Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video An overview of project scheduling, part of Project Management Foundations: Schedules (2013).
Managing project schedules is a lot like making soup. You gather ingredients while figuring out what the project is about. Toss them into a big pot as you build the schedule. Adjust the seasoning to get workloads, dates, and costs right. Then you watch the schedule as it cooks, and make adjustments until the work's completed and the project goal is achieved. The primary reason you build a project schedule is to identify what things have to get done and when. A project schedule also shows how all the pieces of the project fit together. That way the people working on the project see how their work affects others.
Which helps the team work together toward the common goal. A project schedule makes the work that has to be done, easy to understand and manage. The schedule details help team members understand what they're supposed to do and when it needs to be done, and the details help you keep everything moving. Managing a project schedule isn't a one shot deal. It's something you work on over most of the life of the project. Your scheduling work starts as you plan your project.
You take the work you identify, time and cost estimates, the people and other resources you need And build an initial schedule. During planning, you learn more about the project, like the resources you can get, or deadlines that the initial schedule doesn't meet. So you fine-tune the schedule again, again, and again. During this fine-tuning, it's important to consider risks. Schedule changes, like shortening a schedule to meet deadlines, bringing in additional and unfamiliar resources, and other types of changes, can introduce risk.
Be sure to update your risk management plan as you build, fine tune, and manage your schedule. If you're new to risk management, see my course, Project Management Fundamentals. Eventually, you have a good-looking schedule to work with. Once the project work gets going, you switch to managing your project schedule. This is where the value of a schedule really shines. A project schedule helps you keep things on time and within budget. You can check on what's really happening in your project and compare that to your schedule.
If progress or costs aren't what they should be, or issues arise, you can make adjustments before things get out of hand. Sometimes changes to the project are required, such as change requests or new requirements. In that case, you can evaluate the impact of those changes and adjust the schedule accordingly. In this chapter, we'll take a look at the components that contribute to a project schedule. The rest of this course will show you how to play these components off one another to make your schedules work.
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- Identifying the work that needs to be done
- Adding milestones
- Delaying or overlapping tasks with lag and lead time
- Assigning resources
- Balancing workloads
- Adding buffers and baselines to the schedule
- Uncovering and correcting out schedule problems<br><br>
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