At the start of each semester, a schedule is to be produced for each project. The schedule produced in first semester should be for the whole project. It is recommended that students seek help from their supervisor.

The project specified by the client may be too large to complete in one year. Discuss with your supervisor and client what can reasonably achieved by the end of the project. It is preferable to deliver critical sub-systems that can be used by the client, rather than attempting to do too much resulting in an unusable system.

As a rough guide the analysis and design phase of the project should be completed during first semester and development phase completed by the middle of second semester. This allows for user manuals, testing, implementation, fine tuning etc to be done by the end of the project.

Every effort should be made to produce a realistic schedule. If the project falls behind schedule and the deviation can be justified, then it will generally be attributed to inexperience. If necessary a revised schedule should be submitted.

Your schedule should consist of:

  • Title Page
  • Contents Page
  • Project Description
  • Project Specification
  • Activity Description
  • Gantt Chart

1. Project Description:

The project description should briefly (about 1 page) describe the project, giving such details as the project title, client, background details of the organisation, the project's purpose, background information about the current system and some details about each of the users.

If your project is continuing from a previous year:

  • provide some outline of the current status of design and development
  • the goals of your project in relation to the current system.

2. Project Specification:

The project specification should define achievable objectives and requirements for the project that relate directly to the project. If the project logically divides into sections (eg. each user of the system) then for each section list the tasks, data entry requirements, reports required (screen or hardcopy) plus any other data-related activity. (Note: at this stage you are not required to design or construct screens, reports etc. - just specify them by name.) Point format under appropriate section headings is quite satisfactory.

For projects that are continuing from previous years it is best to divide this into two sections:

  1. Overall System Specification that includes previous specifications plus any new features that you will be incorporating. If some previous specifications have changed for some reason or another, this should be reflected in this new complete and current specifications.
  2. Your Project Specification only. This will probably include maintenance tasks (which are not part of the System Specifications) as well as any new features.

3. Activity Description:

Divide up the entire construction of the project into activities. You can use fairly general headings for the activities as described in your Systems Analysis and Design text book. (See Semester 1 Documentation also.) The obvious main headings are Analysis, Design, Development and Implementation, and each of these contains subheadings. Use the subheadings as your activity headings. (See Semester 1 Documentation for a more complete list).

For the development process, usually left until the second semester, divide it according to the different sections (users) of your system. Allocate some time to each section for coding and testing. User's Manual and help screens are other activities for your second semester.

For each activity provide a brief description related to your project, a time (guesstimate) and which group members who will be involved in the activity.

4. Gantt Chart:

Use these activities as a basis for construction of your Gantt chart. Microsoft Project is an ideal tool for construction of your Gantt Chart. Tasks can be grouped under headings, users allocated to each task and also incorporate some milestones, such as the mid-semester review, when certain activities must be finished. And, please print out the chart on a weekly time frame, as the daily time frame is obviously too detailed.


Semester 2 Schedule:

Another schedule is required and is due during the second week of your second semester. The schedule should comprise of a list of activity descriptions and a Gantt Chart.

The activities for second semester should be pretty well defined, as each screen/report that you have to develop can be listed as a separate activity. Don't forget the Systems Manual (basically just a collation exercise if you are up with semester 1 documentation:-), User's Manual and Test Plan. Determine which of these are able to be developed concurrently, then distribute the activities evenly between members of your group. Hence, the activities for each individual are usually more defined in second semester than the first.


Dr Sabine Wilkens
Pharmacy & Applied Science

Mary Martin
Computer Science
& Computer Engineering
La Trobe University, Bendigo


Welcome to the subject!