All major projects in today’s market require a project schedule that is actively monitored. Despite this important role, managing a project schedule remains a process shrouded in assumptions, systematic automation, personal judgment, and a lack of consistent standards. Thus, this article provides the recommended best practices for creating and managing a project schedule that will help ensure that the executed work minimizes inefficiency while maximizing the potential to achieve the project’s objectives.
What tools are available to help me effectively create a project schedule?
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One of the secrets of a practitioner's success is that I he has varied from the traditional burndown chart and sprint estimation suggestions that are taught when a person learns about Scrum. If you have had issues with making accurate burndown charts that reliably tell you when your sprint will finish, then perhaps his suggestions can help.
The success of any project (particularly information technology projects) hinges on the skills, abilities, and, most importantly, the availability of the resources that will work on the project. Accurately estimating and scheduling these resources are challenging at best and very difficult to near impossible at worst. Nearly all of the organizations I have come in contact with about this topic have echoed the same concern: resource estimation is difficult, time consuming, and sometimes the most challenging aspect of project management.
This list and overview of common schedule risks will help you maintain vigilance against pitfalls that can interrupt, stop or ruin your software development project.
Improved deliverable! Would you like to have a lot of explaining to do in the end about why your project fell short of its mark? Probably not! Report any issues that may adversely impact project schedule, resourcing, budget, scope or other key project elements, and propose alternative solutions that will minimize the impact. Don't forget to get the requisite formal approvals.
What tests do you need to perform on the new system and when before moving it into production? Here's a comprehensive test plan to help you cover all the bases and stay on schedule.
This checklist will help you build and refine your project schedule. After you have determined the time needed to produce the deliverables and conduct the activities (the basics), you need to allocate time for all the extras and the potential unexpecteds that will come back and bite you if you overlook them.
By assigning point values to how well your project is staying on schedule, how many milestones have been met, and if deliverables/products and budget utilization is going according to plan, you'll get a really good feel about how well your project is doing.
Do you have a flexible, healthy, dependable project schedule? You don't? Come right this way.
Use this quality control checklist to identify all the ingredients of a healthy, flexible and dependable project schedule.
Here's an excellent example of a project costing schedule for an IT project with an emphasis on personnel costs.