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Eric Uyttewaal's books:


Forecast Scheduling 2013

Forecast Scheduling 2010

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Articles

List of Published Articles

The All-Time, Number One Mistake Made by Schedulers!
Critical Path 2.0
Scheduling is not about chronology; it is about logic!
Scheduling Approaches: It’s a Zoo out There, but Let’s Cage those Animals…


The Baseline Schedule

The All-Time, Number One Mistake Made by Schedulers!

Most people understand the schedule as a list of deliverables and their due dates. To a professional scheduler that list of deliverables and their due dates is NOT the schedule, but the baseline schedule. The baseline schedule is a frozen copy of the approved schedule. It is the target you work towards and compare progress against.
Many users of MS Project do not realize that the approved version of the schedule can be copied to and isolated as the baseline schedule. Others do not realize that there is a feature in MS Project that allows you to do this very easily. All these people treat the schedule itself as a collection of promised dates that need to stay the same, which is really the role of the baseline schedule. These people become reluctant to make any changes to the schedule once it has been approved and stop using the schedule as a dynamic model to explore the impact of changes and suggest ideas for solutions. This is similar to being the doctor of a dead patient; there is no need to monitor or intervene any longer.

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A complete Critical Path

Critical Path 2.0

The first version of the Critical Path Method (CPM 1.0) is soon celebrating its 60th birthday. It was just about 60 years ago during the 1950s that DuPont developed CPM 1.0. I find CPM 1.0 still a beautiful thing. However, some people say it takes too much time to identify and enter all the dependencies. Some say they hardly ever see a complete and reliable critical path in their schedule. Others say Critical Path stops working when you start to level the workloads. Yes, these are all real issues. But your thinking shouldn't stop there. Each can be addressed with some simple techniques and new tools. In this article, you'll find out how to overcome most of these obstacles. I'm confident you'll gain a new perspective on CPM. In fact, I'm so certain, I'm calling it "Critical Path 2.0."

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A cause and effect schedule

Scheduling is not about chronology; it is about logic!

There are many isues in scheduling:

  • A “successor” often does not “succeed” in time
  • Activity sequences often change
  • Current schedules are too maintenance hungry
  • Current scheduling software does not allow dynamic due dates

In this article, we will explore these issues and come up with solutions for them. It will discuss a shift in paradigm with regard to scheduling: should we sequence our activities or model the impacts between them?

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Ideal and Constraints grid

Scheduling Approaches: It’s a Zoo out There, but Let’s Cage those Animals…

We have seen a flurry of articles on the versatility of Agile, the solidity of the Critical Path method, the virtues of Critical Chain and the robustness of Earned Value. Is there one approach that is objectively the best?

The original Critical Path does not perform well when resources are very slim. Critical Chain does not perform well when clients are interested in the cost side of projects. Earned Value does not do very well in projects without budgets. Agile does not do very well when the client has a clear vision and wants to build the entire envisioned product, not just part of it. I think we have to conclude that there is no single, best way to schedule a project. And if there isn’t one-best-way, it begs another question: How can you find out which of the approaches would be the best choice for your project situation?

This 27-page White Paper attempts to answer this question.

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Last modified:August 02 2016 14:00:57.