Examples of Types of Project Schedules
The three most common types of project schedules are the master project schedule, the milestone schedule, and the detailed schedule.
1. Master Project Schedule
Developed in the initial phase of project planning, the master project schedule is a summary level schedule which highlights the principal activities and tasks and their estimated duration. This schedule's strength lies in its ability to aggregate individual activity schedules and display them in one convenient document. The schedule can serve as an early communication tool for building buy-in for the project with upper level management and external stakeholders. The schedule is also useful for facilitating team brainstorming during the initial phrases of the project to work out logistics. For more information on master project schedules, continue reading this article explaining how to create a master project schedule.
2. Milestone Schedule
As an advanced schedule, a milestone schedule is often referred to throughout the project’s life cycle. The milestone schedule is a summary level schedule that allows the project team leader to review and identify all of the significant and major project related milestones that may surface during the course of a project. A milestone is a significant event in the project usually marked by the completion of a major deliverable. Because of its visually-pleasing format, the milestone schedule is recommended for reporting status reports to top level management and external stakeholders. The milestone schedule is also useful during team assessments, particularly for newly-formed teams to give them an opportunity to take pride in their accomplishments, reflect upon their setbacks, and most importantly bond as a team.
3. Detailed Project Schedule
Detailed schedules are operational schedules intended to help front line managers in directing hourly, daily, or weekly project work. The detailed schedule is considered the execution playbook for the project. Analogous to a football playbook that can be broken down into activities (passes and runs) or the two sides of the game (offense and defense), the detailed project schedule playbook can be broken down into chapters to show the detailed schedule for each activity or each phase of the project as it unfolds.