How Your Project Schedule Can Make or Break Your Project

June 16, 2021

In project execution, one of the most important components that form the backbone of successful project delivery is the Project Schedule.

At Drakken, we base our schedules on the PMI (Project Management Institute) guidelines for the execution of our projects, meaning we uphold the highest standards, including the use of Project Schedules.

Statistically, the larger the project, the more likely it is to fail, because there are more chances for errors and obstacles. In evidence compiled by Wrike, large projects are estimated to be 10 times more likely to fail and twice as likely to miss important milestones and be completed over time and over budget. 

Development and maintenance of the Project Schedule in a thorough and systematic way helps ensure that from concept through commissioning, you have a synchronised up-to-date ‘living document’ which guides the overseeing of projects from start to finish, on time and on budget.

 

So how does it work?

The process of scheduling begins after the project goals are established and the development of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is underway; thereafter, the budget is determined.

The Project Schedule then seeks to establish and record the What, Who, How Much, and How Long questions of the project. It is the master calendar that amalgamates all the project tasks, how they are related, their estimated duration, and what resources they need.

 

Why is the Project Schedule such an important part of project delivery?

It is the main integration point for all project planning efforts. In addition to guiding the work, a well-developed Project Schedule measures the progress and success or failure of its constituent tasks, and of the project overall.

Adequate allocation of workload is imperative to maintain resource health index and ensure completion of projects within time and budget. Over or under-allocation of the workforce can lead to a loss in employee productivity and restrict the project’s progress. Resource loading is therefore a critical project metric and has a major impact on the project timeline.

For instance, you are required to schedule a high-priority task for one of your resources. If you load the right experienced resource to the given task, it will be accomplished faster. On the contrary, if you load a less-experienced employee for the same task, it will cause delays.

At Drakken, we mandate resource loading for all project schedules to mitigate over/under allocation of resources and to ensure the project deadlines are realistic and achievable.

The Project Schedule is also helpful in managing stakeholders’ expectations. It can visually lay out the progress of the project’s individual stages, giving stakeholders insight into how long things will take, and when the project will be completed. This is a useful tool when negotiating a schedule against other factors like time and money, and how quality of work can be impacted by changing these factors. 

Related to this, the Project Schedule plays an important role in foreseeing potential project delays and being able to plan ahead for what corrective actions to take if the project goes off schedule. 

With over a decade of experience in the industry, Drakken knows just how invaluable the Project Schedule has been to the successful delivery of each and every one of our projects.

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