Saturday, March 24, 2007

How to name a task?

It is a well written fact that identifying the tasks of work break down structure (WBS) is a key activity in project itself. Though we need to agree most of the project managers pay a lot of efforts in creating the WBS, some of them oversight the names given to the tasks.

So, I am starting my first post with how to name a task.

Looks simple, isn’t it?

Name of task communicates a lot to stakeholders – client, sponsor, management, team members, quality groups, and more.

Follow the below FIVE point rule for effective work breakdown structure

1. Task should be focused enough to provide a tangible verifiable deliverable.
2. Task should be executable by set of resource(s) without any interruption. This improves their productivity.
3. Each summary task should have at least one milestone. As, each summary task maps to major deliverable or phase and we need to have activities to track its interim and final deliverables.
4. Effort of a task is recommended to be between 8 hours to 80 hours. As if it is below 8 hours or above 80 hours, is difficult to manage and track progress.
5. Task should follow the standard naming convention governed by the performing organization quality policies

Summary Task: Should start with a noun. An example, Construction
Normal Task: Should start with a verb. An example, Prepare high level design
Milestone: Should indicate a point in time. An example, User Acceptance Testing Sign off

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