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Thesis Project Management

This page summarises steps and tasks to be performed during your thesis preparation. They aid you and me to keep control of work progress and deadlines.

Project Planning

As part of your proposal you will be required to setup a Gantt chart. Make sure that you know this concept. You may want to choose your favourite diagramming tool right ahead, such as Gantt Project (Java, free), MS Project, Excel (both Windows native, not free), and also DIA is said to support Gantt chart drawing.

Initial setup of the Gantt chart is not just an academic exercise. Over the whole project your chart will be the basis for project assessment by ma as well as by yourself: are you still on track? critical deviations? need to revise the project plan? This helps you and me to keep overview and, ideally, assure timely and high-quality results - i.e., a great grade.

Meetings Organisation

At kick-off we will arrange for weekly individual meetings to discuss work progress. These meetings as a rule are scheduled to last 30 minutes; if you want more time, I will be happy to arrange for another meeting -- provided you can convince me that this is necessary.

Additionally you are supposed to participate in the regular rasdaman meetings to meet with other students working in the area; these meetings are kept as brief as possible (less than 1 hr, ideally 30min), their date and time are arranged at each semester start.

In each individual meeting we will, as a first guideline, proceed along the progress made in the previous meeting. To this end, with each meeting you will be required to write a brief protocol summarising the results (not the procedure!) it. This includes in particular: recognized deviations from the work plan; action items and their due dates.

Before coming to an individual meeting please ensure:

  • You have the protocol of our last meeting;
  • You have pen and paper with you to take notes;
  • You have attempted or completed the assignment agreed at a previous meeting;
  • You come to the meeting with well thought out questions;
  • You have spotted difficulties with a particular aspect of the project.

We will review your progress based on the above items, discuss problems and how to proceed, and finally define the next steps (action items) forward. When you leave the meeting you should be clear about the objectives set out until the next meeting, and aware of a possible route to those objectives.

The aim of the meetings is to enable you to do the best project possible -- the meetings are therefore aimed at helping you score as high a mark on your project as you are capable of; Therefore, keep this objective clear during the meeting, and use it to drive your project.

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