Scheduling a project at the right level, at the right time, is an important consideration in project planning and scheduling. During management-level planning, when the executive and senior management are involved, project-level schedules prevail. Schedules become detailed as the planning horizon switches from the whole of the project to project stages or phases; with assumptions tested and information firmed up, management can engage in detailed planning.

Practitioners who develop schedules at different levels do not agree on the criteria that apply to summary- and detailed level schedules, including scheduling techniques. This paper reviews recent developments on the concept of schedule levels, including the hierarchy in Guide to the Forensic Scheduling Body of Knowledge Part I (FSBOK Guide). Aspects of the FSBOK Guide reviewed include correlation to the work breakdown structure (WBS), schedule granularity, scheduling technique, integration of levels, and other criteria. To avoid getting lost in the details, keeping the Level 2 schedule current for the duration of the project and limiting rolling wave planning to Level 4 schedules are advocated.

Gui Ponce de Leon, PhD, PE, PMP, LEED AP

Presented at PMI College of Scheduling Conference Meeting 2011

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