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 to be reassessed. Building a project plan that includes all the necessary parts and achieves a realistic balance among cost, scheduling, and scope requires a careful, step‐by‐step process.
Chapter 9 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 shown in Figure 9.1 as a guide in this chapter.
A Key Leadership Opportunity
Once you've mastered the techniques in this chapter, building a realistic schedule can seem like basic math. That's your opportunity. Prior to using this step‐by‐step, bottom‐up scheduling technique, ...