Sunday, May 28, 2006

Project Schedules

Schedules serve three functions: allowing for commitments to be made, encouraging everyone to see her work as a contribution to a whole, and enabling the tracking of progress. Even when schedules slip, they still have value.

I like the following Scott Berkun's statements regarding schedules:

  • Until there is a draft schedule suggesting specific dates and times for when things have to be ready, it's unlikely that connections and dependencies across people or teams will be scrutinized.
  • Schedules force everyone whose work appears on them to carefully think through the work they need to do and how it fits into what others are doing.
  • Good schedules come only from a leader or a team that relentlessly pursues and achieves good judgment in many different aspects of software development.
  • A schedule doesn't have to be perfect. Schedules need to be good enough for the team and the leaders to believe in, provide a basis for tracking and making adjustments, and have a probability of success that satisfies the client, the business, or the overall project sponsor.
  • Despite how perfect and wonderful all the estimates for work items are, the real schedule risks are the things not written down.
  • Big schedules should be divided into small schedules to minimize risks and increase the frequency of adjustments.

Adopted from The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun.


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