In Search of a Good   Project Schedule
What we will be talking about  Why you have a schedule What makes a schedule good How you can determine if you have a good...
Some reasons you have a project schedule   “Because I have to.”   “Management requires a schedule   before I can start wor...
Some better reasons you have a schedule   “I need to see how all this work fits   together.”   “I need to know where I am ...
What is a schedule – as a basic toolHelps to manage informationabout project activitiesAt it’s most basic level, aschedule...
Schedules can be more advancedMap out the work that needs tobe done to forecast completionTrack progress to specificallyme...
Characteristics of a good schedule                                          Show where the team Show relationships        ...
How can you tell if a schedule is goodLook schedule construction anddata characteristics:   Construction (predictive)   Pr...
From a construction standpoint A good schedule:   Is constructed in a way that allows  it to be predictive - “Show  relati...
From a status standpoint A good schedule:  Reflects the current status of  progress – “Show where the team  stands against...
How can I spot “predictive” characteristics?  Examine predecessors/successors   All, or nearly all, tasks have   Predecess...
How can I spot “predictive” characteristics?  Look at constraint dates   Minimal use of constrained dates   • If constrain...
How can I spot “reflective” characteristics?  Schedule includes the “expected”  work streams for the type of project  bein...
How can I spot “reflective” characteristics?   Review task durations     Task durations fall within 1%-10% of    total dur...
How can I spot “reflective” characteristics?   Review task durations (cont.)    Limited tasks with “estimated”    duration...
How can I spot “dynamic” characteristics?  Baseline   Actually exists   Isn’t out of date  Status date   Has actually been...
How can I spot “dynamic” characteristics?  No tasks with [forecasted] “start” in the past   e.g., No tasks with “start” da...
How can I spot “dynamic” characteristics?  No tasks with [forecasted] “finish” in the past   e.g., No tasks with “finish” ...
Why is this important? Why have a schedule?    Map out the work that needs to be   done to forecast completion -   Predict...
“A good schedule doesn’ttell you what you want tohear, it tells you what you      need to know.”
QUESTIONS?Contact information:jrigoli@cogtechinc.com(202) 756-4555
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John.rigoli

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John.rigoli

  1. 1. In Search of a Good  Project Schedule
  2. 2. What we will be talking about  Why you have a schedule What makes a schedule good How you can determine if you have a good schedule 2
  3. 3. Some reasons you have a project schedule “Because I have to.” “Management requires a schedule before I can start working on my project.” “I need to show a schedule that accounts for everything.” “I have to prove I can get this done by the deadline.” 3
  4. 4. Some better reasons you have a schedule “I need to see how all this work fits together.” “I need to know where I am in relation to where I thought I would be right now.” “There is an unexpected change in my schedule and I want to know the impact on the rest of my schedule.” "A wise mans question contains  half the answer." Solomon Gabriel 4
  5. 5. What is a schedule – as a basic toolHelps to manage informationabout project activitiesAt it’s most basic level, aschedule can help: Capture what you plan to do Show a timeline Track progress 5
  6. 6. Schedules can be more advancedMap out the work that needs tobe done to forecast completionTrack progress to specificallymeasure where you are againstwhere you expected to beRe-forecast as changes occur tosee the impact of date changes "There are many ways of  going forward, but only one  way of standing still." Franklin D. Roosevelt 6
  7. 7. Characteristics of a good schedule Show where the team Show relationships stands against the work between activities – they are actually doing – Predictive Reflective Reflective Predictive Dynamic “Adjust” when “reality” changes things - Dynamic 7
  8. 8. How can you tell if a schedule is goodLook schedule construction anddata characteristics: Construction (predictive) Progress Reporting (reflective) “Moving Parts” (dynamic) 8
  9. 9. From a construction standpoint A good schedule: Is constructed in a way that allows it to be predictive - “Show relationships between activities” Is constructed to be dynamic with “moving parts” that change as updates are made - “Adjust” when ‘reality’ changes things” 9
  10. 10. From a status standpoint A good schedule: Reflects the current status of progress – “Show where the team stands against the work they are actually doing.” "The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it." Albert Einstein. 10
  11. 11. How can I spot “predictive” characteristics? Examine predecessors/successors All, or nearly all, tasks have Predecessor and Successor relationships No summary tasks have a Predecessor or Successor relationship 11
  12. 12. How can I spot “predictive” characteristics? Look at constraint dates Minimal use of constrained dates • If constraints are used, use soft constraints; “should start/finish on…” • Few, if any, hard constraints; e.g., “must start on” or “Must finish on” 12
  13. 13. How can I spot “reflective” characteristics? Schedule includes the “expected” work streams for the type of project being done. Examine the critical path Is there a critical path? Are there interim milestones to check progress? 13
  14. 14. How can I spot “reflective” characteristics? Review task durations Task durations fall within 1%-10% of total duration Limited tasks with odd/fractional durations 14
  15. 15. How can I spot “reflective” characteristics? Review task durations (cont.) Limited tasks with “estimated” durations Duration and work are independent • e.g., not every one week task = 40 hours of work 15
  16. 16. How can I spot “dynamic” characteristics? Baseline Actually exists Isn’t out of date Status date Has actually been changed 16
  17. 17. How can I spot “dynamic” characteristics? No tasks with [forecasted] “start” in the past e.g., No tasks with “start” date in the past with % Complete = 0 17
  18. 18. How can I spot “dynamic” characteristics? No tasks with [forecasted] “finish” in the past e.g., No tasks with “finish” date in the past with % Complete less than 100% 18
  19. 19. Why is this important? Why have a schedule? Map out the work that needs to be done to forecast completion - Predictive Measure where you are against where you expected to be - Reflective Assess impacts as dates change - Dynamic 19
  20. 20. “A good schedule doesn’ttell you what you want tohear, it tells you what you need to know.”
  21. 21. QUESTIONS?Contact information:jrigoli@cogtechinc.com(202) 756-4555

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