If you fail to regularly update your project schedule, it's not worth the software it's written on!

Project schedules. Get them wrong, and you have no way of effectively tracking your progress. And even worse, you could end up in arbitration or litigation.

If your program malfunctions, delays – and indeed gains – to the project timeline cannot be accurately modelled.

Over the past 30 years, it has been our experience that one of two scenarios occur when a project schedule fails to do its job.

The first is that a scheduling team will produce a technically sound schedule with accurately estimated durations, resources and logic, but fail to accurately and consistently update the project with its progress.

Without these updates, it’s impossible to assess any changes or decide how to maintain the program and meet the ultimate goal of finishing on time.

In other words, if you fail to regularly update your project schedule, it's not worth the software it's written on!

If you’re unsure of how to keep your program up to date, there are plenty of publications out there providing guidance. They outline the best practice for developing and maintaining an effective, realistic and dynamic project schedule. A good place to start would be the Project Management Institute’s Practice Standard for Scheduling.

The second scenario is that the project team ignores normal standards of planning and scheduling.

They end up producing programs that, even if they are updated with progress, won’t allow them to confidently assess any changes to the critical path or make rational decisions to maintain the schedule.

These projects usually end up in either arbitration or litigation, so it pays to follow the standards!

There are several industry standards available which are used in a typical project analysis and are accepted internationally as best practice for planning and scheduling. They include:

  • PMI Practice for Scheduling
  • DCMA (Defence Contract Management Agency) 14-point assessment
  • U.S. GAO (Government Accountability Office) Schedule Assessment Guide

While failing to make regular updates and follow industry standards are the two sure-fire ways to render your schedule useless, it’s also important to make an initial assessment of your program before proceeding with it.

Check out the GBA Projects Blog next week for an outline of the key elements to consider in project schedule assessments.

By Matt Betros

Other recent articles

Full blog index
December 01, 2021
December 01, 2021

Find out how GBA Projects can help your project perform.

Contact us.


  • 01-santos-logo.jpg
  • 02-bhp-logo-new.jpg
  • 03-hansen-logo.jpg
  • 04-sydney-water.jpg
  • 05-beach-energy.jpg
  • 05-kbr-logo.jpg
  • 06-aurecon-logo.jpg
  • 08-riot-tinto-logo.jpg
  • 09-sa-govt-logo.jpg
  • 10-spotless-logo.jpg
  • 11-built-environs-logo.jpg
  • 12-dyno-logo.jpg
  • 13-sa-power-logo.jpg
  • 14-incitec-logo.jpg
  • 15-electranet-logo.jpg