Project Schedule Basics
Today it is important that all our design work has a project schedule that shows how long it’s going to take.
Project schedules are important because the client depends on the project moving ahead. Otherwise, they may lose funding or it will cost them more or interest will gather. So we cannot hold on to the design for that long because there is money at stake.
We develop a project schedule and present it to the client. Then they can have a realistic expectation of how long it will take. We do that from the very beginning. As the process evolves the design we revise the schedule. Our clients know what to expect with the timing of the completion of the design work.
Tools of the Trade
We use Microsoft Project for developing a project schedule. It’s easy to use and we can edit our schedules fast. There’s no magic to it. It’s a calendar. We are able to represent every phase in the project schedule and develop it.
Good vs. Bad Project Schedule
The difference between a good schedule and a bad one comes down to presenting the truth. You can’t have unrealistic expectations. The client needs to see exactly how long it’s going to take. If we show a schedule that is going to be much shorter than usual then, in the end, the client may end up upset. This is because you were not able to meet that deadline. If you leave tasks out of that schedule it may backfire as well. We include all the disciplines and activities on the schedule, and present it to the client. We update the project schedule at every phase and manage the client’s expectations.