The Project Scheduling or, in a wider approach - the Program Schedule, is an invaluable tool for the efficient management of a project. Is not uncommon, though, that this tool is used by less than qualified professionals usually extracted from the owner’s team. The result, as one could expect, is that it becomes useless as a planning, administration and control tool and, even worse, may be used with the sole purpose of publishing false project status.
The preparation of a Project Schedule should be made by a senior professional with extensive experience in project management, instead of being made by an individual whose qualifications do not go too far from having software training. Determining the sequence of events, as well as its durations, interconnections and simultaneous occurrences, involve a great responsibility which should only be taken by a person with technical and practical background.
Keeping an up to date Project Schedule during the implementation process allows the preparation of more easily read “Illustrated Schedules”, which can be correctly understood by most of the professionals involved in a project, including the high level management that does not, usually, belong to the construction field. Few people can properly interpret a report extracted from software such as MS-Project© or Primavera©, hence the value of the illustrated schedules.
When an unexpected situation occurs during the course of a project, and such situations are much more frequent than we would like them to be, schedule recovering strategies may be implemented with enough time to make them effective, if the delays and its implications on the future events are properly tracked and evaluated. Such strategies, as well as the estimate costs associated to each possible schedule recovering option (and also the estimate of the cost of not making any move to correct the schedule), can only be established if there is a reliable and properly prepared schedule.