Before I dive into Schedule Management I want to note the difference between the schedule and what many refer to as “the project plan”. You will often hear the Microsoft Project artifact referred to as “the project plan”. In reality, it is only the project schedule. The Project Plan is the combination of the Project Management Plan (being discussed in this series of posts), the Project Activity Plan (or Work Breakdown), which will be discussed in future posts, and the Project Schedule. I encourage you to use this terminology correctly.
The Schedule Management Plan addresses the following:
• Indicates how the project schedule will be created (who will be the sources of start/end dates and effort), when it will be base lined and lists any scheduling constraints
• Describes the implementation approach (phased, iterative, pilot, etc)
• Defines what level of the schedule will be subject to change management (typically these are the high level milestones and major phase start/end; all other changes can be informally negotiated)
• Defines how schedule performance is monitored and reported (e.g., variance analysis)
• Defines the project schedule software to be used
• Includes a plan for change management: How a schedule change is requested, authorized, and documented
• Reference the Project Charter for the priority of Schedule in the triple constraints
Schedule Management is a critical part of project management and communication. In future posts I will show how to construct the schedule and monitor performance.