The Schedule Management Plan refers to the process used to develop and maintain the project schedule. It ultimately helps in delivering a project in time. Not all projects need schedule management. But if your project has a complex schedule, it would be better if you create a plan for executing it smoothly and on time.
Schedule management is a part of project management and is included in all major project management courses in Oman. And if you want to succeed as a project manager, you need to have a proper idea of what exactly schedule management is and how to put it in use.
Keeping that in mind, we have prepared a short guide on the schedule management. Hope after going through it, you’ll learn all about all the necessary details of it.
Key Components of a Project Schedule Management Plan
First, let’s take a look at what the key elements of a schedule management plan are, and then we will delve into how to prepare one. The important aspect of a schedule management plan is that it is shared with all members of a particular project to maintain transparency.
Roles and Responsibilities
The first thing is to assign the roles and responsibilities of the plan. Someone will own the schedule. In most cases, it’s the project manager who owns it. Next is to decide who will have the authority to update the schedule in your scheduling software. It can be the project manager in this case as well. Or, if the project is large, you can have a separate project administrator to handle this task.
Updating the Schedule
Your plan will also include how often you’ll update the schedule. Usually, it’s the first thing on a Monday morning to start the week. But that’s just the norm. It can be other days or not weekly at all. The frequency with which you’ll be updating your schedule will depend on the project, the organization, the stakeholders, etc.
Schedules are flexible and the feedback you receive from the team working on the front lines of the project is extremely important. The feedback will help you to adjust the schedule as per the changing needs of the project. So, decide how you’ll be receiving feedback. It can be through status reports, team meetings, or other communication channels. Just make sure these channels remain open throughout.
Changes in schedules call for review and approval of those changes. Usually, it’s the project manager who is appointed to approve any such changes. However, there’s an accepted float in a schedule and if the change is beyond that, it would take higher authorities like upper management and/or stakeholders to approve them.
Reports form an integral part of schedule management plans. They help to get data and make better decisions for the progress of a project. The planning to be done here will include the frequency of reporting, the types of reports you’ll need, who’ll be generating them, and who will receive.
How to Make a Schedule Management Plan
A schedule management plan will help you to meet the demands of a project and make sure you complete it within its deadline. The four parts of a schedule management plan are schedule development, schedule control, schedule changes, and project schedule. Let’s learn them now.
Developing a schedule involves a thorough audit of everything that would be required for the project schedule. It will include things like estimating the time for each task, the associated costs, who is responsible for creating and managing the schedule, and who can make changes to it.
Schedule control means determining how you’ll measure the schedule. It can be percentage complete or hours, costs, etc. Someone from the team will be responsible for measuring the progress. It can be the project manager or someone else.
You’ll also have to appoint someone to approve the changes to a schedule that may happen. This will include approving the change in costs and added time that might be associated with the changes.
Project plans often include the schedule and is added as an appendix to the documents. But if the project is large, then the schedule is long and it’s best to incorporate these in the project management software tool that you are using.
So, this is all about schedule management, and as mentioned it is a part of all project management courses in Oman. Schedule management is an integral part of project management and you’ll do well if you learn the basics of it early. It helps us with delivering projects in time and thus needs the attention of a wannabe project manager.