Task Breakdown

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The phrase Task Breakdown sometimes called work breakdown (structure) or WBS is an essential part of any project plan.

It identifies tasks that can be assigned to individuals and small teams along with likely effort required. Hence it can also form the basis of a software cost estimate. Since such detail is only available quite late in the design phase it should be fairly accurate. This can be compared with other estimates, such as those derived from functional size, to give a confidence level (an indication of how likely the estimates are to be correct).

A Task Breakdown is usually represented as a tree structure depicting the work to be done at increasing levels of detail, or it can be derived from a project plan.

A General Task Breakdown Structure

GIFPA can provide services (and training) to help break the task structure down into detailed tasks for which estimates of effort can be determined. Taking the sum of these estimates will give an overall estimate for the project or package of work. NB, two sums will be produced one being the sum of the low range estimates and the other being the sum of the high range. More importantly we can then compare these with other estimates and interpret those results.

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