3.5 Project Scheduling
Scheduling is important to any project to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget. But it is critically important in forecasting and implementation for several reasons. First, timing-forecast results must be available before deadlines for decisions about implementing the technology or they will be of no value. Second, forecasting and implementation processes both often include parties outside of the organization and thus are less time efficient than more conventional projects. Third, iteration of the forecast usually will be required and may alter implementation considerations. Finally, multiple techniques may be needed to increase confidence in the result. All of these factors combine to make scheduling both difficult and vital.
Three scheduling tools are discussed in the following sections: the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), the Gantt chart, and the Project Accountability Chart (PAC). Many readers with experience in project work will be familiar with the first two. The third combines the concerns of PERT and Gantt methods with information about the responsibility for each project task.
3.5.1 Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
A PERT diagram depicts the flow of the project and indicates the interdependence of tasks. To construct one, a manager must first list the tasks (or activities) needed to complete the project, taking care to be neither too detailed nor unproductively general. An example is shown in Table 3.3 ...