Chapter Developing the Project Schedule

In this chapter

• Understand why the project schedule is vital to a successful project

• Review the process for creating a realistic schedule

• Learn the characteristics of a good schedule

• Learn how to avoid the common mistakes that even experienced project managers can make when building a schedule

• Review the options for effectively presenting your schedule to others

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 the central technical component of project management, it is also the most common technical weakness of most 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.

Of course, as a reader of this book, you will know the proper process for developing a schedule, you will understand the necessity of a detailed schedule, and you will have plenty of ammunition to use when negotiating for project planning time. Combined with proper knowledge of the scheduling software you are using, you will possess a key strength for successful project managers and be a key asset to your stakeholders. Given that, let's continue our review of the overall schedule development process.

In this chapter, we will emphasize the vital importance of the project schedule, step through the process for developing a realistic schedule, and highlight the areas where people often go astray. This will lead to a schedule that your stakeholders will believe and accept, and it will provide you with the foundation to properly execute and monitor the project.

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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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