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SNHU - IT-625 - Information Technology Project and Team Management
Written by: Chris Bell - June, 2016

Project Scheduling, Risk Planning and Risk Control | Project Management

Project Management Scheduling

Project scheduling, risk planning and risk control are all things for the project manager to consider before the project starts. We think about risks in everyday life such as picking the best route to work with the least amount of traffic. If the risks are high enough we'll start to consider another route with less risks of being late. Controlling the risk put a plan in place, such as calling your boss when you realize you might be 10 minutes late or reassessing a budget when we're 10% over, not 40% over. The easiest way to determine risks is to brainstorm a list of questions that could affect the project. What happens if an employee (resource) gets sick for 2 weeks while his or her tasks are due?

Schedule Planning

recreated the project schedule to align the resources in order of their critical path. By moving the dates around I have changed the completion date from 6/8/16 to 4/18/16. Your respective schedules for certain tasks may change and I ask that you quickly inform me of any issues with your task start or end dates. The fact that I'm asking you to inform me shows that I'm assessing possible risks throughout the course of this project. If any of you need to change your schedule it will affect others and possibly the completion date, so I urge you to keep your schedule as close to this layout as possible.

The predecessors are all mentioned as necessary, so if your task has a predecessor be to communicate with the person responsible for the predecessor task to be sure he or she will be completed on time. Tasks without predecessors can be completed at the same time and I need you to do just that. I've created the schedule by combining all tasks that can be combined, so you need not study the schedule to look for those options. Simply review your tasks and dates and be sure to complete you work within those time frames.

If and when things veer off course I will be there to bring it back on course. Some tasks may take longer than expected but some may take less time as well. I didn't change the amount of time allotted for each task nor do I expect you to finish you tasks sooner than the last PM had expected. However, I changed the dates to form a smooth critical path that requires the resources to "show up" on time and complete the task within the allotted time frame. Why wait 2 weeks to begin Task B when Task A was already complete? The previous PM might have an excuse for that schedule but I do not see logical reasoning behind the concept. All of our tasks start as soon as they possibly can with predecessors in mind.

Risk Planning

I consider it a risk to tighten the critical path. I also consider it a risk to schedule tasks that take 92 days without the possibility of vacation time, sick time, weather issues, holidays, etc. So, I have included holidays as nonworking days and scheduled an average amount of sick/vacation time into longer tasks. It's risky to think that everyone will understand everything that their tasks requires of them. The resource may need training, technical support, more time than allotted, etc. When 2, 3, or 4 resources are scheduled for the same task it's risky to think that they will all be present on each day necessary.

"One common mistake that is made early in the risk identification process is to focus on objectives and not on the events that could produce consequences. For example, team members may identify failing to meet schedule as a major risk. What they need to focus on are the events that could cause this to happen (i.e., poor estimates, adverse weather, shipping delays, etc.). Only by focusing on actual events can potential solutions be found. (Larsen, 2014)" The aforementioned risks won't stop the project from starting nor will I consider the project too risky to take on as a project manager. However, each employee involved in the project needs to take a serious look at the schedule to be sure there aren't any problems. If you think you need training for a task set to start in 2 months, please let me know now. If you have planned vacation time please let me know. I can adjust the schedule for these types of risks, but if you wait until the last minute to tell me about a day off it will be hard to reschedule.

Risk Control

The total time spend on the project thus far is higher than the original allotted time. It's also over budget. I've changed the schedule without lowering costs to meet a completion date about 2 months earlier. Risk control will help me make sure the project schedule works, but I need your help as well. I'm not telling everyone to skip vacations or work while you're diagnosed with pneumonia, I'm asking that you plan ahead and communicate with me about these possible issues. When you know about a traffic jam you can plan to avoid it with another route, but if you unexpectedly run into traffic it will be much harder to get to your destination on time.

Don't be afraid to tell me that you need training for a particular software you'll be using. "Establishing a change management system to deal with events that require formal changes in the scope, budget, and/or schedule of the project is an essential element of risk control. (Larsen, 2014)" We can schedule in-house training sessions and/or outside training courses before your task date comes due. The additional cost up front will save us money if in fact a resources tries to complete their task and can't due to expertise.


Larson, Erik, Clifford Gray. Project Management: The Managerial Process, 6th Edition. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 10/2013. VitalBook file. Pages 208, 225.