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Project Time Management - Do's and Don'ts

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Luis Retana

on 30 July 2018

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Transcript of Project Time Management - Do's and Don'ts

Project Time Management
Principles and concepts
Best Practices
Application of skills, techniques, and intuition acquired through knowledge and experience to develop effective schedule models.
Scheduling Methods
Scheduling Techniques
Critical Path Method
Precedence Diagram Method
Critical Chain Method
Rolling Wave Planning
Agile Techniques
Monte Carlo Simulation
Also serves as a tool for communication, managing stakeholder expectations and as a basis for performance reporting.
Schedule Management
Selection of Schedule Method
Master Schedule Model
Performance Indicators
Resource Planning
Milestone and Activity Code structure
Project Update Cycle
Calendars & Work periods
Schedule Model Version
Schedule Model ID
Schedule Model Creation Plan
Selection of Scheduling Tool
The update cycle is the regular interval at which the status of the project is reported. The appropriate frequency is determined. This includes determining at what point in the cycle the update will occur and how often the status will be reported. The chosen update cycle has a direct relationship on the activity durations contained within the schedule. Experienced practitioners often divide the update cycle into two separate parts: progress reporting and maintenance.

The choice of update cycle is influenced by a number off actors, such as the rate of change in the project, the duration of the project, etc. The project team needs to consider which time scale should be used. Specific project evolutions can require different time scales effective for that evolution.
The types of reports, needed to create a presentation of the schedule model provide guidance on the coding structures to be built into the schedule model. A coding structure should be developed so that selecting, sorting, and grouping of the schedule data can be easily accomplished. Well-conceived activity coding structure that is separate from the activity identifier. Activities can be coded with more than one code for each activity, with each code holding a separate value, allowing outputs to be customized for different purposes.
A default project calendar is defined using work periods. Work periods may also be defined for specific activities or resources. Some of the calendar elements include:
Define: the working days in a week, the number of shifts to be worked each day, the number of hours to be worked each shift or day, any periods of scheduled “overtime” work and non-working time.

Generally accepted practice is to use a default project calendar that is adequate and reasonable to perform the work. This project calendar will be used as the default calendar for the project activities. This practice allows the project team to establish and schedule different working periods or calendars, if needed, for certain activities.
The project team, with the scheduler as facilitator, should have access to the documentation about the available schedule methods approved by the organization in order to comply with the organizational and project requirements.
The selection of the scheduling tool will be based on the scheduling method selected and will comply with the organization and project requirements related to the tool.
The project manager, in conjunction with the project team and key stakeholders, determines the plan for schedule model creation.
Every schedule model needs to have a unique identification method specific to the project.
Each instance of the schedule model has a unique version identifier. The location of this identification can vary depending on the organizational process assets and tools used to control it.
If the schedule model is to include resources of any type, the schedule model management plan identifies the elements required for resource planning and management. Items to consider are resource availability, resource calendars, and resource skill sets.A resource-loaded schedule clearly indicates the interdependencies and impacts that the availability of resources will have on project duration and cost.
To let the stakeholders know how the project is performing, many projects define key performance indicators (KPIs) enabling the project team to measure progress and performance toward predefined project goals (e.g., customer ratings/feedback, project team ratings, and EVM).
The schedule model may be designed and built as a master project containing subprojects. These subprojects should be linked to each other in certain identified delivery/acceptance or interface points, ensuring that there is a connection among the plans. The schedule model management plan will define the steps used to create, manage, and control the master schedule, subprojects, and project interdependencies.
Work to be done
Resources required
Duration, sequence and relationships
By other documents in the overall Project Plan, not in the schedule
A detailed schedule model may result in decomposing projects into manageable phases or groupings.
Projects are generally complex endeavors;
The schedule provides a detailed plan that represents how and when the project will deliver the products, services, and results defined in the project scope.
What is scheduling
What is a Schedule
Contractual Requirement

Representation of tasks to be done and their dates
Something you do when planning a project
Basic concepts and Principles
Best Practices
Well structured activities
Periodically Updated
Correctly updated
Activity Dependencies
Well defined activities
Focus on deliverables
Avoid constraints
in the past
Status Date
in the future
Incomplete tasks/portions
Completed tasks/portions
Predecessor vs successor
Driver vs dependent
Easlily and "auto" updated
Requirements understood and met
Measurable and discrete
Single person responsible
Reliable, good forecasts
Responds well to changes/scenarios
Representation of reality/expectation
Leads & Lags
How do you set your dates?
Use Deadlines
(less than 2 update cycles) 1%-10% rule
Task A
Milestone D
Task B
Task I
Task H
Task G
Task F
Task E

Work vs duration vs units
Work = Duration x Units
Fixed Units
Fixed Duration
Fixed Work
Effort driven
"...dynamic representation of the plan for executing the project activities developed by the project stakeholders, applying a selected scheduling method to a scheduling tool using project-specific data."- PMI
Since constraints limit scheduling flexibility, they should be used only when schedule logic cannot correctly address the situation.
An open-ended activity is an activity lacking either a predecessor or a successor or both.
Open-ended activities can obscure the logical relationships between project activities and interfere in Critical Path.
The only open-ended activities in a project should be the start and finish milestones at the beginning and end of the project.
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