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System and Method for Project Load Balancing and Efficiency Incorporating Task Classification

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241337D
Publication Date: 2015-Apr-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 79K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed are a system and method to divide and assign development tasks to respective team members in order to maximize efficiency and reduce overhead. The core novelty lies in both the system that collects and stores the relevant historical information of velocities for particular types of tasks, and in the analytical system layer that can use these subcategories and calculated velocities of all team members to solve this assignment problem using desired parameters.

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System and Method for Project Load Balancing and Efficiency Incorporating Task Classification

When a development team is faced with a hard deadline and a high number and variety of tasks, the team must efficiently utilize time in order to minimize the risk of delaying a release or new features. This creates a task-assignment challenge. A team typically

includes many individuals with different strengths and velocities; therefore, assigning the tasks to the appropriate team members is an inherent challenge. In addition, the taskmaster might also have to manage some context when trying to divide the work.

For example, if the team is not facing an immediate deadline, then it is probably beneficial to invest in the future and give individuals on the team opportunities to try new tasks. Subsequently, individuals develop new skills and become a more valuable member of the team. However, if faced with a hard deadline, then the taskmaster might be forced to choose the most efficient short-term division of tasks. Most team leaders that face this situation divide the tasks amongst members based on experiences with the team. Team leaders assign tasks to the members who can complete the task in the least amount of time. The problem with manual task assignment is that the team leader must make educated guesses. Dividing the task is time consuming and labor intensive, and the final distribution might not prove optimal.

Existing systems enable task tracking and assignment; however, no system assists in intelligently assigning development tasks. No system can, depending on the needs of the team (i.e. short-term maximum efficiency vs. long-term efficiency), determine the best assignment and distribution of tasks. No system can intelligently assign development tasks in a manner that provides the best probability of successful future releases.

The novel contribution is a system and method to divide and assign development tasks to respective team members in order to maximize efficiency and reduce overhead. This system tracks and uses the type of task along with various statistics about the team to assign tasks to the right individual for the situation, maximizing team potential and minimizing overhead. The idea is that as the system assigns tasks to team members, it remembers the types of tasks and times to completion for each task/team member combination. The system measures the individual's learning curve and velocity, and then later uses that information along with the context (either determined by the deadline or entered by the taskmaster) to assign the task to the right person.

The proposed system utilizes a task tracking system. The team members keep track of a...