Scheduling the project is a very important element in a project execution plan. The best approach is to divide the project into small units or chunks and set time bound milestones of achievements, mutually acceptable to all stakeholders. The best examples of preparing a project schedule are Gantt Charts that list what will happen and when. Of the various project scheduling techniques, the Critical Path Method (CPM) and PERT charts are two of the best techniques. Bright Hub offers an excellent article on how to create PERT charts in Microsoft Excel.
One important consideration with project scheduling is the need to be ready for exceptions. In practice, schedules rarely stick to their planned courses and go awry owing to many reasons such as late supply of input data or raw materials, disruptions in resources, faulty planning, underestimating the time requires, and forced changes to the schedule owing to external factors. The project manager needs to make floor level adjustments to return the schedule to track. Very often, meeting agreed delivery schedules require project acceleration by working tasks in parallel modes. This depends on the state on dependencies, or the extent to which the start of one function depends on the completion of another task; using the Critical Path Method will help you illustrate this better.
Another important consideration when scheduling projects is setting tolerances for risks, quality standards, budgets, and even deadlines. This does away with the need to continually seek guidance from the customer.
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