Schedule Management

Schedule Management

Schedule management is the process of developing, maintaining and communicating schedules for time and resource.

General A schedule is the timetable for a project, programme or portfolio. It shows how the work will progress over a period of time and takes into account factors such as limited resources and estimating uncertainty. 

The scheduling process starts with the work that is needed to deliver stakeholder requirements. 
This includes the technical work that creates outputs, the change management work that delivers benefits, and the management activity that handles aspects such as risk management and stakeholder management. 

Some types of work can be defined much more easily than other types. The work involved in building a house is clear from the start. The work involved in maintaining a generator is not clear until inspections are complete.

Engineering work tends to have complete specifications from the start, whereas change management and some IT work follow a more iterative approach to defining what needs to be done. 

Approaches to calculating schedules have to be equally flexible. In some cases, rigorous techniques can be used to model the work and calculate detailed timings. In other cases, broad estimates have to be made initially, with constant refinement as more information becomes available. 

A detailed model can be used to perform ‘what-if’ calculations to test the result of potential events (e.g. ‘What if resource x is not available in February?’, or ‘What if there is adverse weather in March?’). 
The detailed and high-level scheduling approaches are both combined in ‘rolling wave’ scheduling. Short-term work is typically the best defined and can be subject to the most rigorous scheduling. 
Longer-term work is vaguer and subject to change. The window of detail moves along the schedule like a rolling wave.

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