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Unformatted text preview: not project management, neither is scheduling. Schedules give dates for when work should start and end but do not guarantee that work will actually start and end on those dates. By themselves, schedules give no insight into the success of a project. The essence of managing a project is to understand the interrelationship between the budget and the schedule and to apply methods of performance measurement against this relationship. The interrelationship is the project baseline or project plan mentioned in the previous section. When the term project plan is used in this way, one really means that it is a Page 57 concise representation of the (real) project plan, which is the accumulation of all budget and schedule data. As a general rule of thumb, if there are more than 2,000 tasks or 500 work packages in a schedule, something is probably wrong. Scheduling at too detailed a level tends to create far too many work elements, which can cause the schedule to become unwieldy. In fact, scheduling at the work package level can be a viable alternative on large projects. In such cases, it is then possible to manage 2,000 work packages. The author is familiar with attempts to schedule large projects with more than 30,000 tasks. These were heroic efforts, but they all ended in chaos. Just because you have an automated scheduling program to make scheduling more tractable does not mean this scheduling program will make your brain more capable. Human beings cannot deal with this degree of fragmentation in conceiving of an object or process. The number 2,000 may seem arbitrary, and in a sense it is, but experience has shown that it is a limit that usually should not be exceeded. As previously mentioned, a common misconception is that project management is scheduling. The documentation of some scheduling systems tends to promote this misconception or to focus all of project management around scheduling. This gives a distorted view of the place of scheduling in the overall scheme of project management. One needs only to read the Microsoft Project 98 User's Guide to see an example of this. Project scheduling systems are often marketed as project management systems, which may account for this confusion. Perhaps this practice helps sell more scheduling systems, but it often is a disservice to novice project managers. So, what is the role of scheduling in the grand scheme of project management? It is primarily to time-phase the budget. This becomes clear in Chapters 3 through 6. In Chapter 7, we see that the start and end dates produced by an automated scheduling system for large projects, even resource leveled dates, are often not suitable for adoption as the project schedule dates. In Chapter 7 we assert that the project management staff Page 58 needs to take several other things into consideration in adopting start and end dates for any given control package. At this point we can only say that the reason this is so has to do with the fact that scheduling systems do not have the capability to discriminate such things as wheth...
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2011 for the course ACC 9 taught by Professor Yeetan during the Spring '10 term at Sunway University College.
- Spring '10