When you’re bidding a project, do you start developing a schedule plan? Or plan your schedule?
Before we ever start developing activities, we should plan the project, and this includes planning the schedule.
We need to determine how we plan to sequence the major portions of the work, establish required and preferential phases, break the project down into smaller deliverables based on area, CSI code, sub-contractor, type of activities – contract milestones, procurement, administrative activities…
This information is probably part of the cost proposal development process and provides us with the building blocks for developing the WBS.
We also need to have an idea of what type of activity calendars and coding we will need to use. The resources we will need to develop can be based on the subcontractor or CSI deliverable list.
As a CPM Schedule Consultant, I use this information to develop a schedule plan. I use this plan to develop the project WBS, activity coding, resources, and project calendars. I develop these before I ever start creating the activities for the schedule. Having the WBS developed helps ensure we have the entire scope of work in the schedule. Having the activity coding developed allows me to assign these items to the activities as I create the activities. This helps with filtering and sorting to assign hard and preferential logic and for reviewing work for specific resources or subcontractors for trade stacking and for reviewing specific areas for trade congestion. It’s just easier to assign the Responsibility and CSI activity coding along with assigning the resources. This saves time and avoids mistakes. Having the calendars developed helps with setting the original durations once we have all the logic assigned.
Planning the project as well as the schedule is the important first step in developing the project schedule.
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I’d love to hear what you think!
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Paul Epperson CCM, PMP, PSP, PMI-SP