Imposed dates restrict the start or finish date of activities. The two most common constraints, start no earlier than and finish no later than, are used by most computerized project management software programs. Let's look once again at the house-painting example. The painting activity cannot start until the primer has dried. If the primer takes 24 hours to dry and is scheduled to be completed on Wednesday, this implies the painting activity can start no earlier than Thursday. This is an example of an imposed date.
Key events or milestones refer to the completion of specific deliverables by a specific date. Stakeholders, customers, or management staff might request that certain deliverables be completed or delivered by specific dates. Once you've agreed to those dates (even if the agreement is only verbal), it's often cast in stone and difficult to change. These dates, therefore, become constraints.
Be careful of the delivery dates you commit to your stakeholders or customers. You might think you're simply discussing the matter or throwing out ideas, while the stakeholder might take what you've said as fact. Once the stakeholder believes the deliverable or activity will be completed by a specific date, there's almost no convincing them that the date needs changing.
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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.