Scheduling Articles

Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C

Real-Life MS Project: Dependencies and Leveling

Wednesday, 12 September 2007 by Alex Brown

second in a series on MS Project, this article describes three alternate methods to build a project schedule. Many project managers stick to a single tried-and-true method, but everyone has options; they can use dependencies and other tools to create a resource-leveled schedule.

Published in the PMI Information Systems SIG newsletter, First Quarter 2003.

Sample Scheduling Standards

Sunday, 19 March 2006 by Alex Brown

To help create consistent, high-quality schedules, organizations may create standards for schedules. These standards help all project managers follow similar principles when creating a new schedule, making them easier to integrate into a portfolio and easier to manage overall. Standards can also help ensure that newer project managers do not repeat common mistakes made by the organization in the past.

This article provides sample standards, and advice on how to customize them to an organization’s practices and needs.

Schedule, Jr.: Professional Scheduling in a Small Company

Sunday, 29 January 2006 by Alex Brown

Describes the key decisions of one 400-person company implementing project management across the enterprise, including IT and all insurance business units. Many project management techniques were designed to help the largest organizations and the largest projects. This paper examines which of them work well in smaller organizations.

To be presented at the 2006 PMI College of Scheduling Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida between April 23 and April 26, 2006.

Project Schedules and Return on Investment

Saturday, 10 December 2005 by Alex Brown

key financial terms, including return on investment, time value of money, payback period, and first-to-market advantage. Applies these financial concepts to sample projects, to help project managers understand the business impact of schedule changes.

Presented at the 2006 PMI College of Scheduling Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida between April 23 and April 26, 2006. Also presented at the PMI North America Congress in Atlanta, Georgia on October 8, 2007.

Only Full-Time Work

Monday, 2 May 2005 by Alex Brown

Addresses the question about whether it is better to model a schedule with only full-time assignments or part-time assignments for resources. Reviews pros and cons of different solutions, and points out critical mistakes schedulers can make when assigning part-time, concurrent work.

Modeling Tough Scheduling Problems with Project Management Software

Tuesday, 23 September 2003 by Alex Brown

Reviews fundamentally difficult scheduling problems, including:

  • resource leveling
  • representing task dependencies – hard and soft
  • managing difficult-to-predict or quickly-changing work assignments
  • making schedules easy to maintain during project execution

Focuses on proven techniques and principles, NOT the pros and cons of specific software tools.

Presented at the PMI 2003 Global Congress — North America on September 23, 2003 in Baltimore, MD.

Exercises for Modeling Tough Scheduling Problems

by Alex Brown

These exercises go with the “Tough Scheduling” paper. They review fundamentally difficult scheduling problems, including:

  • resource leveling
  • representing task dependencies – hard and soft
  • managing difficult-to-predict or quickly-changing work assignments
  • making schedules easy to maintain during project execution

Focuses on proven techniques and principles, NOT the pros and cons of specific software tools.

Presented at the PMI 2003 Global Congress — North America on September 23, 2003 in Baltimore, MD.