Describe how the following can be used to communicate a schedule to different stakeholders:
A WBS illustrates all of the work and their associated packages that will produce all of the products of a project. It is the first step in creating a schedule. It can be used to communicate with the user/sponsor to ensure that the project will deliver all of the requirements as defined by the user and documented in the business case. Specifically it will identify those work packages that are within the scope of the project.
b) Precedence Diagram
A precedence diagram takes the WBS and applies logic to it. The result is a WBS sequenced as a series of event/activities. Activity dependencies can now start to be understood and work package owners can be consulted to discuss/agree the duration’s of their respective tasks. For example this can be very useful in identifying any information to be delivered by an external party such as the customer or another partly, we call these external dependencies.
c) Gantt Chart
A Gantt Chart plots the activities contained within the Precedence Diagram over time to allow a schedule to be derived based on the specified task duration’s. A Gantt Chart provided a good visual representation of progress and a cue of where there is free float, lags and delays between activities. This enables the PM to discuss/agree any necessary amendments with the respective work package owner and the overall project sponsor. At a summary level the Gantt chart can give a good overview of the flow in the project.
d) Resource Histogram
A resource histogram provides a visual representation of the resource required to deliver the schedule of works contained within the Gantt Chart. They enable a resource profile to be derived which aids communication with the resource owners/schedulers when discussing smoothing and levelling. It helps to ensure that the right resource is available at the right time or the schedule of works is adjusted to suit. And any resource overloads that need to be addresses by smoothing the project or accessing more resources.
e) Milestone Charts
Milestone charts are a high level document which only illustrate key milestones of a project. They can prove useful when presenting to senior members of a sponsoring organisation who are less likely to want to focus on the specific details of a project. Typically they highlight important points in the critical path for the project, including the start on site, of the completion of the design work.