How scheduling control play an important role during project development

Scheduling and scheduling function are one of the important aspects in project management system. When network-planning techniques are used, scheduling depends on the planning function. A schedule is a timetable for a plan and therefore cannot be established until the plan has been developed.



The first step in establishing a project is to estimate how long each activity will take, from the time it is started until the time it is finished. This duration estimate for each activity is the time for the work to be done plus associated waiting time. It’s a good practice to have the person who will be responsible for performing a particular activity make the duration estimate for that activity. This generates a commitment from that person and avoids bias that may be introduced by having one person make the duration estimates for all the activity.

An activity duration estimate must be based on the quantity of resources expected to be used on the activity. The estimate should be aggressive, yet realistic. Throughout the performance of the project some activities will take longer than their estimated duration, others will be done in less time than their estimated duration, and a few may conform to duration estimates exactly. Over the life of a project that involves many activities, such delays and accelerations will tend to cancel out one another.

In order to establish a basis from which to calculate a schedule using the duration estimates for the activities, it’s necessary to select the estimated start time and required completion time for overall project. These times define overall window or envelope, of time in which the project must be completed. The projects required completion time is normally part of the project objective and stated in the contract. Once the, estimated duration for each activity in the network and an overall window of time in which the project must be completed, you have to decide whether the activities can be done by the required completion time.

The key to effective project control is to measure actual progress and compare it to planned progress on a timely and regular basis and to take necessary corrective action immediately. The project control process involves regularly gathering data on project performance, comparing with the planned performance. This process must occur regularly throughout the project.

It starts with establishing a baseline plan that shows how the project scope will be accomplished on time and within the budget. Once this baseline plan is agreed with the customer the project starts. A regular reporting period should be established for comparing the actual progress with the planned progress. Reporting may be daily, weekly, or monthly depending on the complexity and the duration of the project. During each reporting period, two kinds of data or information need to be collected.

1. Data on actual performance.
2. Information on any changes to the project scope, schedule or budget.

Once the updated schedule and budget have been calculated, they need to be compared with the baseline schedule and budget and analyzed for variances to determine whether the project is ahead or behind the time schedule. The project control process continues throughout the project.

Approaches to schedule control:

Schedule control includes four steps

1. Analyzing the schedule determine which areas may be need corrective action.
2. Deciding what specific corrective actions should be taken.
3. Revising the plan to incorporate the chosen corrective actions.
4. Recalculating the schedule to evaluate the efforts of the planned corrective actions.

If the planned corrective actions do not result in an acceptable schedule these steps are repeated. Throughout a project each time schedule is recalculated whether it’s after actual data or project changes are incorporated after the corrective actions, it is necessary to analyze the newly calculated schedule to determine whether it needs further attention. The schedule analysis should include identifying critical path and any path of activities.


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