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dynamic scheduling

Dynamic scheduling: Welcome to PM Knowledge Center

Project baseline scheduling, risk analysis and project control are crucial steps in the life of a project. The project manager uses the project schedule to help planning, executing and controlling project activities and to track and monitor the progress of the project. A major component of a project schedule is a work breakdown structure (WBS). However, the basic critical path method (CPM) schedules, or its often more sophisticated extensions, are nothing more than the starting point for schedule management. Information about the sensitivity of the various parts of the schedule, quantified in schedule risk numbers or of a more qualitative nature, offers an extra opportunity to increase the accuracy of the schedules and might serve as an additional tool to improve project monitoring and tracking. Consequently, project scheduling and monitoring/control tools and techniques should give project managers access to real-time data including activity sensitivity, project completion percentages, actuals and forecasts on time and cost in order to gain a better understanding of the overall project performance and to be able to make faster and more effective corrective decisions. All this requires understandable project performance dashboards that visualize important key project metrics that quickly reveal information on time and cost deviations at the project level or the activity level. During monitoring and tracking, the project manager should use all this information and should set thresholds on the project level or on lower WBS levels to receive warning signals during project execution. These thresholds serve as triggers to take, when exceeded, corrective actions.

Dynamic scheduling: An introduction to baseline scheduling

Baseline scheduling can be defined as the act of constructing a timetable to provide a start and end date for each project activity, taking activity relations, resource constraints and other project characteristics into account and aiming at reaching a certain scheduling objective. 

Dynamic scheduling: An introduction to risk management

Since uncertainty is what typifies projects in progress, risk management is key to the success of a project. A technique known as Schedule Risk Analysis connects the risk information of project activities to the baseline schedule and provides sensitivity information of individual project activities as a way to assess the potential impact of uncertainty on the final project duration. The protection of a project’s deadline using a technique called Critical Chain/Buffer Management assures that delays in project activities are captured by buffers that are cleverly inserted into the project baseline schedule.

Dynamic scheduling: An introduction to project control

Project control (often referred to as project monitoring or project tracking) is the process performed to observe project execution in order to identify potential problems and/or opportunities in a timely manner such that corrective actions can be taken when necessary. The key benefit is that the current project status is observed on a regular basis, which enables the calculation of the project performance variance that is equal to the gap between actual performance and the baseline schedule. Since the current project performance is measured by variances from the project management plan, the baseline schedule plays a central and unambiguous role during the project tracking process. 

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