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The Generic Project Schedule

The Generic Project Schedule
By Clifford Ananian

Although every project is unique, and its execution plan is specific to its goals and objectives, there are some common rules and tendencies of project schedules that are not project specific.

The purpose of this article is use a simplistic “generic” schedule to illustrate some of these rules and tendencies. The schedule attached below is “generic”. It is a “straw man”. Many who read this will justifiably critique many of the activities, task durations, and links. Because the schedule is “generic”, it lacks depth and detail. However flawed this “generic” schedule may be, it illustrate some guiding principles that govern project execution and reinforces some basic “Rules of Thumb” that are common to most projects.

Generic Schedule

Generic Schedule – Click to Open (PDF)

Schedule Assumptions

Before highlighting some general conclusions that can be drawn from this schedule, it is proper to address the basic assumptions. Read the Complete Article

Project Contingency

Project Contingency
By Clifford Ananian

It’s time to talk about one of the more controversial topics associated with Project Management: Contingency.

Once a project has been properly defined, one typically has to determine both a schedule and budget for the project scope. This stage of project scope development is the most painful: Everyone has agreed on what they want and now it is time to convince them of what it will cost in both money and time.

Everyone involved in the development of the project scope has an opinion of what the project will cost. Senior Management has an expectation for what the project will cost. It is now time to replace fiction with fact (or at least attempt to replace unsubstantiated fiction with a more grounded fiction!). It is now time to estimate the cost of the project and agree on a budget.

It should be noted that the procedure is a two step process: (1) establish an estimate, and (2) agree on a budget. Read the Complete Article

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