identified is the project plan, along with work tasks that have come from the design work of the team.

The activities in the project plan should have an indication of who is doing the activity (one person, two, or several). Once the project plan has been agreed to between the team and the instructor, all changes to it will be tracked.

Project Plan Model
Deliverable/Milestone Responsible Due Revision 1 Delivered
architecture Sam October 3 October 2
module decomposition Jane October 7 October 7
database structure Harry October 10 October 12
interfaces Sam October 10 October 12 October 13

Gantt Chart

In addition to the table showing milestones, the team will prepare a Gantt chart showing start and end dates for major work portions in the project. Examples of Gantt charts can be found in the class powerpoints, or just Google it. I'm not overly concerned with the exact format, but basically it should show each task down the vertical axis, and time running along the horizontal axis. For each task, a bar will be drawn horizontally from start date to end date for that task. The Gantt chart helps see which tasks are going on co-temporally. Color the time bar for each task with one color to show the planned duration; if that task goes long, use a second color to show the slippage duration. You may also annotate the lines with named of people involved in each task, or other information useful to managing the effort.