Preparation is the first step to manage any activity. Making a list or an agenda is an age-old practice. Likewise, managing projects include controlling and tracking them to their successful completion. It involves phases such as Planning, Developing, Implementation, and Project closure. These phases can be subdivided further into testing, execution and deployment, etc. It is difficult to manage projects that are complex and has many elements.
The project manager is required to get PMP certification to handle increasingly complex and large projects. In this article, we will learn about project scheduling techniques and their importance. StarAgile conducts Online PMP training that is recognized around the world in all industries.
It is done to determine what tasks need to be done. Tasks accomplished by which resources? In what timeframe? A project schedule is a document that has timelines, resources, and tasks linked to each other in a definite sequence and is also referred to as an agenda.
Now you will ask the questions about who will do the schedule, for what purposes, and how it takes place.
We all know that a project consists of activities and tasks that need to be completed to make the project successful. PM with his team members is responsible to make the schedule. Now the PM must make the list with timelines, resources and tasks to get completed to realize the project benefits and project requirements.
The following list of activities is followed for effective scheduling,
Project Scheduling is an example of various types of elements required in project management. The PM is the person who is responsible for the successful completion of the project. He must have different management skills to control, manage, and track the project from start to end. Enrol on the PMP course at StarAgile institute and learn more about the roles of the project manager.
1. Alignment with project execution strategy - The project execution document and project scheduling must define the sequence and timing of all the steps. This is required as the project teams will require this to identify risks and resources requirements
2. Scope - The agenda while planning must have the entire scope of work captured in it so that the list is accurate. Know these steps in detail by taking up the PMP course online at StarAgile institute.
3. Duration - You need to have an agenda made with all the tasks and duration that is optimized by past project experience, best practices, and understanding the slack period and dependencies.
4. Sequencing and linking the activities - You need to ensure that all the tasks are sequenced properly in the schedule document and all the dependencies are captured in linking the tasks and activities.
5. Date Constraints – The date constraints must be kept to a minimum to facilitate accurate float considerations. This will avoid inaccurate start and end dates being calculated.
6. Confusing activity - You must restrict the activities that are dangling or with incomplete logic so that the path may be calculated properly. Otherwise, the floats may be inaccurate and the critical path may not be calculated properly.
7. Critical Path - After going through the above steps now calculate the shortest and the longest path. The critical path will help you to know the slippage in the progress of the projects. The entire focus and energy must be based on the critical path as it is the earliest possible finish time. Know how to use a critical path in project management with PMP training at StarAgile institute.
8. Floats - Ensure that the schedule has reasonable floats that are any part of the delivery is missed or delayed. Also do not provide high float as there may be a delay in the project completion as the logic may not be right or you might have used activity date constraints which indicate inaccurate float calculations.
9. Resources - Now assign the resources needed to all the activities so that manpower and other resources such as software/hardware may be calculated. Ensure that all the resources necessary are allocated to the tasks and activities in the schedule that you are making. Remember that the project cannot start or complete without the resources.
10. Resource plan - After the activities and tasks durations are set and the right logic is in place, and resources are being allocated to the schedule, then review whether the resource plan is executable or not. 2 questions must be asked, Do we have the right amount of resources required for the required time? Considering the work at the location are there any concentration conflicts from parallel activities?
11. Do schedule risk analysis - The risks are the uncertainty in the projects. You need to run the schedule risk analysis and ensure that the critical path provides you with the deterministic value and that the end date is the single value that you have estimated. This statistical model will determine if there is any impact of risks and uncertainty on the confidence levels for meeting the project completion date. This will provide you with the contingency or the reserved time for consideration of the risks. Ensure that you include the results of the schedule risk analysis and the mitigations in your executable baselines.
12. Create your baseline - This is the document you would refer to often to check during the project execution whether the project is progressing as per the baseline set. The baseline must be a strict document that does not change unless authorized to do so. You need to set up a change control process if you want to accommodate any changes in the scope etc. Ensure that the impact of any changes are verified and assessed in terms of resources required, time and cost, etc. During the project execution stage ensure that you measure the progress of the work against the baseline and whether you are ahead of the schedule or behind the schedule. Also, evaluate any out-of-sequence updates.
Planning is the first thing to start within the project phases. Planning provides you with the big picture of the goals.
The project schedule deals with tasks, dates and duration and the resources that are assigned to the tasks to get the work done and to complete the project
It takes a lot of effort to do the project scheduling and you need knowledge and the “know-how” and real-time experience with the project management. To know more about this topic take up the PMP training online at StarAgile institute. StarAgile is the training partner for the Project manager certificate online with the Project Management Institute (PMI).
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