What is a Project Schedule ?

What is a Project Schedule ?

A Project schedule is a document that contains vital information about the beginning and ending of the each of the five phases of the DMIAC Six Sigma methodology. The project schedule is an important document because it contains information about the project team, risks that have been identified and most importantly the approval status.

After each stage of the project that has been completed there is usually a meeting which focuses on the work done in that stage in the light of what was planned.

The project schedule contains information about the dates of these meetings and their agenda. Project schedules are often displayed graphically on the shop floors to remind the team members about the current status and what should have been achieved by then

Factors to Consider Before Deciding a Project Schedule

Choosing an arbitrary project date can lead to the Project schedule not being followed and make the entire process meaningless. It is therefore important that the Project schedule be created by a senior person on the team like a Project Champion, a Project Lead or someone with a similar level of authority. Here is the information that they are usually required to consider:

Historical Six Sigma Information: In most cases, the project in question is usually not the first six sigma project being taken. Many similar projects have been undertaken in the past. The time taken while completion of these projects and the issues faced are usually documented. This information should be referred to before deciding the project schedule.

Constraints: A project team seldom has all the resources it needs. However many times resources are present with the parent organization and just need to be transferred to the project team. In such cases the time taken will generally be less. However in many cases, the organization has to acquire resources for the project team to execute. Not only are there usual bureaucratic hitches involved but also whether the organization is willing to spend the additional amount on the project. Time should be given for convincing the management.

Assumptions: Many times there are assumptions regarding the project requirements which may be unrealistic. For instance the project may require the services of a certain expert who obviously has other commitments to. Experts usually arrive at the project just at the time that they are required to. Expecting them to understand the project and start delivering immediately is incorrect. In many cases training is given to newer members to carry out six sigma project tasks. Expecting them to be well versed immediately after training without any hands-on experience is also an unrealistic expectation.

Risks: The risks assessment document provides a good estimate about the characteristic of setbacks that a project is likely to suffer. Hence this document must be carefully studied before arriving at a schedule.

The idea is to stretch the project team just beyond its capabilities. This will keep them on their toes. Giving them targets they can never meet is a demoralizer.

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