What is Project Schedule Management?

Project schedule management is sub-part of project management, in which the project team and the project manager discuss and decide many aspects of project scheduling.

Usually, project schedule management includes the following:

Schedule Strategy

A strategy is created about how to create the schedule, how to manage it and who will manage it. The project manager decides many other things such as scheduling software to be used, how detailed the schedule needs to be and how it will be managed.

During the strategy development time, the project manager and the stakeholders decides on contents and types of graphical reports that will need to be created. The graphical reports could be in form of a gantt chart, histogram, spreadsheet or any other form that is required by the stakeholders.

Schedule maintenance method is decided, which includes the way how data of activity progress would be collected, and the method for updating activity progress in the scheduling software.

The project manager, the project team and the stakeholders together decide on many of these things and the project planning, monitoring and reporting is then happened based on that strategy

Schedule Planning

In this phase, the project schedule is created. It is a resource loaded schedule, which contains all the details about the resources assigned onto the activities, their rates, their availability, associated costs and manhours needed.

At start of the schedule planning, activities needed to complete the project work are determined. The Work breakdown structure (WBS) is also created to categorize the activities. The activities are added in the respective WBS elements. Then the activity duration, start/finish dates and relationships with other activities are also determined. Other information the schedule could have include activity notes, activity steps, activity constraints, etc.

Once the activities have been planned, the resources are then assigned onto the activities. The final outcome is called 'schedule model'. Typically, all this work is done in scheduling software such as Microsoft Project or Primavera software. These software also creates gantt chart to show graphically start and finish dates for every activity. This is often also called the gantt schedule or gantt chart schedule.

Schedule Monitoring and Controlling

Once the planning has been completed, the project enters in the schedule monitoring and controlling phase. In this phase of project schedule management, the actual progress of the activities is collected and updated on every activity, in the scheduling software. The actual progress of the activities include the actual start/finish date, actual duration, actual man hours used and actual money spent.

When the activity progress is entered in the schedule model, the activities are also monitored and controlled for any delays, cost overruns or any other issue. This monitoring could easily be done in scheduling software by showing the planned information and actual information, or by just showing the variance between what was planned and what actually happened. Earned Value Analysis is also used to more understand the project health and to forecast the cost and schedule for the remaining work.

Schedule Closeout

In this phase, the project if formally closed. The contracts are completed, the documents are archived, unpaid payments are made and all the administrative activities are closed. Finally, acceptance on project schedule is obtained from the stakeholders.

Schedule Communication Management

The project project information is communicated to the stakeholders. This is done by the same method (e.g. email, letter) which was decided in the schedule strategy phase. The communications include sending of gantt chart, activity details, resource histograms, etc. These include the planned schedule and the actual and variance information for the completed project.

For more detailed information on project strategy, planning, monitoring, controlling, closeout and communication management, see here.


Benefits of PMI - Scheduling Professional (SP) Certification

Tags: project schedule management, primavera software, planned schedule, scheduling software

Top 10 Most Popular Degrees - Engineering Majors in the US

Just finished your A-level or equivalent and wondering which engineering degree you should study? The list below gives a brief about the most popular engineering majors in the US and it will help you decide which engineering degree you should go for.

1. Mechanical Engineering

Among the most popular degrees in the US, mechanical engineering is the most popular. Mechanical engineering is two times more popular than the second most sought-after degrees in USA. More than thirty thousand students graduate with mechanical engineering degree every year.

Mechanical engineers design and manufacture different types of components that are used in vehicles, industrial machinery, etc. On average, a mechanical engineer earns $98,000 a year.

2. Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers deal with electronics and electrical equipment. Electrical engineering is the second most popular degree in the US. Every year more than 16000 students graduate with electrical engineering degree.

If we talk about salary that electrical engineers take, it is slightly more than of mechanical engineers. Electrical engineers earn about $105,000 per annum.

3. Civil Engineering

Civil engineers design and build buildings, roads, bridges etc. Every year more than 13000 students are awarded with the civil engineering degree in the US. The average salary of civil engineers in USA is $90,000 per year.

4. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers earn more than electrical and mechanical engineers. They earn about $110,000 per year. More than 10,000 students graduate in USA with chemical engineering degree. Chemical engineers deal with chemical, fuel, food and other products where use of chemicals is involved.

5. Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is also among the very popular engineering majors in the US. Computer engineers design and develop software for web, computer and mobile phones. They also develop software that run embedded in electronic chips. Tasks of computer engineers also often involve working with computer hardware.

More than 7000 students in USA graduate every year with a computer engineering degree. A computer engineer in USA earns about 105,000 per year.

6. Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineers work with medical devices and other equipment that is used in the healthcare industry. Their work involve research, invention and engineering.
More than 7000 students in USA graduate with biomedical engineering degree. Not so popular degree but a biomedical engineer can expect to get very good salary of around $112,000 a year.

7. Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineers figure out new and improved ways to do things. They are involved in tasks like reducing wastage of water and other material, improving efficiency of work, eliminating redundant, non-efficient work. In USA, around 5000 students graduate with the industrial engineering degree every year.

On average, an industrial engineer earns about $94,000 per year. It may look not so attractive but the good point is that demand for industrial engineers is growing very fast in the US.

8. Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering

People with aeronautical or aerospace engineering degrees work in the aviation or space industry. They work with design, maintenance, enhancement of airplanes, rockets, helicopters.

Aeronautical and aerospace engineers earn about $110,000 a year and every year around 4000 students graduate with this degree in the US.

9. General Engineering

Students graduating with General engineering degree involve in a large variety of tasks at high-level such as working on science or engineering projects, and in many different industries like computer, civil, mechanical, etc.

Every year in USA, around 2300 students graduate with this degree and on average one earns $98,000 a year.

10. Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers mostly work in oil&gas industries and their tasks mostly involve working on gas and oil extraction projects, improving gas/oil production and their refinement.

In USA, particularly in Alaska, Oklahama and Wyoming, there is more demand for petroleum engineers. Every year around 2000 students graduate with petroleum engineering degree and the petroleum engineering degree holders earn a very good salary of around $170,000 a year.

Graduation Gift Ideas

If you know anyone who is graduating soon or has graduated, have a look at some of the best graduation gifts for her or best graduation gifts for him

Tags: Most Popular Degree in USA, Most Popular Engineering Majors in USA

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Also check out this very useful book - sample question and answers by PMI.

Advantages Of Robotics

Robots are needed to carry out a variety of jobs in different industries.  This article mentions several advantages of robotics. The use of robots is becoming common very fast. There probably isn't any sector that does not

use robots for carrying out technical jobs. Robots nowadays are being manufactured with most advanced technology and features. They can perform accurate, flawless work in a short time. Robots have many advantages, which contribute to different factors like quality, safety, time, accuracy and more.

Robotics In Manufacturing Industry

The use of robots in industries is become a necessity nowadays as products in large quantity are to be manufactured and in a very short time. Robots help forming a product in most precise manner that is high quality. Big industries use robots that work 24 hours a day. These robots can do the work of over hundred human workers at a time.

Electronic and car manufacturing companies also make use of robots. They use robots in assembling and testing procedures that would be time consuming and difficult to carry out by human workers. Robotic arms are an example of such technology. Robotic arm may also be used for painting and welding jobs.

Healthcare and Medical Robotics

Robots have many benefits in healthcare, surgical and medical industries.  Robots are used both for drugs carrying, manufacturing medicines or carrying out several simple tasks in certain surgeries. Robots do not perform the whole surgery but assist doctors, surgeons to perform their task easily, accurately and in a shorter time. Robots can also be used to perform whole surgery. It is called as a robotic surgery.

Robotics in Household

Robots are being manufactured that can perform daily life house duties. Robots can be used in homes for cleaning floors with vacuum cleaners, cleaning pools, etc. Robots can be programmed to do a certain task. More sophisticated robots are being manufactured, which will be able to perform harder household duties. With the fast research and development in the field of robotics, it is expected that the use of robotics in houses will become very common. Scientists are working on robots so that they can become friendlier to homes and families and provide protection and care.

Robots in a few years time may provide give benefits that at this time we can not imagine of. The advantages of robots are surely predicted to grow in many other fields.

These were some advantages of robotics.  Have you heard about the robot vacuum?  Then check out this wi-fi and Alexa operated, automatic and self-charging robot, available for $249, at Amazon.

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