Project Management

Don't Forget the Schedule Process!

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.

Having a schedule for your project is almost a mandatory item when managing projects that last more than a week (and sometimes, you need them even when the project is only a week long). But creating a process around how the schedule is going to be created, updated and used by the project team is even more important than just having the schedule.

A schedule without a process to keep it up will turn into just a wistful dream about how one person thinks the project should go; reality will quickly deviate in the most unpredictable ways. When you are creating the schedule process, here are some points that should be considered very carefully.

The first step in a project schedule process is to determine how things are going to be inputted into the schedule. Where do the task lists and the estimates come from? How are the estimates verified and corrected if they are wrong? How are resources going to be assigned, and are they going to be leveled so that a realistic end date is set by the schedule? The end date of the project may already be set in stone before the schedule is even drafted; if that is the case, how is the schedule going to work around the end date and who is responsible for informing the stakeholders that the project can meet the end date or the scope statement--but not both at the same time?

All of these questions--and whatever else the team can …

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