edc_2011_17 - Chapter 17 Project Scheduling CHAPTER 17...

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Chapter 17: Project Scheduling 165 CHAPTER 17: PROJECT SCHEDULING Chapter outline Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM chart) Gantt chart Key guidelines for project scheduling Use RAM charts to allocate responsibilities and deadlines for specific tasks to individual team members Create new RAM charts periodically to plan the coming weeks' work Make a Gantt chart to create a timeline for the main phases of the overall project Update the Gantt chart periodically to reflect work completed and any necessary shifts in the timeline Whenever you're working on a large project, it’s crucial to share the work- load, coordinate your activities, and establish and stick to a schedule. Success- ful teams use meeting minutes, the course syllabus, and two other important tools to help them stay on top of things: the Responsibility Allocation Matrix, commonly called a RAM chart, and the Gantt chart. The RAM chart details who’s in charge of what and when it’s due; the Gantt chart is a schedule of tasks using a timeline. You may wonder why you need a RAM and Gantt chart in addition to a sylla- bus. The answer is, they offer something more: A RAM chart gives you a detailed view of tasks (not all of which are specified on the syllabus) and shows who is responsible for performing the task and by what date. A Gantt chart displays at a glance what work needs to be completed, when it should start and finish, and which tasks need to be worked on simultaneously. A Gantt chart is the overall plan for the project, whereas the RAM is the weekly “to do” list to help you follow through on that plan. Activities on the Gantt chart generally take a week or two (with the exception of milestones, which are single events). The RAM includes the specific tasks embedded in those activities. If you were to try to include that level of fine detail in a Gantt chart, you would spend more time managing the chart than doing the work. A
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Chapter 17: Project Scheduling 166 RAM chart is a quicker, more effective means to plan and manage the details on a week-to-week basis and to help the team stay on target with the Gantt chart schedule. 17.1 RESPONSIBILITY ALLOCATION MATRIX (RAM CHART) The RAM chart is a good project-planning tool because it shows the primary and secondary tasks of each individual on the team . It is also a good record- keeping tool because it helps instructors, supervisors, and others know who did (or was supposed to do) what. The most useful RAM charts divide com- plex tasks and major deliverables into subtasks. For instance, testing a mockup might be divided into getting materials for the mockup, building it, writing the user interview guide, testing the mockup, and writing up the results. Some RAM charts include a column for noting who completed a task or when it was completed. This helps the team keep a record of whether peo- ple are actually doing their work and doing it on time.
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edc_2011_17 - Chapter 17 Project Scheduling CHAPTER 17...

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