Avoiding the pitfall of backing in to your schedule

Beware of developing a schedule by backing in, that is, starting at the end of a project and working your way back toward the start to identify activities and estimate durations that allow you to meet your client's desired end date. Using this approach substantially decreases the chances that you'll meet the schedule for the following reasons:

i You may miss activities because your focus is on meeting a time constraint, not ensuring that you've identified all required work.

i You base your span-time estimates on what you can allow activities to take rather than what they'll require.

i The order for your proposed activities may not be the most effective one.

I was reviewing a colleague's project plan a while back and noticed that she had allowed one week for her final report's review and approval. When I asked her whether she thought this estimate was realistic, she replied that it certainly wasn't but she had to put it in for the project plan to work out. In other words, she was using time estimates that totaled to the number she wanted to reach rather than one she could reach.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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