Heike Moeller December 2, 2020 Project Management
The project schedule is the central part of the project plan and it is used to connect the tasks to be done with the resources that will accomplish them. It consists of a list of deliverables with intended start and finish dates. Deliverables are the lowest level elements in a schedule, which are not further subdivided.
Now, you will notice that some of these tasks will be ongoing throughout the project, like managing team performance, assuring quality, and schedule control. Before each project, you should make a checklist and a list of deliverables that will keep you on track throughout your project. There will be a lot of similarities from project to project, so after the first time this will be very easy to do. You may want to schedule yourself to do some tasks weekly or monthly, depending on the task and the length of your project. Maybe you want to add in some of your own tasks, or maybe there are some that you can live without, but this is a great start to managing any project.
The production and agreement of the business requirements is a substantial part of the overall project schedule and may take many iterations before it is finally approved. The project manager usually works with other departments or teams to put the document together. They will probably use Brainstorming and Interviewing techniques to help with this process and may even build a prototype
An implementation can be a tough animal to tame depending on how you structure it. Having the right tools and methodology behind you to define and run a project can go a long way towards a successful deployment or development effort. Since a project can span several months and involve a variety of resources and skill sets, your role as a PM is to define the rules and manner in which the team will work under so the entire implementation does not falter.
To start we will be clear that we are not going to deal here with repetitive implementation / rollout projects where a template plan has been refined over a series of projects and becomes a standard checklist for project management (for example for COTS - commercial off-the-shelf software). This article is about those one off (or initial template try-out) projects. These projects may be within organisations small, medium and large.
Prior to creating the project schedule the project manager must have a work breakdown structure (WBS), an effort estimate for each task, and a list of resources with availability for each resource. Once these data are established a project scheduling tool can automatically do much of the tedious work of calculating the schedule. However, before a project manager can use such tools, he should have an understanding over concepts like WBS, dependencies, resource allocation, critical paths etc. These are the real keys to planning a successful project.