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Posted: Thu 06 Mar 2014 12:51 pm
Can we brainstorm about common pitfalls of 'non scheduling'? In other words, what are the consequences of not having a schedule....
Posted: Thu 06 Mar 2014 7:30 pm
Wow...I can relate to this one on my own remodeling project on the house we bought last fall and should have already moved in to. I'm a long time PM and knew better, but it was really my wife's project. We hired a contractor who was also a friend, paid him and he did 40% of the work and bailed on us. He got way behind and there was no real schedule, only 3 different agreed to finish dates which he kept missing without warning.
So the need for a schedule is huge. Without one you can miss milestones and completion dates and not really be aware. But, your customer will be and will become increasingly agitated. Without a schedule you are almost certain to go over budget, over timeframe and have a very dissatisfied client. I realize these are pretty general...I will try to think of more specifics and come back...
Posted: Thu 06 Mar 2014 10:17 pm
What is the impetus for your question?
Question: How far through the project are you and what is the estimate to completion? As a PM, you must be able to answer this question to a degree accuracy and a schedule will allow you to do so.
Advantages of using a schedule:
- Increases stakeholder confidence - They can see what work SHOULD have been completed to a period of time and what is remaining, setting their expectations.
- Enhances communication - Everyone on the project should have a copy of the schedule and there is a common platform for communication and the schedule can be universally referred to.
- Calculating project progress and forecasting - The PM can accurately forecast the ETC (Estimate to Completion, Earned Value Analysis) and confirm how far through the project they are compared to the baseline schedule.
- Resource allocation/smoothing - Certain specialist resources will be needed at set stages of the project and a schedule will help manage their use by smoothing peaks and troughs.
- Delivery dates of products - Delivery milestones in the project will show the team and stakeholders when to expect what products. By having a 'phased delivery' the customer can then see some tangible progress and the schedule will let them know when to expect each product.
- Finance budgeting - The schedule informs accounts how much funds are require and when, managing their expectations.
- Gate Reviews - The schedule will have logical reviews planned where the project can be stopped if the business case is invalid.
- Clarity for the team - The project team know what they should be working on and when. Team members become disinterested if they are in the unknown with no clear objectives. The Team should also be involved in the creation of the schedule.
- Risk Identifying - It is easier to identify risks which occur at certain stages by have a project schedule. You can then have risk responses planned into the schedule IF the risk occurs.
By not having a schedule, you are losing the benefit of all the above advantages.
Any other input?
Posted: Tue 11 Mar 2014 4:06 pm
Thanks Brad & Kit for the input, it's really useful for me. I already taught myself about the question and came to the following '5 common consequences of non-scheduling' (I formulated them as questions)
- How to monitor project progress and team performance?
- How to manage and minimize project delays?
- How to decide on what needs to be done & when?
- How to identify the critical path of your project?
- How to reflect the actual status of a project at a current point in time?
Any thoughts/feedback on this?