Module 4-Developing the Project Schedule scoping the project for success – Agreeing the expectations

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Project scheduling is a process of iterations, each improving the schedule logic and the project team’s ability to deliver the project.
  • The work breakdown structure is a data entry tool that enables all the preliminary and required information to be collected at the beginning of the scheduling process.
  • Your duration forecasts are just that – forecasts and not confirmed estimates during the early stages of developing the schedule.
  • The PERT network enables the project team to inspect their logic and refine any errors and fix any omissions.
  • Critical path analysis identifies those tasks that impact the project completion date. It is these tasks that will require precise forecasting (and later accurate estimates).
  • Network analysis determines the early and late start times together with the early and late finish times across the schedule.
  • The Gantt chart enables the project team to refine their schedule and to see the immediate impact any changes will have on the schedule.
  • Spend time developing and experimenting with several different schedule variations. Consider the impact the changes in time, budget, and specification will have on the schedule. Build-in contingency if needed.
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT commit to the first and only schedule you develop. Refine it, play with it, discuss it, extend it, compress it, and anything else that comes to mind as each iteration will enhance not only your scheduling skills but also (and more importantly) your skills in managing the schedule.

 

Exercises

 

Review your Knowledge

 

  1. Match the following project inputs to a project life cycle phase. Discuss the answers online.

 

Actions Defining Phase Planning Phase Executing

Phase

Completing Phase
Specify project goals
Celebrate project team’s success
Organise tasks
Formulate contracts
Agree expectations
Reassign resources
Manage change requests
Conduct project evaluation and audit
Develop schedule
Identify critical success factors
Control and report progress
Estimate contingency factors
Manage meetings
  1. What additional pieces of information could the WBS capture (via additional columns) at the beginning of the scheduling stage?
  2. What are some of the advantages of the PERT over the work breakdown structure?
  3. If you are ever asked to reduce the project duration of the project, which path (or task) would you shorten? The critical or noncritical one? Please justify your answer.
  4. Explain the definition that the critical path is both the longest project duration and shortest project completion time.

Additional activities

 Project Management Tools Terminology

 You must be familiar with the following key terms:

  • Task(s) and event(s),
  • Critical task(s),
  • Critical path and/or milestones
  • Network diagram
  • Gantt Chart

License

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Project Management: A Strategic Approach by Carmen Reaiche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.