Project schedule

It’s funny really. The one activity that the common person associates with project management is planning, and the main output from this planning effort is a schedule. Yet, it is a challenge to find a project manager who can develop one accurately. Althou

It’s funny really. The one activity that the common person associates with project management is planning, and the main output from this planning effort is a schedule. Yet, it is a challenge to find a project manager who can develop one accurately. Although scheduling is one of the two primary technical aspects of project management, it is a common technical weakness of many project managers.

Why is this? Well, from my own experience, I can state at least four reasons: lack of time for proper planning, lack of education on the schedule development process, lack of training with the scheduling software, and a belief that a detailed schedule is not necessary. I believe this issue is one of the fundamental reasons why many organizations started project management offices (PMOs)—internal support and governance organizations to improve project performance. Unrealistic project schedules have an adverse impact on resource management and project investment decisions.

I’ve used terms like “realistic” and “well-developed” to describe the type of project schedule we want to develop. Before we continue, let’s clarify what the goal of the schedule development process should be. The schedule development process should generate a project schedule that meets the following criteria:

■ Complete—The schedule must represent all the work to be done. This is why the quality and completeness of the WBS is so important.
■ Realistic—The schedule must be realistic with regard to time expectations.
■ Accepted—The schedule must have “buy-in” from team members and stakeholders.
■ Formal—The schedule must be documented and formalized

Determining Task Relationships (Sequencing the Work)

In this step, we think about what needs to be done first and what can be done at the same time. We want to capture the logical relationships that exist between the tasks in our WBS. The traditional technique used to capture these relationships is the network diagram. In order to help you understand dynamic relationships between work, duration, resources, and productivity of multiple projects, TaskBeat allows creating tasks and sub-tasks in a hierarchical structures.