Handling Unrealistic Project Schedules eLearning Course

Lessons and Learning Objectives

Course Description

Do your schedules seem to be workable during planning, but fall apart during execution? Have you ever struggled to get management buy-in on a schedule that is based in reality? Has your boss given you a project deadline you believe is completely unrealistic? There are proven techniques used by experience PMs for handling common scheduling problems on projects, and in just 8 hours you can learn them!

During this self-directed e-Learning course, students will learn to gather all data necessary to set up a realistic schedule model, follow sound practices to prevent the most common project scheduling issues, and explore options and trade-offs to develop an optimal project schedule. Students will also review the process of obtaining management approval for a realistic schedule, using a range of methods to control a schedule while the work is being done—and learn to identify and implement practical solutions to common schedule problems during a project.

Course Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Gather all data necessary to set up a realistic schedule model.
  • Follow sound practices to prevent the most common project scheduling issues.
  • Explore options and trade-offs to develop an optimal project schedule.
  • Obtain management approval of a realistic schedule.
  • Use a range of methods to control a schedule while the work is being done.
  • Identify and implement practical solutions to common schedule problems during a project.

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Overview of Unrealistic Schedules
    • Introduction
    • Why are unrealistic schedules so common?
    • Schedule problems appear early
    • Unrealistic schedules lead to…
    • What makes a good schedule?
    • The schedule is your responsibility
    • Planning and controlling the schedule
    • The project management process groups
    • When is scheduling done?
  • Lesson 2: Developing the Schedule Model
    • Follow the process!
    • Review the project charter
    • Create the schedule management plan
    • Define the scope
    • Define the activities
    • Estimate the activity resources
    • Estimate the activity durations
    • Perform risk management
    • Create the schedule model
  • Lesson 3: Optimizing the Schedule
    • Balancing the constraints
    • Analyzing the network diagram
    • Compressing the schedule
    • Modeling the options
    • Allocating the resources
    • Getting team buy-in
  • Lesson 4: Getting the Schedule Approved
    • When you are given a deadline
    • Handling an imposed deadline
    • The approval meeting with management
    • Preparing for the meeting
    • The approval cycle
  • Lesson 5: Controlling the Schedule
    • Use metrics to measure performance
    • Identify variances
    • Perform earned value management
    • Take preventive and corrective action
    • Talk to team members
    • Manage the change control process
    • Use reports to manage stakeholders' expectations
  • Lesson 6: Course Wrap-up
    • Putting it all together
    • Seven real-world scheduling problems
    • Exercise: Handling changes
    • Exercise: Mini-scenarios
    • Blog: Your scheduling solutions
    • Your action plan
    • Wrap-up quiz
    • Congratulations!

Technical Requirements

  • Cross-platform compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 and higher, or any version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.
  • Requires a device (computer or tablet—6 inch screen minimum) connected to the Internet.
  • Broadband Internet recommended.
  • JavaScript and cookies must be enabled in your browser.
  • Pop-ups should be allowed.
  • This course will use data if viewed in a mobile environment.

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Please note that RMC is in the process of updating all eLearning courses from an Adobe Flash platform to an HTML5 platform. Courses that have not yet been converted will have a technical specification that differs from the one above. Click here for more information.

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