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Topics: Scheduling
Schedule Model Vs Project Schedule

Can anyone Please help me to understand the figure of page 144 of PMBOK5 . Actually couldn't distinguish among the terms such as - Schedule Model, Project Schedule .
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Project Schedule is the output of your Schedule Model. It is the representation of the schedule model. Schedule model is your plan that you build in your tools like MS projects with your activities, sequencing, setting up dependencies, efforts and so on. Further read through PMBOK, you will get more information in these aspects.

Thanks Ramadoss For your reply
i Also got your point about the difference but the question that arises is , what are the Tools and techniques need for converting Schedule Model to Project Schedule .?

I agree, this topic can be a little confusing.

It helps to think of the schedule model as a scaled down, less complex representation of the actual project. Just as a model of a jet fighter is a scaled down representation of the real thing, the schedule model is a representation of the project. It might be difficult accept that the schedule model is in fact a model. After all, what is being modeled? The final deliverable? All of the deliverables? Yes and no. The schedule model is the model of the project itself. It is easy to understand the concept of modeling when it comes to a car, jet, or building. You can touch these. A project is different though. The project can’t be touched. It is conceptual. But you can still model the project by modeling the tasks, task relationships, deadlines, date constraints, and resources that are required to develop the project deliverables.

A schedule model becomes a project schedule once dates are assigned to the tasks and you are moving into execution. Sure, you are assigning calendars to tasks and resources, and dates are getting assigned to tasks based on task relationships while building your schedule model but you haven’t gone into project execution. You simply have a model of the project. The moment you decide to execute the project as it is represented by the schedule model and you begin to execute according to the dates in the schedule, you have created the project schedule.

Hi Jubair,

It is in effect your project schedule.

I don’t think you are alone in your confusion. It seems this time the PMBOK has done a particularly good job at taking something that was pretty straightforward, and adding a layer of complexity that wasn’t really needed.

If you think of it as a Venn diagram with three circles. Each circle represents a different component of the model:

- Scheduling Method (Critical Path / Critical Chain)
- Scheduling Tool (Primavera / MS Project / Excel)
- Schedule Data (Tasks / Milestones /Sequencing / Resources / Estimates)

The point where all three overlap, or intersect, is the Schedule Model. As Sandilyan and Jason have both mentioned, it represents how you see your team delivering your project.


Darren Kosa
1 reply by Samir Attar
Jan 26, 2019 10:16 AM
Samir Attar
THANKS Darren for Venn diagram descriptions and simplifying it..

I like what Jason stated:
project schedule = schedule model + calendar dates

Great question. I am glad you asked because I had difficulty also. Thanks for the great responses. I now have a better idea. I was searching for the answers.

Great blog and great question and great answers. Thank you Jason Grabowski and everyone for your explanations. I was confused with this confusion. Now I am released.

Jason and Stephane have given you the answer or the key to understand. See the definition of Project schedule in the PMBOK´s glossary of terms. But in short, is you do not have linked activities, durations, dates, miliestones and resources then you do not have an schedule.

Its a bit confusing but think of it this way:

Your Schedule Model, which resides in your modelling tool like MS Project, Primavera, or CCS, can generate a lot of reports. These include cost reports, resource reports, Earned Value analysis, resource histograms, cash flow, and the PROJECT SCHEDULE.

The PROJECT SCHEDULE is a report generated from the model and gives a presentation of the way activities are linked and also their dates, durations, milestones, and resources. This presentation can be in the form of a bar chart, activity list, or network diagram depending on your taste. This is a very familiar report that is usually presented in meetings showing a reporting date and can be superimposed with the baseline to indicate variances.

Sure, it is confusing, ..., one way to overcome it is to follow PMI terminology and approach
(Reference : Practice stand for scheduling - 2nd edition)
- Schedule Model instances can be : Baseline, Internally targeted, Time (cost) optimistic/pessimistic, .... (finally corresponding to what if)
- schedule Model instances REPRESENTATION are the reports created for each instance. they can be : Gant chart, Critical path, Network diagram, S curve, resource usage, ....
So the project schedule as per the reference above is "Project Schedule [Output/Input]. An output of a schedule model instance that presents the time based information required by the communication plan, including activities with planned dates, durations, milestone
dates, and resource allocation." Which should be the actual schedule model instance feeded with actual data linked and integrated together.
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