Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

Best Practices for Project

White Paper
An Outline of Best Practices When Developing A Project Schedule
The main points covered here are from the Free Video Course on Developing Your First Microsoft
Project Schedule. However, there are a few additional points that will be covered here. In particular,
the following bullets are what we consider Best Practice:
Don't Skip Creating a
Work Breakdown

It is essential at the outset of the project that a Work Breakdown Structure

(WBS) be developed that shows the true hierarchy of the project. If upon
looking at a schedule, it doesn't make sense, you should ask the schedule
developer for a Work Breakdown Structure and verify that the structure is
being consistently followed. If a WBS is not prepared, the schedule will
eventually start to lose the logical flow and organization.

Identify Resources Early Make sure when working on the Project Charter that you identify the
in the Project
resources that you will need for the project early. If possible, have names
that you can use in the schedule. This will assist when you begin looking
at the level of work for your resources in the project schedule to
determine if you may need either more or less of what you anticipated.
Understand the Critical
Path of the Project

It is essential that you are familiar with and agree with the critical path of
your schedule once you have developed the project schedule. You need to
know what is driving your schedule and be on the ready when other ask to
fast track the project. You also need to be able to negotiate the critical
path and determine what tasks can be performed simultaneously versus
being performed sequentially.

Do Not Place Overhead

in the Schedule

Overhead tasks (such as Project Management or Contract Management)

do not belong in the schedule. Specific tasks only belong in the schedule
otherwise you get a false picture of the critical path. Well, where do you
put those tasks? They either have to be made into discrete tasks or added
into the tasks that are already present within the schedule.

Avoid Complex Task


Try not to use the different task linkages besides the Finish-to-Start
relationship. Stick to using one type of relationship otherwise the critical
path will not be accurate in the project and you will not understand truly
what is driving the schedule completion.
Copyright 2016, Salvantra Associates, All Rights Reserved

Build Risk into the


Task durations should be weighed in consideration of the risk involved

and the risks should be realistic. Don't build extra fluff into the schedule
and on the other side, do no be overly optimistic. There will be
unexpected surprises down the road in any project; however, if risk is
taken into account for each task, those unexpected surprises will have the
most minimal impact.

Ensure Each Task has A Except for the first task and the last task of your project, each task needs
Predecessor and
to have a predecessor and successor. This is essential within the project
schedule and should not be negotiated. Try not to use items in your
schedule that just happen on a fixed date. They must be driven by some
Establish Clear
Guidelines for Task

Some organizations use the 8/80 Rule which state that no task should be
less than 8 hours or more than 80 hours in duration. This may be a good
rule for your organization or you may want to be more stringent but set
clear guidelines. You do not want to see a schedule with a lot of 1 hour
tasks, remember, Microsoft Project will allow you to even schedule down
to a minute so set clear guidelines.

Keep the Schedule Up to The hardest thing ever to do is to fix a schedule that hasn't been updated.
Keep the schedule up to date otherwise you have lost control of the
project schedule and have lost where you are heading with the project.
Update tasks with percent complete, projected finish dates, and actual
finish dates.
Communicate the
Schedule with the Team

First rule of Project Management Communicate, Communicate,

Communicate This applies to the Project Schedule. Make sure your
team agrees with the schedule. It may be painful for them to review but
they will need to understand and agree with the schedule; otherwise, you
are managing in the dark.

For more assistance and information on Project Scheduling, contact us. Salvantra Associates has
helped many organizations improve their scheduling processes to get projects accurately scheduled and
performed on time. Contact us now at: (571) 445-4675 or email us directly at

Copyright 2016, Salvantra Associates, All Rights Reserved