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Difference Between Planned Date and Target Date
Hello All

I am having a confusion with few terminologies and thought to take your opinions. I am trying to differentiate between Target Date and Planned Date. Please refer to below example.

For example: My client asked me to undertake and submit the project by 10th June 2018. He emphasized that no delay beyond this date is accepted. I reviewed the project scope with the team and I found that project can be submitted by 10th June. I signed the contract with the client. I then developed project schedule and planned to complete the work by 8th June keeping 2 days in hand to handle or respond to any risks or issues, if there will be any.

So now for this scenario which one is Target Date and which is planned date?

From my understanding: Target Date = 10th June 2018 – Because it’s a deadline which I cannot miss. Planned Date = 8th June 2018 – Because it’s my internal team planning keeping some float in hand to handle risks or issues, it occurs.

I would like to know your opinion which one is planned date and Target date and how to define it.

Many Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Tushar Chaudhari
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Target Date = Baseline Date = Planned Date = Your schedule that complies with the client’s requirements and has been approved by them.

Your date (8th June) to submit this before the target date (10th June) is basically your Forecast Date.

Target Date - Forecast to Complete = 2 Days Positive Schedule Variance = Ahead of Schedule
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2 replies by Kevin Drake and Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 12:20 PM
Tushar Chaudhari
...
Hi Rami

Many Thanks for your response. Please also refer my understanding about these terminologies.

Planned Date: Also called as Scheduled date. The word Planned or Scheduled interpreted as your planning or forecasting. Its our internal team planning to start and complete the work keeping in mind that we have some fixed delivery date or Target Date or must achieve date available. Planned date can be changed because it’s a planning.

Target Date: Is the must achieve date or fixed delivery date or deadline which we should not miss in any case. That is the ultimatum set by client.

Regards
Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 5:02 PM
Kevin Drake
...
Simple clear ... you cannot get better than this equation
Target Date does not exists inside the project management dictionary. You can search inside the lexicon. So, in this cases, I prefer to ask directly to the person that have said "target date" mainly to avoid ambiguity and missunderstanding.
Target date is not a term used inside the PMBOK. Is a general term that can be assigned to different terms for example to project finish date. So, target date must be understanding in the context of a conversation or english language. As in my previous comment you have to ask about what it does mean for the person that have said that. With that on hand you have to create a project glossary of terms, something missing most of the time but critical to have to avoid ambiguities. That´s my recommendation.
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1 reply by Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 12:18 PM
Tushar Chaudhari
...
Hi Sergio,

Thanks for your response. I agreed,PMI Lexicon do not have Target Date in the list. However, I found Target Date at three places in PMBOK 6th edition. At page 213, it is considered as Project Finish Date.

I think I agree with you these terminologies are flexible to use as per the situation. Anyway have already flagged this concern to relevant people.

Please refer below my understanding of these terminologies.

Planned Date: Also called as Scheduled date. The word Planned or Scheduled interpreted as your planning or forecasting. Its our internal team planning to start and complete the work keeping in mind that we have some fixed delivery date or Target Date or must achieve date available. Planned date can be changed because it’s a planning.

Target Date: Is the must achieve date or fixed delivery date or deadline which we should not miss in any case. That is the ultimatum set by client.

Regards,
Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 10:57 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Target Date does not exists inside the project management dictionary. You can search inside the lexicon. So, in this cases, I prefer to ask directly to the person that have said "target date" mainly to avoid ambiguity and missunderstanding.
Target date is not a term used inside the PMBOK. Is a general term that can be assigned to different terms for example to project finish date. So, target date must be understanding in the context of a conversation or english language. As in my previous comment you have to ask about what it does mean for the person that have said that. With that on hand you have to create a project glossary of terms, something missing most of the time but critical to have to avoid ambiguities. That´s my recommendation.
Hi Sergio,

Thanks for your response. I agreed,PMI Lexicon do not have Target Date in the list. However, I found Target Date at three places in PMBOK 6th edition. At page 213, it is considered as Project Finish Date.

I think I agree with you these terminologies are flexible to use as per the situation. Anyway have already flagged this concern to relevant people.

Please refer below my understanding of these terminologies.

Planned Date: Also called as Scheduled date. The word Planned or Scheduled interpreted as your planning or forecasting. Its our internal team planning to start and complete the work keeping in mind that we have some fixed delivery date or Target Date or must achieve date available. Planned date can be changed because it’s a planning.

Target Date: Is the must achieve date or fixed delivery date or deadline which we should not miss in any case. That is the ultimatum set by client.

Regards,
Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 10:52 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Target Date = Baseline Date = Planned Date = Your schedule that complies with the client’s requirements and has been approved by them.

Your date (8th June) to submit this before the target date (10th June) is basically your Forecast Date.

Target Date - Forecast to Complete = 2 Days Positive Schedule Variance = Ahead of Schedule
Hi Rami

Many Thanks for your response. Please also refer my understanding about these terminologies.

Planned Date: Also called as Scheduled date. The word Planned or Scheduled interpreted as your planning or forecasting. Its our internal team planning to start and complete the work keeping in mind that we have some fixed delivery date or Target Date or must achieve date available. Planned date can be changed because it’s a planning.

Target Date: Is the must achieve date or fixed delivery date or deadline which we should not miss in any case. That is the ultimatum set by client.

Regards
Tushar Chaudhari
...
1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jun 01, 2018 12:23 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
I understand your understanding of the terminologies but double check my explanation above.

The Target Date is a Milestone Date is an Approved Date is an Official PLANNED DATE.

Your PLANNED Date is a FORECAST Date based on ACTUALS.

This is why we revisit the schedule frequently ... It is in a way, a progressive ellaboration thing.
Jun 01, 2018 12:20 PM
Replying to Tushar Chaudhari
...
Hi Rami

Many Thanks for your response. Please also refer my understanding about these terminologies.

Planned Date: Also called as Scheduled date. The word Planned or Scheduled interpreted as your planning or forecasting. Its our internal team planning to start and complete the work keeping in mind that we have some fixed delivery date or Target Date or must achieve date available. Planned date can be changed because it’s a planning.

Target Date: Is the must achieve date or fixed delivery date or deadline which we should not miss in any case. That is the ultimatum set by client.

Regards
Tushar Chaudhari
I understand your understanding of the terminologies but double check my explanation above.

The Target Date is a Milestone Date is an Approved Date is an Official PLANNED DATE.

Your PLANNED Date is a FORECAST Date based on ACTUALS.

This is why we revisit the schedule frequently ... It is in a way, a progressive ellaboration thing.
...
1 reply by Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 1:18 PM
Tushar Chaudhari
...
Yeah, I agree. its now clear.

We are having the same interpretation but presented it differently.

So in summary it means: when one cannot achieve planned or forecasted date then the next soonest date is Target Date.

Thanks for your time.

Regards,
Jun 01, 2018 12:23 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
I understand your understanding of the terminologies but double check my explanation above.

The Target Date is a Milestone Date is an Approved Date is an Official PLANNED DATE.

Your PLANNED Date is a FORECAST Date based on ACTUALS.

This is why we revisit the schedule frequently ... It is in a way, a progressive ellaboration thing.
Yeah, I agree. its now clear.

We are having the same interpretation but presented it differently.

So in summary it means: when one cannot achieve planned or forecasted date then the next soonest date is Target Date.

Thanks for your time.

Regards,
...
1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jun 01, 2018 2:58 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
No, it is actually vice versa.

When you can’t achieve the target or baseline date, then you forecast your completion date based on actuals and this will become your new planned date when approved.
Jun 01, 2018 1:18 PM
Replying to Tushar Chaudhari
...
Yeah, I agree. its now clear.

We are having the same interpretation but presented it differently.

So in summary it means: when one cannot achieve planned or forecasted date then the next soonest date is Target Date.

Thanks for your time.

Regards,
No, it is actually vice versa.

When you can’t achieve the target or baseline date, then you forecast your completion date based on actuals and this will become your new planned date when approved.
...
1 reply by Tushar Chaudhari
Jun 01, 2018 11:53 PM
Tushar Chaudhari
...
Aha! I think its not clear yet then..

For some of our contracts, client imposes a date. We called it as Contract Date= Ultimatum = Must achieve date = Target date = Project finish date = Deadline = Official Baseline Date set by client. This is fixed and will change only when the change is identified and approved.

However, to deliver the project we plan our delivery and come up with a date called Planned Date = Internal Baseline Date set by project team. We keep this planned date before the Target Date.

Accordingly we arrange all our resources and always aim to deliver the project by planned date. Let's say there is no change in project scope and project team finds that they will not be able to achieve the planned date then we still have opportunity to deliver the project by Target date. If we miss the Target date then we face penalty or we have to bear costs due to missed Target date.

So, we interpret Target date as the date imposed by or planned by our client and Planned date is what we project management team has internally fixed so that to avoid missing of Target date.

So in nutshell, we consider Target date is set by client and Planned Date is set by project management team. If we miss the Planned Date then we still have opportunity to put all our efforts to complete the project by Target Date to avoid any penalty.

Please advise any literature or standard or CoP where these terminologies are defined. I checked with PMI lexicon but It do not include these.

I think there is no standard definition available for this two words. It is locally defined by the organizations or group of people for their project environment.

Regards,
I don't know of organizations that make a clear distinction between planned and target date. Most of us probably use the two to mean the same.

I do like your suggested meaning behind each. We all work to different dates. Identifying which ones are the hard dates and which ones are the soft dates provides clarity and information to your project.

Good question!
Jun 01, 2018 10:52 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Target Date = Baseline Date = Planned Date = Your schedule that complies with the client’s requirements and has been approved by them.

Your date (8th June) to submit this before the target date (10th June) is basically your Forecast Date.

Target Date - Forecast to Complete = 2 Days Positive Schedule Variance = Ahead of Schedule
Simple clear ... you cannot get better than this equation
...
1 reply by Padmalatha Turaga
Jun 04, 2018 9:45 AM
Padmalatha Turaga
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Agreed !!
My head hurts ;-)
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