How to automate your schedule and save time?
What is better to automate your schedule and save time? We will help you how to do that!
Eric Uyttewaal, one of the most renowned authors in the field, named his books ‘Forecast Scheduling’. For deeper insights on virtually every concept in this course, we strongly recommend you to buy and read this book.
He defines the schedule as a model of the project to forecast it. This is the purpose we will cover in our e-course Critical Path Management, to automate your schedule in such a way that it is:
- Valid: It must produce accurate forecasts
- Dynamic: It must update itself as much as possible. He estimates that for a 100 task / 3 month schedule about 50 hours of schedule maintenance is saved when you have a dynamic schedule. Only one change should be enough to calculate the rest of the model (just like you expect from Excel)
- Robust: It must be able to deal with multiple scenario’s, like scheduling forwards and scheduling backwards
- Model: It must be a simplification of reality with only capturing those things that are important in this project – it should not resort into a checklist for all small activities
- Forecast: Checklists, task manuals, meeting schedules, database of historical estimates are reasons to have schedules, but the primary reason should be to forecast your major milestones.
Since this is our goal for the course Critical Path Management, we will focus on the following
- having a complete and correct network logic,
- minimize the use of date constraints,
- keep all completed work in the past and
- all work that still needs to be done in the future.
Four simple principles, that if maintained, will make you very happy with MS Project. But if not maintained, will guarantee a misbalance between the effort you put in your scheduling work and the benefits you reap from it.
1 hour or 8 hours a week?
How much time do you spend on a weekly basis maintaining your schedule in MS Project?
Share it in the comments below.