Schedule Control

Schedule Control is the process of “controlling changes to the project schedule”. Therefore different aspects must be integrated into the schedule controlling

  • “the current status of the project schedule”
  • “the factors that create schedule changes”
  • “that the project schedule has changed”
  • “the actual changes as they occur”

Controlling the changes includes two aspects: On the one hand one should control (and organize) that time limits are respected. On the other hand one should control (and organize) that changes of the project schedule are introduced by following the methods and procedures being defined in the project management plan.

Schedule Control in the Schedule Preparation process is to identify schedule variations and to manage actual changes to the developed schedules. (see Controlling Process) A schedule change control system that defines the procedures by which changes can be made should be established and integrated into the program’s overall change control system. The schedule change control system should address such things as the methods of schedule performance tracking and the approval process for authorizing changes.

The need for schedule changes can be caused by a number of factors, to include:

  • Failure to achieve planned dates for specific activities or events,
  • Internal program management assessment and re-planning, and
  • External direction, such as reallocation of funding.

When evaluating these factors, it is important to determine what, if any, schedule change is necessary. For example, if an activity that is not on the critical path is not completed as planned, it may not have any effect on the overall program schedule. Consequently, it may not require any significant schedule change.

The schedule change control system should also include procedures for implementing schedule changes. Such procedures should address the requirement to keep all program stakeholders, especially the users, advised of any significant schedule changes. They should also address the process for adjusting the schedule baseline and the overall program plan when necessary schedule changes are severe. The change control system can also serve as a good database of lessons learned. Consequently, information concerning schedule variations, their evaluation, and the development of corrective actions should be documented and made readily available to members of the program’s management team, and to other programs.

Techniques used for this are

  • Progress reporting concerning the actual start and finishing dates and “the remaining durations for unfinished schedule activities” allows to express the status of the whole project. Important is that one has a definitive scale and a set of clear reporting rules which allow to compare the wished and the real state. One of those methods for progress measurement is known as Earned Value Technique.
  • Performance measurement is the technique for elaborating the differences between plan and reality on the base of the schedule base line and the progress reporting. Special techniques are Schedule Variance and the Schedule Performance Index. But of course determining differences alone is not enough. The next step is to decide whether corrective actions are necessary and – if so – to recommend those steps.
  • Project management software often is able to support reporting and allows comparing plan and reality.
  • Variance analysis is the act of “comparing target schedule dates” with the actually reported dates and the forecasts based upon the reports. The result of such an analysis is also recommended corrective actions.
  • Schedule comparison bar charts use two charts for each activity: one shows the actual state the other the planned state.

It results in following outputs

  • Updates of the Schedule Model Data will be evoked by the analysis and the approved change requests given as input.
  • Updates of the Schedule Baseline will be evoked by the analysis and the approved change requests given as input.
  • Performance Measurements are the result of schedule controlling work.
  • Requested Changes may be the result of schedule controlling work
  • Recommended Corrective Actions may be the result of schedule controlling work
  • Updates of the Organizational Process Assets are for example generated by integrating the results of lessons learned
  • Updates of the Activity List may be evoked by the approved change requests given as input
  • Updates of the Activity Attributes may be evoked by the approved change requests given as input
  • Updates of the Project Management Plan may be evoked by the approved change requests given as input.
Schedule Development
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