When the project baseline schedule is developed, activities are created that represent work to complete the project. It’s tempting to jump in and start adding activities as you build the project in your mind. Resist this temptation….
First, plan the schedule! How will the schedule be used? How will progress and performance be tracked? Will resource and cost be tracked by cost accounts? What presentation types are required by the contract?
What is going to be the approach to the project execution? Who are the team members? What are the contractual requirements for the schedule? Is there coordination with other work by contractors or the owner required?
Once you’ve answered these, and any other specific questions for the project execution, you should define the deliverable and break the deliverable down into smaller and smaller pieces until you have individual work packages. This helps ensure you get the entire scope of the project in the schedule.
Setting up your resources, cost accounts, activity coding and calendars is also part of the planning phase of developing the schedule.
Now you can start adding the activities to support the deliverables in an organized manner. The best part is this allows the use of mandatory logic for the completion of each work package. This makes it quick and simple.
Next, you can apply the preferential logic to create the phasing you planned earlier in the process. If you organized the WBS by phase, this is easily done as well.
Planning the schedule development and management will help ensure you end up with a complete schedule for the project. It will also make the schedule more useful and easier to manage.
I know many of you can offer additional comments and recommendations. I welcome your comments and input. My goal, as always, is to help our industry and help the projects we support….
I’d love to hear what you think!
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Paul Epperson CCM, PMP, PSP, PMI-SP