Chapter 7. Realistic Scheduling
If you ask people what makes a project successful, "a realistic schedule" usually tops the list. But ask them to be more specific, and several characteristics of a realistic schedule emerge. A realistic schedule:
Includes a detailed knowledge of the work to be done
Has task sequences in the correct order
Accounts for external constraints beyond the control of the team
Can be accomplished on time, given the availability of skilled people and enough equipment
Finally, a realistic schedule takes into consideration all the objectives of the project. For example, a schedule may be just right for the project team, but if it misses the customer's completion date by a mile, then it's clear that the whole project will need reassessment. Building a project plan that includes all the necessary parts and achieves a realistic balance between cost, scheduling, and quality requires a careful, step-by-step process.
Chapter 6 dealt with the first step in planning the project: the work breakdown structure. This chapter explains planning steps two through five. Each planning step relies on the one preceding it, and each adds a new element to the plan. You can use the diagram in Figure 6.1 (see page 127) as a guide in this chapter.
Here is a quick recap of the steps involved in planning a project. The first two actions prepare the groundwork for planning and so can be considered preplanning activities. The remaining five steps develop the detailed ...