Schedule Development

Schedule Development is the process of “analyzing activity sequences, durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule”. Putting all components together, one gets not only the order of the tasks, but also the durance and the needed resources. Formally one can see at this point whether the project will fulfill the schedule constraints (by respecting the cost and quality constraints too) or not. If this act of aggregation fails the first time one should try to solve the contradictions by redoing the small row ‘resource estimating, durations estimating and schedule development’. If this aggregation fails again the more expanding iteration is following which is starting at the ‘WBS creation ‘ and so on.

Schedule Development involves the development of realistic start and finish dates for each activity. An iterative process, schedule development takes into account activity sequencing, duration estimates, resource requirements and availability, calendars that show when work can be performed, constraints, assumptions, and risk.

Techniques used for this are

  • Schedule network analysis is the main step of “(calculating) the early and late start and finish dates […]” by using the generated project schedule network diagram, inserting the estimated durance and analysing the result. The main purpose is to meet the wished project end or to communicate necessary prolongations or possible abbreviations.
  • Critical Path Method is the method to determine the path in the network with the longest durance and no float: “Critical paths have either a zero or negative total float, and schedule activities on a critical path are called critical activities.
  • What-if scenario analysis is a method for determining consequences: Monte Carlo Analysis for example, computes all combinations of optimistic, most likely and pessimistic estimating and computes on the base all possible outcomes for the total project
  • Resource leveling is a method to organize that a necessary resource level will be respected at special points of the diagram. Therefore it might be necessary to accelerate (or decelerate) some activities by increasing or decreasing the resources. And this might evoke a change of the critical path.
  • Critical chain method is a method to add buffer into the network using reasonable viewpoints.
  • Project management software often is used to computed the diagram and its consequences on the base of the estimated data
  • Applying calendars like “project calendars” or “resource calendars” have the task to identify periods when work is allowed.
  • Adjusting leads and lags are necessary to avoid the distortion of the project schedule.
  • Schedule model is the act of modeling the overall picture of all aspects of the project schedule and the ordered activities.

It results in following outputs

  • The Project Schedule is the great picture of the project time horizon, containing “[…] at least a planned start date and planned finish date for each schedule activity” and may be presented – sometimes as summary – in form of a project schedule network diagram, a bar chart and/or as chart of milestones.
  • The Schedule Model data is the collection and aggregation of all aspects of the time management planning process, especially it contains the activity list and the activity attributes.
  • The Schedule Baseline is a “specific version” of the project schedule, which contains the main start and finish dates and which will be accepted and approved by the project management team.
  • Updates of the (Activity) Resource Requirements might be generated by iterations for reaching the best target
  • Updates of the Activity Attributes might be generated by iterations for reaching the best target
  • Updates of the Project Calendars might be generated by iterations for reaching the best target
  • Requested Changes might be generated by iterations for reaching the best target
  • Updates of the Project Management Plan and Schedule Management Plan might be updated on the base of cognitions concerning the improvement of the how to manage the project scheduling.

Other scheduling development techniques that are commonly used focus on schedule development in light of resource (time, people, funds, material) constraints. These techniques provide the means to manage the effect of these constraints. A few of these techniques are

  • Schedule Compression – Schedule compression is a technique used in project management to shorten an already developed schedule. This might be done to meet an update delivery date, a new opportunity or schedule delay. It’s done without changing the scope of the program. There are two techniques that are commonly used in schedule compression. These are
  • Crashing – Crashing assigns more resources to an activity to decrease the overall time to complete it. The cost benefits of this activity have to be explored in order to make it a useful technique. The trade-off between cost and schedule must be understood to get the best possible schedule compression.
  • Fast Tracking – Fast Tracking is the process of executing activities or phases that were originally schedule sequential in parallel. Activities can be overlapped, started earlier than proposed, start activities that require different resources, and maybe combined activities in the schedule. This process does add risk to the schedule and program and must be executed with care.
  • Resource Leveling – Resource leveling is a scheduling technique that addresses the availability of resources, usually manpower and equipment. Project personnel will modify scheduled activities to accommodate resource availability or unavailability. If resources are available only in limited quantities, they will change the timing of activities so that the most critical activities have enough resources to be completed, paying attention to the Critical Path. It’s also can be used in ‘What-if’ Scenario Analysis.
Activity Duration Estimation
Schedule Control

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