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Fundamentals of Scheduling

Purpose of a Project
The purpose of a project is to bring about change

Scheduling Philosophy Scheduling Terms and Definitions Types of Schedules Relationships Resources
When you dont know where you are going, it is hard to tell when you get there. Yogi Berra

Scheduling Philosophy
Why do you schedule? What do you schedule? When do you schedule?

Scheduling Philosophy (contd)

Why do you schedule? Better manage the project Control change Satisfy customer or contractual requirements Monitor and measure progress against goals A schedule is a formalized method of managing time and resources

Scheduling Philosophy (contd)

What do you schedule? Milestones Activities required by contract or customer Activities critical to the performance of the project Changes to the original plan A simple schedule that is used is far more valuable than the most detailed schedule created to satisfy a contractual requirement!

Scheduling Philosophy (contd)

When do you schedule? Prior to, or at the beginning of a project. This schedule is referred to as the baseline At periodic intervals during the project. This is commonly referred to updating If there are changes in the scope of the project If the project is substantially behind or ahead of the baseline

Even if youre on the right track, youll get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers

Scheduling Terms and Definitions

Common scheduling terms and what they mean
Project Activity (Schedule or Task) Duration Relationship Bar Chart (Gantt)

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Lag Critical Path Milestone Float Work breakdown Structure (WBS) Resource

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

A project is finite, it has a specific beginning and endpoints A project contains resources, typically time, money and people A project is measurable

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Activity (Schedule or Task)
The activity is the basic building block of a schedule An activity defines a measurable quantity of work

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Measurable unit to perform an activity Typically, durations are in work hours or work days

The interdependency of one activity to another

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Bar Chart (Gantt) Graphical representation of a group of activities making up a project, represented by bars along the horizontal time axis. Shows duration and planned sequence of activities Lag The time associated in the relationship between two activities. For example, stripping forms can not be completed until 10 days after concrete is placed. In this case, there is a 10 day lag between the activities

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Critical Path The path or paths which are the series of activities having zero float and must be completed on their scheduled dates or the project is in jeopardy Milestone A point in time that signifies either the beginning or the end of a series of related activities. A milestone has zero duration

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Float A measure of leeway in activity performance. Typical float types are free float and total float Free float is the amount of time that an activitys start can be delayed without affecting the early start of successor activities Total float is the amount of time in starting or finishing an activity that will not affect the completion of the project

Scheduling Terms and Definitions (contd)

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Framework for organizing activities that make up a project

Anything needed to complete an activity: labor, materials, equipment, design, etc.

Types of Schedules
Milestone Time Scaled Logic Network Bar or Gantt Charts PERT

Types of Schedules
Milestone (Level 1)
List of milestones and dates Used to report at the summary level

Time Scaled Logic Network (Level 2)

Graphical presentation of the schedule Lists activities and durations Shows logic ties and constraints

Milestone Chart
D1 D3 D5 D7 D9

Design Kitchen
Designer Selected
Plans Completed

Finalize Design

Types of Schedules (contd)

Program Evaluation & Review Technique (PERT) Level 2
Graphic view that allows for easy evaluation of the flow of a project

Basic Logic Network

Task J Task E Task K Task F Task O Task B Task A Task C Task I Task L Task G Task D Task N Task M Task Q Task P

Task R

Task H

Types of Schedules (contd)

Bar or Gantt Chart (Level 3)
Graphical presentation of the schedule Lists activities and durations May show logic Used for small projects

Bar (Gantt) Chart

D1 D3 D5 D7 D9 D11

Design Kitchen

Select Designer
Create Plans

Finalize Design

Types of Schedules (contd)

Short duration schedules
Derived from the master schedule Typically a bar chart Used for near-term planning Shows 2 weeks past, current week and 2 weeks forward

Relationships are the interdependencies between one activity and another or group of activities The four types of relationships are:
Finish-to-Start Start-to-Start Finish-to-Finish Start-to-Finish

Relationships (contd)
The most common type of scheduling activity relationship. Simply stated, the start of the next activity is dependent upon the completion of the previous activity For example, on a construction project you cant pour the concrete until the reinforcing steel is in place

Relationships (contd)
Start-to-Start relationship implies that an activity can start once another specified activity has started For example, the design phase can start as soon as the permitting process has started

Relationships (contd)
Finish-to finish
Finish-to-Finish relationship implies that the completion of an activity is dependent upon the completion of another activity. This relation ship is commonly used with start-tostart relationships For example, the software users manual can be started after the start of coding and testing but cant be completed until coding and debugging is completed

Relationships (contd)
Start-to-Finish relationship implies that an activity cant be completed until the predecessor activity has started This type of relationship is very rarely used

All projects consume resources! Resources are not just people:
resources can include money, material, equipment, and more. How well these resources are allocated and monitored is a key measure of any projects success or failure

Resources (Contd)
Assigning resources to a project and monitoring and reporting against the schedule provides the project manager with:
Ability to estimate remaining work Ability to prepare accurate progress payments Ability to provide historical data Ability to address changes

Steps in Creating a Project Schedule

Schedule Control Schedule Development

Estimating Activity Duration

Activity Sequencing Activity Definition

Developing a Project Schedule

Activity Definition
An activity must have a definable start and end An activity is used to develop a plan for completing a project that sequences and schedules each activity An activity is quantifiable and measurable

Developing a Project Schedule (Contd)

Activities shall relate to the WBS and allow for ease in quantifying and reporting For example, in a construction schedule the activity might be F/R/P Slab-on-Grade, where F = form, R= place reinforcing, and P = place concrete. Breaking down the activity further would require additional resources to monitor for no additional return

Sample WBS for a Construction Project

Project 2000 Design 100 Procurement 200 Construction 300 Startup & Commissioning 400 Completion 500

Sitework 310

Warehouse 320

Plant 330

Office Complex 340

Footings 03301

Concrete Floor Slab 03005

Exterior Masonry Walls 04000

Steel Construction 05100

Roofing Systems 07000

Interior Construction 09000

Mechanical 15000

Electrical 16000

Fine Grade 02310

Edge From 03105

Place Reinforcing 03205

Embeds 05510

Place Concrete Pumped 03305

Steel Trowel Finish 03402

Cure and Protect 03410







Developing a Project Schedule (Contd)

Logic and relationships
Develop actual logic not placeholder logic Use conventional Finish-to-Start logic to develop relationships. This is the first pass at developing a schedule. As you refine the schedule you will incorporate Start-to-Start and Finish-to-Finish relationships

Developing a Project Schedule (Contd)

Is the project going to be scheduled in hours or days? Will there be work activities that are outside the normal work periods of the project? Will the project include week-ends and holidays?

Developing a Project Schedule (Contd)

Does the duration of each activity seem practical and achievable? Nature of the task critical to the project or fill-in work? Durations should be no less than 2-3 days nor longer than 15 days

Developing a Project Schedule (Contd)

What resources should be incorporated? Tie resources to the level of the activities A good place to begin assigning resources is from the budget or cost estimate

Advanced Scheduling Topics

Resource Allocation Constraints Baselining the Plan Updating / Reporting Progress Controlling Change

Resource Allocation
Team Building Matching Skills to Activities Estimating Hours Assigning to Activities Over allocated?

Resource Histogram
ber 11/17 300% 11/24 12/1 December 12/8 12/15 12/22 12/29 1/5 January 1/12 1/19 1/26 2/2 February 2/9 2/16 2/23 3/2 March 3/9 3/16 3/23 250%









224.96 Overallocated:







Graphi cs Support


Shows the group and/or individual workload against available resources Helps assess if the work can be done based on people involved

Time Dependencies Assumptions


Time Constraints
No Constraint Early Date Start No Earlier Than

Finish No Later Than

As Late As Possible - JIT

Start No Later Than

Finish No Earlier Than

Dependency Constraints
Mandatory Dependencies Discretionary Dependencies External Dependencies

Baselining the Plan

Original Plan = Baseline Baseline vs. Current Schedule Changes to Baseline Performance Measurement Earned Value

Updating / Progressing
Percent Complete
Time Budget Physical

Remaining Duration Remaining Work

Outputs From Progressing

Schedule updates Corrective action Lessons learned

Change Control Management

A famous general once said To win the war, you must know the enemy. A famous project manager once said We have met the enemy and the enemy is change.


Manage change, or it will manage you!!!

Change Requests
A result of most ongoing projects Change in scope Change in schedule Change in cost (on cost type contracts)

Change is inevitable on ALL projects

Change Control Bottom Line

Proper Change Control

Dropped Balls = Failed Project