The Schedule Management Plan describes the process used to develop and manage the project schedule. Not all projects need a Schedule Management Plan, but if your project has a complex schedule that requires special handling, you may find this plan helpful.
The components of the Schedule Management Plan can include:
- Roles and responsibilities. You can describe different roles and their ability to access the project schedule.
- Schedule owner. This is probably the project manager.
- Who can update? Normally the project manager, but on larger projects it could be more complex. For instance, a Project Administrator might make the initial schedule updates based on the project status reports and then provide this draft to the project manager for final updates. It is also possible that team members will update the status of their assigned activities and the project manager will perform final analysis after those updates.
- Who can read? Usually the schedule is not considered confidential – anyone can read it.
- Update frequency. You should describe the timing of schedule updates. In many projects the schedule will be updated on the Monday morning. You should also comment on whether the schedule will be updated weekly or bi-weekly. It is recommended that you update the schedule weekly.
- Progress feedback. This describes how the schedule feedback will be delivered. In many cases this will be in the team member status report. However, it is possible that the progress update will come during a team meeting or through an email.
- Schedule change review and approval. This is where you define the process required to evaluate and approve proposed schedule changes. It defines the authority for accepting and approving changes to schedule. This approval process does not include internal activity deadlines. It applies to changes in the overall project deadline. It is possible that the project manager may have some discretion to exceed the deadline date by some number of days or weeks, but after that threshold some formal body may need to approve the change.
- Tools. Describe about any scheduling tool that will be used on this project, who will have access to the tool and what various people can do with the tool (read the schedule, update schedule, etc.)
- Reports. Comment here on the types and names of reports you are using to manage the project, who will receive them, the frequency of the reports, etc.
- Schedule integration. Normally each project keeps an independent schedule, but in some instances your master schedule is the result of a roll-up of other underlying schedules. It is also possible that your schedule could be integrated and rolled up to a higher-level program or portfolio schedule.
We believe that these project management plans must provide value to the project manager. If your schedule is not so complex you probably do not need to create the Schedule Management Plan. On the other hand, the project manager should create a Plan if it provides value on projects with large and complicated schedules.