A few thoughts for every scheduler’s New Year resolutions.
- You can’t change the past, the present is being managed by the project workforce, the only thing you can influence with your schedules is the future. To achieve this, the schedule needs to be an effective communication medium that can be easily understood by the project workforce if it is going to have any impact on their future actions.
Resolution #1 – I will make my schedule reports easy to understand!
- Useful schedules are useful because they are used! For a schedule to be used, the scheduler needs to design it so that the right information can be given to the right person (stakeholder) at the right time.
Resolution #2 – I will set my schedules up in such a way that it is easy to extract focused reports for each of the key stakeholders that are easy for them to use.
- There is no point in communicating with someone if you don’t want then to act on the communication. Communication without expecting an action/reaction simply wastes everyone’s time, particularly yours.
Resolution #3 – My schedule reports will be focused on communicating useful information that will encourage relevant action on the part of the receiver.
I will leave the other resolutions such as establishing a better work/life balance, doing more exercise and losing weight to you.
Two things triggered this blog, one was reading a post from ‘Ask E.T.’ (Edward Tufte) on Project Management Graphics (or Gantt Charts) – see http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=000076&topic_id=1&topic=Ask%20E%2eT%2e Tufte is one of the leading thinkers of the graphical presentation of data and has a few neat ideas.
The other was finishing off two papers for presentation next year:
- Scheduling in the Age of Complexity (undergoing peer review)
- Improving Schedule Management (available for download)
Both can be downloaded from http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Planning.html#Papers
All of the above have a common underlying theme – we need to make our schedules more useful in 2009 if we are going to improve project delivery.
Wishing you all a great New Year.