Friday, 25 October 2013

Control Schedule Process

The Control Schedule process is concerned with -
1. Ensuring that changes are processed in a controlled manner.
2. What has been accomplished so far and what is yet to be accomplished.
3. Ensuring that changes are properly managed.
4. Ensuring that the schedule will be under control in future as the project progresses
5. Ensuring that the project schedule is covered for all possible impacts
6. Ensuring that the schedule data (actuals) collected in the schedule model is correct
7. The availability of resources in case if schedule goes out of control
8. Ensuring critical path and buffers are under control
9. Incorporating changes to the baseline once change is approved by the change control board

In an agile approach, control schedule process might also cover -
1. Work re-prioritization
2. Determine the work velocity in a given iteration and ensure everything stays controlled

The common inputs to this process are:
1. Project management plan: This is the baseline document against which helps in deciding if corrective action is required and impacts to other constraints.
2. Work performance data: The common monitoring and controlling  process input coming from the executing process to cross-check if the schedule is under control.
project schedule: This gives an idea of what has been accomplished and what is planned ahead and if the schedule is under conrtol.
3. Project calendars: In case if schedule is not under control , then there might be a need to plan for corrective action in which case, project calendars of the resources need to be looked up to bring the schedule under control.
4. Schedule data: What has been collated in the form of actual dates and resource allocations will be checked and ensured to be correct.
5. Organizational process assets: Reporting methods , policies for schedule control etc.

The tools and techniques part of this process are:
1. Performance reviews: How is the schedule performing and will perform - forecasts. Here are some of the review techniques:
- Trend Analysis: Based on current performance, what will be the future and if everything will be under control at a later point.
- Critical Path Method: What mileage has been covered in the critical path will give a better idea of the project health and corrective / preventive actions needed.
- Critical Chain Method: What amount of buffer was allocated and what is used will give an idea of a need for corrective actions
- Earned Value Management: Schedule Variance (planned v/s actual), schedule performance indicator to check the health of the project and decide on corrective actions.
2. Project Management Software: Softwares like Microsoft Project Plan are useful in looking and understanding the schedule data and finding variance / trends and then useful in finding if there will be a need for corrective action.
3. Resource Optimization Techniques: How effectively resources can be used to get the schedule under control.
4. Modeling Techniques: They are used to simulate what-if scenarios affecting the project objectives and seeing the impacts to the schedule.
5. Leads and Lags: Leads and lags can facilitate paralleling of activities and thus help in gaining time-saving or schedule time gain or schedule catchup.
6. Schedule Compression: Adding more resources if schedule is lagging behind, in order to get schedule back on track.
7. Scheduling Tool: Usually part of the project management software, the scheduling tool is used to build the network diagrams and do some base work that can be looked up and corrected if needed.

The outputs from this process are:
1. Work Performance Information: The data is made concise good for reporting or to be fed in the change requests and then to be presented before the change control board.'
2. Change Requests: The document holding the changes and their impacts to different project objectives like cost and schedule impact. This becomes the input to the integrated change control process.
3. Organizational Process Assets Update: Any new lessons learnt or process tailoring guidelines become part of the organizational process assets.
4. Schedule Forecasts: These become inputs to the integrated change control process.
5. Project management plan updates: Changes to Schedule baseline, once changes are approved by the change control board.
6. Project Document Updates: Any updates to other documents like risk register or other relevant documents based on the change.


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