How to Schedule a Project

ProjectManager.com

Scheduling is one of the first and most important aspects of getting your project started on the right track. In the following video, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explores the right way to schedule a project’s activities, estimates, dependencies and resources.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

Scheduling a Project

In Review:

Jennifer noted that scheduling the project is the project during the planning phase. To get started creating the schedule, you need to know three things:

    • What needs to be done?
    • When will it be done?
    • Who will do it?

The schedule will be comprised of planned date, linked activities, duration, milestones and resources. There are four key steps to follow to create the schedule:

  1. Define Activities. Using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and a deliverables diagram, you can map out the tasks needed to perform the project in logical order.
  2. Complete estimates for time and effort.
  3. Determine the dependencies, which task needs to be done in order to accomplish another. You’ll also want to create slack in the schedule when certain tasks will need more lee-way.
  4. Finally, you’ll assign resources to the tasks.

Pro-Tip: Invite your team to help create the plan with you. You’ll get better estimates and create opportunities for communication with the whole team.

You might also want to check out Devin Deen’s video on how to get realistic estimates for your team.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription

Well, hello, everyone! Today we’re talking about how to schedule a project. Well, the schedule, in essence, is predominantly the project, so it’s very critical and there are certain things I want to tell you about today.

So I want to go back and reflect for the project. Kind of get oriented where we are in the project when we talk about the schedule. So, a reminder for the project management phases of a project: We start the project, and then we go into initiating. We initiate the project. So, there are things that we have to do in that phase before we get to planning. Then we plan the project, and that’s so we’ll know how to execute the project. So we execute it, we monitor it, and control it all throughout the project. And then we close the project.

So when we’re talking about the schedule, we’re talking about the planning phase. That’s when we create, we build our schedule. So the schedule tells us, it gives us the linked activities, all the activities that have to be done throughout this project. It shows how they’re linked. It gives us the dependencies. It gives us the planned dates for those activities, the durations for them, and any major milestones we need to look for. It also gives us our people resources.

So when your team members start asking you, “Well, what needs to be done on this project?” or “When will it be done” and “Who is going to do it?” Then you, as the project manager, say, “Well, now I need to build a schedule.”

In order to do that, we have four main steps that we do. And in order to do that, we define the activities.

So again, the activities are all the different tasks and activities we have to do. So we take the work breakdown structure for the project, some people call it deliverables diagram, and we literally take it and we start defining it in further detail what has to be done to get all of the work done.

Then we complete the estimates, the estimates of time and effort to do those activities. That’s also used to determine the dependencies. We have to determine, well, sometimes of the work that has to be done, some pieces or some parts, some work has to be done before other pieces. So we determine where those dependencies are. We look at things like order. We look at lead time. Is there lead time, lag time? And is there any slack? We take that, and then we assign our resources.

So with these, this tells us what needs to be done, when it will be done, and who will do it. So if you need a tool that can help you schedule your project, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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