Project Scheduling holds a lot of importance in Project Management and is one of the techniques that are highly effective in the planning as well as monitoring phase of a project. Considering how widely used project scheduling is, it is important to remember that there are certain best practices that are necessary to be put to use if the project manager wants to succeed at the project. The best practices make a lot of difference in the success or failure of a project and hence, are important in their application in a project.
In project scheduling, the first and foremost step is the identification of the project activities and tasks. In order to determine the activities, it is required to make a Work Breakdown Structure. The best practice is this phase of the project planning is that the manager should not set a deadline before determining all of the activities that are involved. Deadlines should only be defined once all the tasks and individual activities have been identified and the manager uses the Critical Path Method for identification of the interrelationships among all the activities. It is only after this process is complete that the manager can identify a deadline, which also happens to be the best practice.
Considering that there are many different software available for the making these schedules, it is also important to know that while the Project Management Software and other CPM Software offer many options, using all of these may not be the best choice. For example, there are many instances in which the individual tasks and activities also have subtasks. While it is part of the scheduling process to determine the interdependencies among these activities, the best practice is that the interdependencies among the subtasks should not be determined, as this will only complicate the process. Follow the best practice of only determining the dependencies among the activities.
In Project Scheduling where the CPM Scheduling is one of the most widely used methods for the scheduling, there are a lot of uncertainties involved, which bring in the element of risk because of the unforeseen events. One of the best practices that is highly recommended in this regard is that whenever possible, the project manger should try his best to eliminate this uncertainty to as much of a degree as possible. This can be done through the use of more and more specificity in the project-planning phase. The more the specifications are included in the CPM Scheduling Software, the lesser the risk and uncertainty is going to be.
When it comes to project planning and scheduling, you can never be too safe and hence, during the scheduling and planning, it is always advisable that you should add as many contingencies as possible as a best practice. When you do this, you can make sure that if you face a problem during the project, you will have an alternate plan to overcome the problem, or to avoid the potential issue altogether. In terms of this, always have contingency in the timeline of the project wherever possible during CPM Scheduling. Scheduling for the unexpected is also another best practice and a good idea in case you want your project to be successful.