ProjectManager.com© 2013 All Rights Reserved
Project Plan Schedule: Why Bother Putting One Together
As a project manager putting together a project plan schedule is a big investment of your time. Interviewing people, asking the right questions and defining deliverables,clarifying scope, creating phases of the project and then putting it all together in aproject plan schedule for everyone to reference. The project team, clients and
stakeholders initially they’re excited about the project plan schedule and are ready to
start work on the project. Then a funny thing happens. The schedule begins to atrophyfor a number of reasons:
It is no longer referenced:
A project plan schedule is referenced nearly every day while
it’s fresh and hot. Time passes and the novelty of the plan begins to wear off. People get
busy on other priorities and the schedule begins to cool. People begin asking questionsabout when deliverables are due or who is working on the next phase of the project.Questions that frustrate the project manager who is now repeatedly reminding theteam that answers to these questions are all right there in the project plan schedule!
It becomes hard to update
: Part of the reason why the project plan schedule may notbe referenced as often as it used to be is that it becomes hard to update. The reasonthat it may be hard to update and keep current is that there are too many changeshappening on the project to keep up with in any predictable manner. A particulardeliverable may be late that negatively impacts the schedule of another deliverable. Thesecond deliverable was then tied into another deliverable that crosses over into a newphase and impacts a different team. Sure, project plan software is designed to keep upwith these types of dependencies and scenarios, but a high volume of ever-evolvingchanges can test the mettle of even the most software proficient project manager.
It gets out of sync:
A project plan schedule that is not routinely updated or has noversion control applied to the various updates can quickly become out of sync. Theremay be one group that is working off the prior version and another group that isworking off the most recent version. This introduces huge problems because there maybe a deliverable that was either introduced into the project or removed from the projectthat the other team may not even know about. This leads to outdated and orphanedproject plans that are no longer relevant and can inflict much chaos and confusion intothe team.The above three reasons may cause someone to ask the question of why even bother
with a project plan schedule. But, there are definitely reasons why it’s worth the effort.