Project Scheduling

Once the work breakdown is completed, you can construct a timeline necessary to complete the specified tasks and eventually the project. There a couple common methods to formulate this timeline, most notably the Gantt Chart and the Network Diagram.

Gantt ChartProject Schedule

A Gantt Chart is a bar chart that illustrates the elements of project schedule with start and finish dates. The Gantt chart should show dependencies between elements as well as the completion status of each element. But, the Gantt chart can become unwieldy on larger projects, not to mention multiple projects. It also fails to represent the relative size of work elements (only time).

Project network Network Diagram

A Project Network is a graph depicting sequence and dependency of elements. The Gantt chart should show dependencies between elements as well as the completion status of each element. The project network avoids some of the ‘scheduling’ constraints of the Gantt chart, but that also becomes a weakness.

There are numerous project management software packages available. If you are looking for one (or a new one), check out this list.

Regardless of which one you chose, you should use it as a tool to manage your project, not just plan it. For instance, you can determine and monitor the Critical Path. That is, for each element, you establish the minimal and maximum time, and then identify the sequence of elements that add up to the longest overall duration. Any delay will have a direct impact on the overall schedule. Thus, you need to manage and update your project schedule throughout the lifecycle and across projects to identify potential problems.

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2 Responses to Project Scheduling

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