7 Tips for Successful Project Scheduling

Tips for project scheduling

7 Tips for Successful Project Scheduling

Project scheduling is the bread and butter of project management, and it’s a project management office’s role to support the process. Whether you’re redesigning our project scheduling framework or creating a PMO and want to get it correct from the start, you need our top seven tips for a successful project schedule.

  • Have the right people involved in scheduling
  • Understand the data you need to have
  • Take into account risks
  • Build-in reasonable targets

1. Invite stakeholder input

Not only does bringing stakeholders into scheduling build relationships, it means projects can take advantage of their expertise. Asking your freelancers for a time estimate on a project, checking with your sponsor what the agreed delivery dates are, or confirming spending limits with accounting from the start will ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Use data from previous projects

There’s no need to take a wild guess at how long a task will take when scheduling a project. A PMO can and should have information from past projects that’s available to project managers.

3. Understand project risks

Doing a thorough risk assessment of the project before starting the schedule is prudent. Some risks that could impact a project schedule include:

  • Scope creep
  • Technology risk
  • Resource risk, such as sick days
  • Procurement risk

4. Plan for vacations

So much of scheduling is data and processes, and it can be easy to forget about the real world surrounding a project.

5. Consider using a critical path

Although critical path scheduling isn’t part of some common project methodologies like Agile and Waterfall, it can still be useful. If your PMO decides against using critical path for the final schedule, it can still be used as a verification tool. Define the critical path and see how close your own schedule is or if there are tweaks to be made.

6. Record your scheduling logic

When the schedule is being created, make sure project managers are recording the reasoning for their choices.

7. Include manageable milestones

Make sure that every project in your office has achievable milestones. Even short, quick projects should be broken down into smaller chunks of work.

Top tips for scheduling a project

Scheduling a project can take a lot of work, with breaking down activities, researching timeframes, and gathering information about resources. Our top seven tips for a successful project schedule should help ensure your PMO projects are delivered on time.

Related Posts:

PMO Quality Assurance part 3 – tips for scheduling PMO QA reviews
Project Scheduling: What Is It and How to Do It?
The Benefits of Getting Project Scheduling Right
Remote Project Management: Scheduling
The 7 Processes of Time Management for Project Scheduling
Celebrating the End of a Project – Our Top 6 Tips

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Pm Majik

Pm Majik

Evangelist of the Project Management Office (PMO)