Starting a Project Schedule from Scratch

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

When creating a project schedule, most organizations and project managers use templates or old project plans that can be repurposed for the new project. Utilizing previous schedules can be a great help, enabling the project manager to produce a quality schedule much quicker since those schedules or templates will have been changed and perfected over time.

There are times, however, when it is necessary or preferred to build a schedule from scratch--such as when a client requests a plan that has not been done in the organization previously or the project requirements are vastly different than previous projects. Or perhaps the approach to the project needs to be different because of past failures.

Regardless of the reason, building a project from scratch is more difficult than repurposing a previous schedule. Microsoft Project and other schedule tools have lots of built in features that will guide a user through the overall process of creating a project schedule. Before anything is created in MS Project, though, some important information should be gathered. Additionally, there are some key guidelines that should be followed while the project schedule is being created. Finally, capturing important information about the schedule will help future projects use the new schedule.

Before You Begin
There is some key information that needs to be gathered before a new …

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