Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting schedules and milestones, part of Project Management: Preventing Scope Creep.
A good scheduling plan maximizes the productivity of resources on project activities. You know by looking at your schedule who is to do what work and when. The steps required to build a thorough schedule include, defining scheduling activities, determining the sequence of the activities. Estimating resources required. Determining the duration, then finally developing the schedule. When a less mature organization falls short on these planning steps, they may start running out of time on their project.
And this can often compromise the scope of work, and what can actually be accomplished with the remaining time. The WBS we described earlier, which was created for developing an app for a tablet computer, started by identifying the major deliverables within logical groupings. Then further defining those into tasks and activities that can be scheduled and associated with deliverables. Activity sequencing establishes logical relationships and dependencies between project activities. These include mandatory dependencies or hard logic.
Those are required by the nature of the task. Like, the concrete foundation must be poured before the frame of a house can be built. Discretionary dependency are also referred to as Soft Logic or Preferred Logic. You'll run the project in the preferred sequence unless, adjustments need to be made. For example, the cabinet builder is stuck on another job, so you switch the sequence and bring in the carpet crew with instructions to cover the carpet with plastic during installation. And added step and cost incurred to keep the project on schedule.
Minor adjustments like this might be accounted for in the contingency area of your planning, to cover these risk costs and adjustments. External dependencies are related to issues outside your project, or outside your organization. Such as the delay of an external vendor shipping your ordered lumber and supplies. Once the sequence has been determined, you can now estimate the resources you'll need and calculate the duration required to complete the task and activities, based on the resource availability, and the estimated task effort.
For example, a task estimated to take 16 hours of effort, being assigned a resource, whose time is allocated 50% to the project. And 50% to operational work, will require four working days duration to complete. Next you'll develop your schedule based on the inputs we just discussed. Project software can make this step pretty seamless. Be sure to check out the courses on Microsoft Project and Project Management available here on lynda.com. If you want to understand the steps to create and understand your critical path, the float or slack, crashing and fast-tracking or leads and lags in your schedule.
You will see once you have this schedule built. That allowing Scope Creep to add elements to your schedule will cause budget problems and schedule extensions. So thorough planning of the scope and the WBS completed using the 100% rule, that becomes the basis for building the schedule all feed into a healthy project environment, that prevents scope creep from occurring. I want you to take a close look at the way your building your project schedules. Building schedules and milestones, doesn't have to be a scary complicated process.
Following the steps we've just discussed, will help you begin creating strong planning documents that can bring success to your projects.
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- What is scope creep?
- Why does scope change?
- Factoring in organizational maturity
- Setting scope and requirements
- Building a budget
- Resetting unrealistic expectations
- Resolving communication issues with stakeholders<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.