Deadlines or Delusions

Vincent is a Senior Project Management Consultant and e-Learning Developer.

You’ve created the WBS, estimated the effort and identified the resources. But your schedule is not complete — or realistic — unless it reflects the entire project plan, including cost, risk and quality. Schedule-centered planning can help. Sure, there is always pressure to commit to dates right now — just be sure they’re not delusions.

There’s an old adage that goes back to Aristotle: “Well begun is half done.” For the project manager, “well begun” is having a good project plan. During planning you explore what you project is all about, and when you’re done, your plan is a blueprint for how the project should proceed. With your plan and some valuable understanding of your project, you can quickly identify and deal with problems that naturally arise during project execution.

In Part 1 of this series — “How About A Realistic Schedule?” — we saw the importance of creating a reasonable schedule. In Part 2, we will see that a properly created schedule is based on the entire project plan — that it must reflect risk, quality and procurement.

Most project managers start their planning by focusing on the schedule because they are under pressure to create it as quickly as possible. Stakeholders with no project management experience see the schedule as the plan, as they are primarily interested in dates. Many …

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"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself."

- Katharine Hepburn

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