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Improving Schedule Management

'Six honest men taught me all I knew.
Their names were What, Why, When, How, Where and Who'

Rudyard Kipling

Keywords: Scheduling, Projects, Programs, Communications, Stakeholders.

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Improving Schedule Management  [P081]

When used as a dynamic motivational tool, focused on maintaining the momentum of work on a project the schedule has much to contribute to the overall success of ‘modern project management’ in the 21st century.

Project Management grew out of the ideas of Scientific Management, and the catalyst for the emergence of PMI and other associations was the rapid spread of scheduling in the 1960s.  However, the emergence of the ‘knowledge worker’ and ‘soft projects’ is challenging the concepts of ‘command and control’ derived from Scientific Management and embedded in traditional scheduling practice. Modern business projects are complex and dynamic; new paradigms are emerging based on complexity theory and social network theory; and these ideas challenge the traditional role of the ‘contract schedule’.

This paper explores these emerging ideas and defines a new role for the project schedule and the project scheduler within the complex, dynamic, collaborative environment that defines many modern projects and programs. The schedule shifts from posing as an ‘accurate prediction of the future’ (if this was ever possible) to a dynamic tool used for communication, coordination and motivation of the project team.  The key focuses for effective schedule management in the 21st century and the attributes required of a ‘good schedule’ and an ‘effective scheduler’ are described; together with the valuable contributions PMI is making through its standards, the ‘Scheduling Excellence Initiative’ and the new PMI-Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) credential.

The practical aspects of establishing an effective and useful schedule are discussed in our 2015 paper: Establish the Project Schedule.

Author: Patrick Weaver

PMI AsiaPacific 2009 
9 - 11 February 2009
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Download the 2009 PMI paper

Download: Establish the Project Schedule.

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