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Managing for Success
The power of regular updates

"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm."
Publilus Syrus

Keywords: project office, schedule, control, updates.

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Managing for Success - The power of regular updates [P002]

Critical path scheduling techniques, supported by efficient scheduling software have long been recognised as a standard component in the overall project management process. So why does project scheduling so often fail to deliver on its promise?

This paper looks at the interaction between the analytical and psychological processes involved in schedule development and control systems to identify the opportunities missed by many project teams to make their schedules work for them. Simple changes in the way schedules are developed, implemented and managed can deliver major increases in the returns from the investment made in the planning / scheduling processes.

The first area of consideration is the various options available to develop and "update" a schedule and how the different information produced can influence the thinking of both project management and project team members.

The second area of consideration is the power of the update process in itself to change project team behaviour and attitudes towards the overall success of a project. (Including how to ask for progress information to obtain the maximum psychological benefit).

A number of examples from successful (and less successful) projects are used to highlight the opportunities and techniques that can be used by any project team to significantly enhance their prospects for success.

Author: Patrick Weaver

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