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Project Scheduling Best Practice: Build Your Project Management Tasks into Your Project Schedule

2009 November 25

Many project managers forget to build their own project management activities into their project schedule early in the estimating process, and thus underestimate all the work that will be required to deliver a project successfully.

Follow the first rule of project scheduling: Make your schedule reflect your reality.

It is a best practice to build your project management activities into your project schedule, since, in reality your project will not happen without your effort. Here are some tips on how to do it. Step 1: Identify and describe the project management tasks that you anticipate performing throughout the course of a project.

Step 2: Determine which project management tasks are repeating, such as project team meetings and project schedule and risk updates, and which are one-time events, such as write and deliver project proposal presentation to PMO.

Step 3: Determine the duration and work of those project management tasks.

Step 4: Build your project management tasks into your Project schedule.

  1. Insert the one-time events in the correct task and phase sequence with the correct dependencies (see screen-shot below).

  1. Insert recurring tasks at the bottom of the Project schedule (where there is less risk of their being inadvertently linked to other tasks (since most recurring PM tasks are not dependent on any other tasks).

Step 5: Allocate resources (yourself included, since you are the one to do most PM tasks) to the tasks.

You can expand the Project Team Meeting recurring task to modify the resources assigned to each team meeting (in a Project schedule published to Project Server, this will automatically trigger e-mail notifications and task for updating in each team member’s PWA My Tasks view).

Step 6: Update tasks by either selecting the summary task for the recurring task or by selecting the specific task and using the Update As Scheduled button, or update it manually. You can also attach your team meeting minutes using the linking documents feature in the Notes field, to keep your project records connected to you Project schedule.

Reminder: If you turn on Show Project Summary task (check box at the bottom the View tab under Tools, Options), then you will see the hours you will spend on your project management tasks reflected in the project roll-up for both duration and hours in the Project totals. See circled highlight above.

Make your schedule reflect your reality – don’t forget to include your project management tasks and activities!