Schedule in Project Management eye is, and should be the key that holds the answers to What, When, Where, How and Who. It is an absolute ‘must have’ to the planning, delivering, monitoring to even the Close out of a project.
In terms of the Why, it usually answers or defines by:
the Initial Business Case,
on-going Gateway Business Case Review
Monitor, Control and Management of Project Scope Change
Monitor, Control and Management of Project Risk.
Let’s concentrate on exploring Scheduling here. ‘Plan the work, work the plan’ is the motto of a Scheduler. There are many stages in Scheduling:
Initial Schedule Plan
Design & Procurement Schedule
Installation (often called Implementation) Schedule
Test & Commission Schedule
Many companies tend to merge all the above elements into one schedule, in the main, to save cost of resources. Why would a company use 5 planners, rather than 1 planner, who may possess knowledge of every aspect of every element above?
The answer is simple……NO ONE can know EVERYTHING…….
For simplistic projects, 1 planner maybe sufficient, but for more complex projects, more planners will be employed. They are often split to look after different discipline of the works, i.e. Civils, Structural, Fit out, M&E (MEP), IT, etc….
What are the characteristics of different projects?
The answer is …….they are all DIFFERENT!!! They vary in size, location, locality, culture, climate…
An example here:
A company engages the same designer to design two identical buildings, identical in size, height, interior layout and facilities, external cladding and features. What would be the differences between these two buildings?
The answer is ……EVERYTHING….
Even though the buildings initially set out to be the same, the variables are ‘what lies beneath’? The ground condition may vary, i.e. the buried services under the ground surface could be very different. This could potentially alter the location of one of the buildings. In addition, even the slight variable, the impact could be significant. Let’s say the erection of one building is acceptable by the local residents, but two may cause concern as it may alter the local residents’ current view from their own homes. Should the project consider building one somewhere else, or should the project consider to move both to a new location where local residents wouldn’t mind to have two new buildings side by side?
Using this example to continue to explore Scheduling, in order to draw up a Plan for these two buildings, and making sure that the Plan is achievable during Implementation stage, minimising or eliminating uncertainties is a necessary step. This is by:
- Understand local Planning requirement
- Research on local communities
- Getting advice from industry experts
- Be proactive, don’t sit around and wait for answers, go and ask the questions
- Draw on your own experience or similar industry experience
- Make educated assumptions
The team of experts for this project, who may contribute to a more realistic Plan could be:
The Client (the Benefactor)
The Authorities (local authorisations require)
The Project Manager (accountable for the Delivery of the project)
The Tradesman / Contractor (experts in technical details)
Cost (Budget controller)
Procurement (procurement route may determine how the project is to be delivered)
Risk (risk and impact assessment will help determine how much float each related activity should have)
Remember, the Scheduler must not and should not work alone. It is through Collaboration that makes Project Team produce desirable results.
Primal Planning possess the Know-How to help your business build an inspirational project team, or to produce realistic plan that can tick all the necessary boxes, ready for Project Delivering stage.