Microsoft Project 2013/2016 e-course
Critical Path Management
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 for this Level 3, to automate your schedule in such a way that it is:
- Valid: It must produce accurate forecasts
- Dynamic: It must update it self 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 Maturity Level 3, we will focus on having a complete and correct network logic, minimize the use of date constraints, keep all completed work in the past and all work thats 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.
Critical Path Management: Course Content
Introduction on automating a schedule, so after only one edit the schedule will update itself
- Making Links between Tasks
- Lag and Lead
- Guidelines for Linking Tasks
- Link Types
- Constraints and the proper use of Constraints
- Critical Path
- Slack (Total Slack and Free Slack)
- Check on Dangling Tasks (Tasks that have no links yet)
- Critical Path Management
- Dependencies with Other Projects
- Adding a Dependency by Typing the Link Path
- How to see the external link in MSP?
- The Link Between Projects Window
- Dealing with Updates
- Updating Tasks
- Evaluating and Optimizing the Schedule
- What Lessons to Learn from your Progress against Baseline
- Comparing to Baseline to Structurally Improve Business Processes
- Managing against Deadlines