What is Scheduling Software?

What is Scheduling Software

Scheduling software helps in project schedule management. It is software that contains features, algorithms to manipulate activities with dependencies and resources to create schedule model and schedule presentations.

The scheduling software also allows to adjust various schedule parameters (e.g. duration, relationship, dates, resources, constraints, etc.) Furthermore:

  • It lets you create baseline and record actual progress.

  • It lets you analyze project progress against baseline and trends over periods.

  • You can compare different schedule with each other.

  • You can analyze resource allocation and level resources.

  • You can optimize project plan to meet the end date, the budget and other constraints.

So what is scheduling software in a nutshell? It is a software application that helps you plan, execute, track and report on projects, including project activities, resources and cost. One of the most famous scheduling software being used worldwide is Primavera P6. The two most widely and commonly used scheduling software are described here.

Also read:

5 types of project management software

Free project management software

Purpose of Schedule Strategy (PMI-SP)

Before planning and scheduling project activities, it is important to define:

  • What will be the components of schedule
  • How project schedule will be created
  • How schedule will be updated
  • How schedule will be analyzed
  • How schedule performance will be measured
  • Are there any policies, approaches, regulations to follow for project planning, scheduling, updating and configuration management.

Therefore, the above things are well planned before we move onto the scheduling planning phase.

In order to accomplish schedule strategy, various plans are created. Furthermore schedule methodology, schedule approach, presentation format, scheduling tool, schedling approval process, role of the scheduler and many more such important things are considered and finalized.

Answering: What is Data Date in Primavera P6

What is Data Date in Primavera? Well, it is very easy to learn about Data Date is in Primavera P6.

Data Date is the date until which the activities have progressed. Let's say you have an activity to build a wall in 1 month and someone asks you that how much wall you have built? If you answer 50%. He will not understand whether you are on schedule or not. So the questioner again asks, 50% in how much time, and you answer that you built 50% in 1st week (say, day 7th) of the month, the questioner then will understand that you are ahead of schedule. 50% was actually expected to be completed by 15th of the month. 

Lets look at a different scenario. There is another wall, to be built in 1 month. Someone asks you how much you have built it so far and you answer 50%. He further asks that you have built 50% of it in how much time and you answer that 50% is built in 3rd week of the month (say, day 21st). The questioner now understands that you are going slow because 50% had to be completed by 15th of the month.

So, the day until you have done the work is Data Date. In the above example, day 7 and day 21 were Data Dates for the activities.

Hence, after you enter progress for your activities, you must enter Data Date to specify that the progress you have entered is accomplished until what date. By entering Data Data, Primavera determines whether you are ahead or behind schedule, and reschedules the activities, to either finish on date as planned, finish earlier or later than the baseline date, depending on how much your activity has progressed until the Data Date, while comparing also the baseline.

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Two Widely Used Scheduling Software

Many different scheduling software are available for creating schedule model but these two are widely used worldwide:

Oracle Primavera:

It is widely used throughout the continents and is made mandatory by governments of some countries such as Pakistan, for all government projects.  It includes user rights management, multiple project management, EVM, etc. Its single user license costs USD 2700.  It is driven by a database. 

You can read benefits of Primavera here. It is available for purchase online, at this Amazon link .

MS Project:

This scheduling tool is used for entering and measuring project at basic level. MS Project is not database driven, rather it creates project file to store the data. Its cost is USD 650 per license. 

You may also like to read about differences between MS Project and Primavera, here.

How to Select Scheduling Software

A few more scheduling software apps are available but only the above two are famous and widely used. The project team will analyze various factors when selecting scheduling tool like ease-of-use, demand by stakeholder, reporting requirement, monitoring requirement, cost, etc.

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