Project schedule management

Nothing good happens accidentally. Everything good has to be planned and nurtured. So is schedule development and maintenance. As everything else in project management, project schedule have to be planned, developed and nurtured and undergoes the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

Project Schedule Management


Plan schedule management 

  • Scheduling method – Critical path method, Critical chain method
  • Scheduling tool – MS Project, Primavera, XL sheet, Google sheet, Sticky notes
  • Project information – Scope, environmental factors, organizational process assets, acceptance criteria, work breakdown structure, Requirements trace ability matrix.
  • Schedule model – Network diagrams (phase wise / module wise)
  • Activity list 
  • Bar chart
  • Network diagram – Activity on Arrow (AOA), Activity on Node (AON)
  • Iterative scheduling with backlog – Based on agile approaches and rolling wave planning. The milestone level schedule is prepared for the end to end project and detailed look ahead plans are prepared for the current work.
  • On demand scheduling – Used in Kanban system based on theory of constraints and pull based scheduling concepts from lean manufacturing in order to reduce work in progress piling up.
  • Development approach – The product development approach (Iterative, Waterfall, Hybrid) will help in designing the schedule.
  • Schedule management plan 
    • Types of schedules
      • High level
      • Low level
      • Optimistic schedule (based on optimistic values)
      • Pessimistic schedule (based on pessimistic values)
      • Most likely schedule (based on most likely values)
    • Rule of credit (rules for performance measurement  %complete, 0-100, 50-50 etc)
    • Statusing the schedule – Who will update, revise, frequency
    • Reviews – Constructibility , performance
    • Reporting formats

Define activities 

  • Scope baseline
  • Decomposition
  • Rolling wave planning
  • Activity list
  • Activity attributes
  • Milestone list
  • Schedule baseline
  • Cost baseline

Sequence activities 

  • Precedence diagramming method
  • Dependency determination and integration
    • Mandatory
    • Discretionary
    • External
    • Internal
  • Leads and lags
  • Project management information system (PMIS)
  • Project schedule network diagrams
  • Activity attributes

Estimate activity durations 

  • Law of diminishing returns
  • Number of resources
  • Advances in technology
  • Motivation of staff
  • Work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Resource breakdown structure (RBS)
  • Resource calendars
  • Resource requirements
  • Analogous estimation
  • Parametric estimation
  • Three point estimation
  • Bottom up estimation
  • Duration estimates

Develop schedule 

  • Risk register
  • Schedule network analysis
  • Resource optimization
    • Resource leveling
    • Resource smoothing
  • Data analysis
    • What-if scenario analysis
    • Simulation
  • Leads and lags
  • Schedule compression
    • Crashing
    • Fast tracking
  • Agile release planning
  • Schedule baseline
  • Project schedule
    • Bar charts / Gantt charts
    • Milestone charts
    • Project schedule network diagrams
  • Schedule data
  • Project calendars

Control schedule 

  • Work performance data
  • Data analysis
    • Earned value analysis
    • Iteration burn down chart
    • Performance reviews
    • Trend analysis
    • Variance analysis
    • What-if scenario analysis
  • Critical path method
  • Resource optimization
  • Work performance information
  • Schedule forecasts



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