Schedule Strategy, Planning, & Design

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Successful projects are planned. This subject looks at the role of strategy, planning the project, and designing the project controls system to support the plan, in crafting success.

Topics included in Schedule Strategy, Planning & Design:

- Project strategy
- Project planning
- Designing an effective project controls framework
- Useful External Web-links & Resources.

Other related sections of the PMKI

- Organizational Strategy
- Portfolio Management
- Program Management

Project strategy

The project's objectives should align with, and support, the overarching organization strategy. Understanding the strategic intent of the organization helps ensure alignment is maintained. Click through for more on organizational strategy and alignment.

WP: Project Strategy. Defining the best strategy for the achievement of the projects objectives is key to achieving a successful outcome. One the key early decisions that determine project success is selecting the right approach to project delivery. One-size does not 'fit all':
-  Agile approaches work in some situations but need a very different management style.
   See more on Agile.
-  Traditional approaches need to be varied depending on the project type, size and procurement



Project planning

Planning Strategy From a practical perspective, to plan a successful project you need to answer three questions:

  1. What has to be achieved? (not always easy to answer accurately…)
  2. What is the best way of doing this?
  3. Who is available to do the work? (which leads to knowing how long it will take)

If the answers to the above does not ‘fit’ the requirements or expectations imposed on the project one of the parameters, or the expectations has to change. Once you are comfortable, then depending on methodologies used, you can start scheduling the work and allocating it to people/suppliers/organizations to do.   

Art: Philosophies & Principles Used to shape planning approaches. Any output from a planning process is an expression of the fundamental principles and philosophies (ie, approaches) applied by the planners to develop their plan. This article outlines some of the approaches that can be used in combination, or isolation to develop a project plan.

WP: Project Planning. Planning is focused on optimizing the sequencing of the work and the methods to be used as a precursor to scheduling which focuses on how the method will be implemented.



Designing an effective project controls framework

Design the frameworkThe project controls framework needs to balance organizational requirements with the needs of the project factors to consider include:

Prs: Establish the project schedule. The steps needed to design, develop and validate an effective project schedule. Download the presentation.

DP: Schedule Levels provides a guide the 5 levels of schedule typically used on major projects from the 'Master Schedule' to the 'Detailed Short Term Schedule', adapted from Bechtel & Fluor standards. Open the paper.

Prs: Controlling Agile. A review of the decisions, questions and options for effectively integrating project controls with an 'agile' product delivery methodology.

Art: Scheduling For Effect. Three simple things anyone can do to make their project schedules more effective. 


Useful External Web-links & Resource

Access the Guild of Project Controls Body of Knowledge. A suite of process-based documents which define Project Controls (membership required):



Easy CPM

Easy Stakeholder Management

Risk Register

Stakeholder Work Sheet

Easy EVM

EVM Work Sheet