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Reviving the ancient art of scheduling

I’ve heard it said that project planning and scheduling is an art – something to be mastered and refined. If you really want to take planning and scheduling seriously a few basic rules could save you a lot of grief later. Science plays a part too in the form of mathematical functions and algorithms embedded in computer-based tools such as Microsoft Project®. Little of this is evident to the user, which is a selling point for the tool; however, the tool is only as good as the information that is entered into it. Any planning and schedule tool – Microsoft Project® included – is able to produce wallpaper if you allow it. To provide a blueprint for project success needs something more and that is to understand a few basic rules, one of which is to create a network-based plan. For some time to come, science is not going to make up for a failure to master the art of planning and scheduling.

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