Friday, July 04, 2008

7 Useful Viewpoints for Task Planning Oriented Towards Quick Results

Name: 7 Useful Viewpoints for Task Planning Oriented Towards Quick Results
Type: Rules
Status: final
Version: 2008-07-04

Gist: While planning tasks or activities, and at the same time focusing on quick results, it is a good idea to describe each task by means of different viewpoints. Here's my suggestion, derived from Tom Gilb's work, the BABOK and my own experience.

R1: Each task should be described in terms of
Purpose. Why are you doing this? This is the single most important category, because it may lead you to the understanding that this is not the right task.
Entry. What do you need in order to begin and complete the task? This prevents you from doing things without the proper basis, which would most likely causes unnecessary re-work.
Process. Which steps do you follow? This is a little plan for your task. It may be only one step, but most of the times there are more than one, even for small tasks. Splitting tasks into steps allows you to return to previous steps in case you learn something new.
Exit. What are the results of the task? What will be the benefit? This is what counts and what can give you the beautiful chance of realizing benefits 'along the way' some greater set of tasks.
Stakeholders. With whom will you have to speak? Whose requirements will you have to take into account? This prevents re-work caused by ignoring influential people.
Methods/Techniques. How can you do it? Note anything that may help you completing the task.
Time-Limit. How long do you plan to work on it? If you need substantially longer, you will have a clear indicator that something is wrong. Short deadlines help you focus (80/20 principle).

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