Project Management, including Project Scheduling is changing and evolving faster now than it ever has before. Why? Because the Internet is supporting collaboration and sharing of new ideas and their success (or otherwise) almost daily.
There are two essential documents in every project: the Business Case and the Schedule. These two documents may of course be backed up with design documents and more. The business case defines what will make a project successful and what the project will and won’t do. The schedule communicates and collaborates the how, what, where, why and when for successfully delivering the project.
Scheduling is therefore a vital skill for a successful project, yet one increasingly ignored. Project Scheduling software seems to have made the situation worse as management and project managers follow the belief that the software will “do the scheduling”. Nothing can be further from the truth. Scheduling software such as Microsoft Project is a great tool for managing and reporting on project information. It is up to the scheduler to enter and structure project information required. Scheduling Made Easy teaches you what you need to feed your scheduling software for the best results.
Ben Howard is a very experienced scheduler. What makes his schedules stand out is that they are living, high value schedules. This means they:
- Start with a list of all deliverables from the business case. Many schedules bear little resemblance to the tasks that really need carrying out to meet business needs.
- Clearly show how and when the business case deliverables will get delivered. Match tasks in most schedules to a list of all business needs from the business case and almost all schedules will miss a minimum of 30% of the tasks required. Stakeholders then wonder why their projects finish late!
- Are dynamic: they are driven by links except for identified project constraints all labelled with notes to explain them.
- Stay current: no incomplete work in the past and no started work in the future. All work scheduled for next week lists what needs to happen next week.
- Provide 80% of project reports automatically.
- Tight time frame projects clearly show what has to happen when and what the trend is for timely progress.
- Have accurate critical paths because all tasks are driven by links (except for noted schedule constraints), have audited Total Slack to ensure there are no missing links and is peer reviewed with subject matter experts.
- Treats Time, Resource Constrained and Cost constrained projects differently so their priorities are met.
- Include contingency delays and extra work proportional to remaining Risks (business, feature and schedule).
- Report generation is automated from custom menus for easy printing and formatting of all required reports.
- May include automated sharing of information with data in spreadsheets or databases.
- Use methods and techniques easy to train to other schedulers and project managers.
Scheduling Made Easy is a training course essential to all project managers and budding schedulers and anyone wanting to use project scheduling software effectively. From this course attendees will clearly understand what skills they need to use their scheduling software and how a Schedule is an essential part of successfully delivering a project.
Scheduling Made Easy includes a demonstration of how to build quality, high value schedules.