Good scheduling is at the heart of the customer-driven project management process. Schedules created in appropriate software are scaled to the project effort, linked to a central resource pool file, and posted on a network including the customer. Schedules constitute the basis for program development, tracking, and review, and project review meetings involve projections of schedules on standup screens to encourage group discussion and understanding. Customers are involved directly in schedule reviews or through conference calls participate actively. A good scheduling process provides adequate time to ensure that the work breakdown is comprehensive, that scheduled task durations and predecessors are as accurate as possible, that key linkages are made, and that resources, once assigned, are actually available and committed to the program when they are needed.

Scheduling and associated resource planning are accomplished collabora-tively by the project manager, working closely with department managers and the project team. Communication and sharing of schedule and resource information, check points, approvals, and feedback are managed on the network to the extent feasible, with meetings and review of hardcopy schedules or action lists as necessary.

The project manager carries out the following basic scheduling procedures with support from the program planner:

■ Ensures that customer requirements, expectations, and reviews for product functionality are clearly represented at four levels

■ Establishes project team "sign off" of the schedule before baselining

■ Develops the top-level work breakdown structure to serve as the basis for scheduling, using current WBS templates or creating them in consultation with the customer and key departments

■ Prepares a top-level schedule showing basic task structure, durations, start and finish dates, linkages and predecessors, and links the schedule to the central resource pool

■ Integrates top-level tasks into a more detailed schedule

■ "Scrubs" the schedule, involving four steps:

■ Drafts an initial schedule, with a work breakdown structure to the fourth level, and makes resource assignments for all tasks

■ Works with department managers to assign resources and resolve conflicts

■ Links the schedule into the central resource pool to identify resource issues

■ Manages meetings with department managers and customers to work out final schedule structure, task definition, linkages, and resource assignments

■ Enters hourly, fixed, and equipment costs and produces a project budget that is shared with the customer

■ Gets sign-offs from all department managers before proceeding to schedule baseline

■ Saves the project baseline as the key point of departure for the work

■ Kicks off project with team meeting; hands out hardcopy schedules and individual task assignments

■ On a weekly basis, collects and enters actual performance data from team members on: (a) percent completion, (b) actual hours spent on tasks (from time sheets), (c) actual start and finish dates, (d) actual durations, (e) remaining durations, and (f) actual ODC costs, and updates schedule on the network

■ Prepares summary presentation reports, tables, and narratives on earned value, estimate to complete, and estimate at completion and submits them to the customer and management, along with schedule updates with all tasks updated and conflicts resolved

■ With the assistance of the project management office, analyzes resource usage from central resource pool file and identifies conflicts, issues, and problems for current and future projects

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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