Planning & Scheduling

1. Project Planning

A major decision at the outset of any project is to decide upon the organization and composition of the project team. In so doing, it is worth remembering that many members will have dual responsibilities of involvement in the project in addition to a commitment to other projects or management of a functional area on a day-to-day basis
 
The project management team will, therefore, begin its task in advance of project proper so that a plan can be developed.  An important first step is to set the objectives and then define the project, breaking it down into a set of activities and related costs.  It is probably too early to determine exact resource implications at this stage, but expected requirements for people, supplies and equipment should at least be estimated during the planning stage.

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2. Project Scheduling

This phase is primarily concerned with attaching a timescale and sequence to the activities to be conducted within the project.  Materials and people needed at each stage of the project are determined and the time each is to take will be set.
   
A popular and easy to use technique for scheduling is the use of Gantt charts.  Gantt charts reflect time estimates and can be easily understood.  Horizontal bars are drawn against a time scale for each project activity, the length of which represent the time taken to complete. 

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3. Organizing

Powerful filtering mechanisms are provided for sieving activities by code, description, float etc.

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4. Progress

Progress can be recorded to provide an as-built record of a project, while the original network is kept as a base program to be used for comparison against actual progress.

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5. Intuitive

Checks for network loops and activity duplication are made as activities are entered, reducing input errors.

 

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6. Integrating the Estimate and Program

Items from the Bill of Quantities can be allocated to the program activities. This allows resource or financial information from the estimate to be reflected against the time frame calculated. The resources used in the bill of quantities can be plotted as histograms. Any changes to either the program or the estimate will be immediately reflected in the forecast or histogram.

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