Developing a Project Schedule

You ve defined how you re going to track the project and how you re going to communicate with stakeholders. Next, let' s work on the things that you' l l do to develop the project' s schedule.

You do not develop the project' s calendar until the project initiation documents have been approved and you' re chartered go to forward. At this juncture, we know that you' ve chosen the members of the team and that you ' ve received approval for these members to work on the team.

In developing the project ' s schedule, you must first gather together several different calendars:

■ Officially mandated corporate holidays

■ Individual calendars of those that are working the project

■ Any special days that have been reserved for business-unit or company- wide functions (such as the annual marketing department brainstorming and pancake breakfast off-site)

You next either collate all of the calendars into a single project calendar (preferred) or opt to work with the separate calendars. The reason it ' s preferable to work with a single project calendar is simply that it' s easier on the PM. However, it makes project team members ' lives a bit harder if they have to maintain their regular calendar and then duplicate everything in the project calendar. If the team member is dedicated to the project full-time until its completion, then it ' s no big deal. But for part-time team members, balancing the calendars could get pretty complicated.

You should probably standardize on an electronic calendar that' s associated with an e-mail system, if possible. Keeping a paper calendar doesn' t lend itself well to others staying on top of it from any location.

Some e-mail systems allow users to update their normal calendar, and then replicate the information to other online calendars. Whatever the situation, you need to have a way to assign people to activities and do it using free dates based upon the project calendar. If you have to view your team members ' individual calendars to get things scheduled, you' l l have a very rough time accomplishing your goals.

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