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5

First Steps in Timescale


Planning
Copyright

2007 Dennis Lock and his licensors. All rights reserved.

Initial project planning


This presentation deals with planning
early in the project life history, when
there is no detailed task breakdown.
However, some of these methods can be
used to plan and control very small
projects throughout their life cycles.

Project phase
1 Original concept
2 Feasibility study
3 Business plan
4 Risk assessment
5 Public enquiry
6 Authorization
7 Organization
8 Planning
9 Design
10 Procurement
11 Fulfilment
12 Test/commission
13 Handover
14 Economic life
15 Disposal

Five-year periods

During these early phases in the project life cycle the amount of
information available will support only outline planning.
More detailed plans must usually wait until just after project
authorization, at the beginning of the design phase.

Project planning:
ensures that work is issued at the
right time and in the right sequence
gives milestones for managing
progress
is essential for resource scheduling
is important for cost control and
cash flow
contributes to corporate planning
and strategic decisions.

Project planning in its wider context:


The following slides illustrate that a
project plan exists within a wider system
over which the project manager has only
partial control . . .
. . . no plan is an island entire of itself; every plan
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
with apologies to John Donne (1624) Devotions Upon Emergent
Occasions

Project planning in its wider context (continued):

External factors

Acts of God
Fiscal policy

Corporate
strategy

Market
conditions

Statutory
regulations

Any of the above factors, either by itself or


in combination with the others, can affect
and
the project plan .Planning
..
scheduling
. . . even to the extent of causing the project
to be cancelled altogether.

Planning and scheduling in


context

Project planning in its wider context (continued):

Operational and
organizational factors

External factors
Fiscal policy

Operational factors
Technical
capability
Attitudes
and culture
Resources
and capacity

Acts of God
Corporate
strategy

Market
conditions

Statutory
regulations

Supporting
services
Communications

Planning and
scheduling
Organization

Procedures
and systems
Management
skills

These operational factors all interact with project


plans but they should be controllable, either by
the project manager or by senior management.
Planning and scheduling in context

Project planning in its wider context (concluded):

Benefits from good


planning and scheduling

External factors

Acts of God

Corporate
Market of
Statutory
By
far the most
obvious benefit
Fiscal policy
strategy
conditions
regulations
preparing and using an effective plan for
controlling
is that the project is
Operational
factorsa projectSupporting
services
Technical
more
likely to be completed
within its
Communications
capability
required timescale
Planning and
Attitudes
Procedures
and culture
and systems
scheduling
Resources
and capacity

Organization

Management
skills

Benefits and results


Time
All projects
finished on time

Planning and scheduling in context

External factors

Acts of God

Corporate
Market
Statutory
When
a project
overruns its
time, its costs
Fiscal policy
strategy
conditions
regulations
will almost certainly overrun too.

Operational factors

Supporting
services

But finish a project on time, and it will


Technical
Communications
probably
be finished within its budget
capability
Planning and
Attitudes
Procedures
and culture
and systems
scheduling
Resources
and capacity

Organization

Management
skills

Benefits and results


Profitability
All costs held
within their
budgets

Planning and scheduling in context

External factors

Acts of God

Statutory
AFiscal
project
thatCorporate
is controlledMarket
to a plan, with
policy
strategy
conditions
regulations
no panic and at an ideal pace allows time
for quality
to be considered.
There is less
Supporting
Operational
factors
services
Technical of mistakes caused by rushing to
chance
Communications
capability
meet impossible deadlines.
Planning and
Attitudes
Procedures
and culture
and systems
scheduling
Resources
and capacity

Organization

Management
skills

Benefits and results


Quality
Reduced scrap
Better reliability
Better results

Planning and scheduling in context

External factors
Fiscal policy

Operational factors
Technical
capability
Attitudes
and culture
Resources
and capacity

Acts of God
Corporate
strategy

Market
conditions

Statutory
regulations

Supporting
services
Communications

Planning and
scheduling

Procedures
and systems

Organization

Management
skills

Profitability
All costs held
within their
budgets

Quality
Reduced scrap
Better reliability
Better results

Benefits and results


Time
All projects
finished on time

Planning and scheduling in context

What is an effective plan?


To answer that question we can test any
plan or planning method against a checklist.
Figure 5.2 in the book shows such a list.
We shall test each plan shown from here on
against a shortened version of that list . . .
. . . using the traffic light or RAG (red, amber,
green) method.

The project used to demonstrate the


methods in this presentation is:

The Museum Project


This project is defined in Chapter 5 of
the book.

The diary planning method


This is the simplest planning method of
all . . .
. . . and is also the least effective.
A few senior people meet to discuss the project.
They set target dates for major project tasks.
They write these dates in their diaries . . .
. . . or in minutes of the meeting . . .
. . . and hope that these dates will be met.

Diary plan for the museum project


Task

Start

Finish

Close Liverchester Museum, store exhibits

5Jan09 20Feb09

Make changes in the empty museum

23Feb09 29May09

Move paintings into their new home

1Jun09 19Jun09

Publicize and open new art gallery

1Jun09 22Jun09

Convert old gallery to a new museum

22Jun09 21Aug09

Move stored exhibits to the new museum

24Aug09 11Sep09

Publicize and open the new museum

24Aug09 14Sep09

Checklist for the museum project diary plan

are the tasks shown in logical sequence?

are task interdependencies shown?

is the plan visually effective?

is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?

is the plan flexible and easy to change?

does the plan highlight priorities?

Checklist for the museum project diary plan


Are the tasks shown in logical sequence?
Are task
interdependencies
shown?
Yes:
although
the plan is crude,
the tasks
are shown in their chronological sequence.
Is the plan visually effective?
So this is OK.
Is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?
Is the plan flexible and easy to change?
Does the plan highlight priorities?

Checklist for the museum project diary plan


Are the tasks shown in logical sequence?
Are task interdependencies shown?
Is
the
plan
visually
effective?
No:
the
plan
does not
show specifically
that any one of its tasks must be finished
Is
the detail
OK can
for day-by-day
progressing?
before
another
start.
So this is not OK.
Is the plan flexible and easy to change?
Does the plan highlight priorities?

Checklist for the museum project diary plan


Are the tasks shown in logical sequence?
Are task interdependencies shown?
Is the plan visually effective?
No:
although
the
plan
is easy to
Is
the
detail OK
for
day-by-day
progressing?
understand, it does not clearly indicate,
at the
a glance,
the relative
task to
durations
Is
plan flexible
and easy
change?or
their relation to the project timescale.
Does
theisplan
highlight priorities?
So this
not OK.

Checklist for the museum project diary plan


Are the tasks shown in logical sequence?
Are task interdependencies shown?
Is the plan visually effective?
Is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?
Is
the
plan
flexible
andfar
easy
to change?
No:
the
dates
are too
apart.
There are
no measurement points between those
Does
dates.the plan highlight priorities?
So this is not OK.

Checklist for the museum project diary plan


Are the tasks shown in logical sequence?
Yes: the plan is extremely flexible and
Are task interdependencies shown?
easy to change. One simply writes in new
dates.
Is the plan visually effective?
So this is OK.
Is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?
Is the plan flexible and easy to change?
Does the plan highlight priorities?

Checklist for the museum project diary plan


Are the tasks shown in logical sequence?
No: the plan gives no indication at all that
Are
interdependencies
shown?
any task
one task
has priority over
the others.
Sothe
this
is not
OK. effective?
Is
plan
visually
Is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?
Is the plan flexible and easy to change?
Does the plan highlight priorities?

Bar charts
also known as

Gantt charts
after Henry Laurence Gantt, 1861-1919

Gantt charts are widely used and easily


understood.
The project life cycle charts that appear
early in each of these presentations are
good examples of Gantt charts and you will
agree that they need no explanation here.
However, we can examine how a Gantt
chart might look for the museum project.

Project week numbers

Task description
2

10 12 14 16 18

20 22

24 26 28 30 32 34 36

1 Close the old museum


2 Find store for exhibits
3 Pack and move exhibits
4 Convert museum to art gallery
5 Close old art gallery of fine art
6 Move artworks to new gallery
7 Publicize new art gallery
8 Open new art gallery
9 Convert old gallery to museum
10 Exhibits from store to museum
11 Publicize new museum
12 Open museum

Museum project: simple Gantt chart

Checklist for the museum project Gantt chart

are the tasks shown in logical sequence?

are task interdependencies shown?

is the plan visually effective?

is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?

is the plan flexible and easy to change?

does the plan highlight priorities?

By adding vertical links to the Gantt chart,


we can show the interdependencies
between different tasks . . .
. . . but this method fails when there are
more than just a few tasks on the chart,
because it becomes difficult to see how the
links are placed . . .
. . . so this gets an amber, not a green light.

Project week numbers

Task description
2

10 12 14 16 18

20 22

24 26 28 30 32 34 36

1 Close the old museum


2 Find store for exhibits
3 Pack and move exhibits
4 Convert museum to art gallery
5 Close old art gallery of fine art
6 Move artworks to new gallery
7 Publicize new art gallery
8 Open new art gallery
9 Convert old gallery to museum
10 Move exhibit, store to museum
11 Publicize new museum
12 Open museum

Museum project: linked Gantt chart

Checklist for the museum project linked Gantt chart

are the tasks shown in logical sequence?

are task interdependencies shown?

is the plan visually effective?

is the detail OK for day-by-day progressing?

is the plan flexible and easy to change?

does the plan highlight priorities?

We can make the plan flexible to change by setting it


up in a computer, either using a drawing program or
using project management software.
However, to turn all the traffic lights green, we need
to know more detail about the tasks, find a better
way of showing task interdependencies, and
quantify task priorities.
For greater detail, we have to wait until later in the
project life cycle.
Critical path analysis will turn all the traffic lights
green. That method is described in Presentation 10.

End of Presentation 5