Monday, April 30, 2012

Do Small Projects Need Schedules?

Is it really critical that small projects have a schedule? Of course it is! Here are some of the most important reasons that schedules are developed:

1) First and foremost, you always want to get the work done on time. Without a schedule, it gets done when it gets done. This is not at all acceptable at any time.

2) Scheduling serves as the foundation for cash flow plans. The project schedule defines when the firm is using cash and when payments should be received. If possible, the firm should relate the cash flow plan to the start and completion of schedule milestones in order to accelerate payments and facilitate client financing.

3) Schedules indicate specific time periods for resource requirements. The completion of specific tasks by people with defined skills over a certain time period is a natural outcome of the project schedule. Without this information, you cannot make the most efficient use of your staff.

4) Your schedule establishes individual time schedules. It is important to know when particular project needs a civil engineer or lighting designer.

5) A schedule enhances communication among all project participants. A schedule paints a picture of how the project will be completed over time.

6) Your firm’s Resources Plan is the sum of all individual project plans. If you don’t include small projects in the Resources Plan, you’ll fail to plan for people need to staff them.

Yes, your small projects need a schedule. Even a brief trip requires a road map. Don’t short-change your small project, your team, and especially your client by ignoring the development of a schedule.

To learn more tips and techniques you can use to become a better and more successful project manager, check out PSMJ’s Ultimate Project Management Manual.

PSMJ’s Ultimate Project Management Manual can instantly and dramatically improve your ability to manage projects for quality, speed, and profitability. Click here to order, e-mail, or call PSMJ customer service at (800) 537-7765.

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