Scheduling Is a Drag

William Duncan and Stephen Devaux

Too many projects are focused on minimizing the chances of finishing late rather than on maximizing the likelihood of finishing early. Shorter schedules are good. And shorter schedules result from focusing attention on the critical path. Here is a metric that helps.

Most organizations have realized that project management is important. Most organizations even understand why it is important — since projects are how they implement strategy, good project management is necessary to survive; better project management is necessary to thrive and prosper. And this is true in both the public and private sectors.
 
One of the key indicators of the existence of “better" project management is schedule performance. A competent organization will be delivering the vast majority of their projects on or ahead of the project’s committed date.
 
Yet few organizations come close to this goal. One of the key reasons is that their scheduling processes are totally inadequate — they are focused on minimizing the likelihood of finishing late rather than on maximizing the likelihood of finishing early. Better project management does not mean making your schedules longer. Better project management means making your projects shorter.
 
Time Is of the Essence
If you are involved in the management of projects, it as axiomatic that …

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