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Scheduling Concepts for Project Managers


Scheduling is often overlooked or completed haphazardly – but this component remains a critical competency in project management. Schedules allow project team members and stakeholders to understand work start/completion dates, as well as the preferred order of completion for tasks. The absence of a detailed schedule can lead to erroneous status reporting, missed deadlines, and cost overruns. Understanding the basic concepts of how to develop a schedule can help to ensure that accurate dates and predecessor/successor relationships are established for the identified tasks. Good scheduling also supports project managers’ uses of resources, funding, specifications, and time.

Participants will learn how to develop and apply schedules to project activities, including the creation of work breakdown structures and network diagrams. Students will also work to determine the critical paths for their projects. The course will also cover these key skills: estimating, budgeting, monitoring, controlling, and analyzing your project schedule. Applying these key concepts and skills will increase the likelihood of the work being completed on-time, under budget and with minimal rework.

It is highly recommended that students complete Effective Scope Management for Project Managers before completing this course

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Develop a schedule management plan
  • Utilize the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in develop
  • Estimate task durations and resource requirements
  • Create a Schedule and identify the critical path using the Critical Path Method (CPM)
  • Explain the impact of “Resource Leveling/Smoothing” on the schedule
  • Describe and apply Earned Value Management (EVM) to measure project schedule performance
  • Apply the appropriate techniques to monitor and control the schedule
  • Course Content


    Lesson 1. Foundations of Schedule Management

  • Defining the schedule and associated terms
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) at a high level
  • Define the Schedule Management Plan
  • Describe the project manager’s role in managing the project schedule

  • Lesson 2. Constructing the WBS
  • Develop the WBS
  • Decompose the project scope statement into manageable activities

  • Lesson 3.Estimation for Durations / Resource Requirements
  • Estimating concepts and techniques
  • Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT)
  • Understanding the difference between effort and duration
  • Determining resource requirements and allocations

  • Lesson 4.Developing the Schedule-Critical Path Method
  • Activity Relationships and how to apply them in project schedule creation
  • Developing a comprehensive Network Diagram as a basis for the project schedule
  • Identifying critical path and utilizing it to develop and control the project schedule
  • Resource leveling and smoothing within the schedule
  • Schedule compression techniques and when and how to apply them

  • Lesson 5. Managing Change
  • Baselining the Schedule for schedule performance
  • Change control process for monitoring and managing changes to the schedule
  • Updating the Project Management Plan

  • Lesson 6. Performance Evaluation and Forecasting
  • Techniques for monitoring and reporting schedule performance
  • Applying Earned Value Management for determining schedule performance (e.g. SPI, SV)
  • A high-level look at the software tools used to support the project manager