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Under Pressure and On Time
Author Ed Sullivan
Pages 304
Disk N/A
Level Intermediate
Published 04/04/2001
ISBN 9780735611849
ISBN-10 0-7356-1184-X
Price(USD) $29.99
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Chapter 11: Scheduling continued

Common Problems and Solutions

The following are some of the typical problems and questions that surface when applying these techniques, and some solutions to those problems.

It’s Always Wrong

Creating a solid schedule takes a lot of effort, so it’s easy to understand why some teams aren’t willing to do it. Often, the people who are the most reluctant have tried to use schedules in the past but had to abandon them early in a project because of all of the unexpected problems that surfaced. When a schedule doesn’t reflect reality, it will be largely ignored.

There’s no question that scheduling is a difficult exercise, but it is an essential step. You are creating the roadmap for your project. If you need to ship on time, you must understand the work you have before you and the amount of time it will take to get it done. The techniques I have outlined in this book will make scheduling easier, more predictable, and less risky.

It’s Harder Than It Looks

It seems so simple to break tasks down into time frames of one or two weeks, but it can be a real challenge. There always seems to be a three-week, four-week, or five-week task in the schedule. If you have a task that takes this long, break it down into smaller tasks. If you measure your progress in smaller time frames, you can see deviations from the plan earlier. If it’s too difficult to subdivide a task, you probably don’t understand it very well—a sign of significant risk. You need to prototype a solution to get a better understanding of the work.

It’s Out of Sync

You need to have synchronization periods in your schedule. In addition to stabilizing the software, they provide opportunities for the rest of the project teams to catch up. You can’t predict all your problems ahead of time, but you can predict that you will have some. Allocate time in your schedule for them—whatever they might be.

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Last Updated: Saturday, July 7, 2001