Schedule Creation

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Now that we have the Work Breakdown Structure, we can think about building the project schedule. Before the project schedule can be created, the team must identify the activities, and determine all of the interdependencies. In doing this the team can build a logic diagram illustrating the 'shape' of the project. Once the optimal structure has been determined this can be overlaid on a calendar, yielding a schedule. The techniques for producing a critical path schedule are explained. In this chapter we also discuss how to manage some typical schedule problems.

Everyone associated with a project is impacted by the schedule, and a wise project manager will use assistance from all key people when building the schedule. The project manager has the overall accountability for the schedule, and will be the prime player in building and monitoring it. If there is a project assistant or planner, he or she may prepare the schedule and possibly also monitor it, particularly on a large project. Full team involvement is required to build and adhere to a schedule in order to take into account all potential dependencies, and to accurately estimate the activity times. Functional managers in matrix organizations are impacted; all stakeholders are affected. All should be informed about the end result at the very least, and possibly also asked to contribute at some point during the development.

In the PMBOKĀ® Guide there is a systematic analysis of five processes that are related to project time management. See Figure 1 for an illustration of these processes. The diagram shows the stage of the project at which each of the five processes occurs.

Figure 1

The five time management processes are:

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