Project Management

Cloudy with a Chance of Schedule Variance

PMI Silver Spring Chapter

Byron has over 31 years of experience in IT project and program management. He is a retired Air Force Major with an MBA, PgMP, PMP, CISSP, ITIL-F and CompTIA Project+. He is the Senior Director of IT for Intrepid Solutions and the author of IT Project Management: A Geek's Guide to Leadership (Best Practices and Advances in Program Management).

According to the 2015 Chaos Report, only 29% of 50,000 IT projects studied were completed on time, within budget and with satisfactory results. Leading IT projects can be very complex. Project managers need to successfully orchestrate many factors, including project schedule, costs, quality, risk, communications and personnel, to name a few.

Effective project scheduling is crucial to project success. The schedule directly impacts costs and the ability of the project to produce satisfactory results. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide®)—Fifth Edition states, “The type and quantity of resources and the amount of time that those resources are applied to complete the work of the project are major factors in determining the project cost.”

PMBOK Guide® prescribes using a project work breakdown structure, which uses decomposition to subdivide the project scope and deliverables into more manageable parts, in the development of schedule activities. All activities required to successfully complete a project must be represented in the project schedule. When these activities are delayed or take longer than estimated, costs can increase. When project team members do not perform these activities well, or when quality and risk management activities are overlooked, projects will not produce …


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