I have found that project managers/project leaders use this common sense approach to planning. Namely, they already have a deadline, then they set milestones in a backwards order. They apply the same approach on each milestone to figure out what they need to do to accomplish the goal of each milestone.
Project: Super important business meeting in Las Vegas
I have an appointment in Las Vegas at 13hrs. So I set milestones in reverse:
- 13:00 - Arrive to Destination.
- 12:30 - Take a cab to my destination.
- 12:00 - Landing.
- 10:00 - Departure.
- 09:00 - Check-int at the airport
- 08:30 - Leave home
After identifying the milestones by going in reverse I can tell that I need to leave home at 8:30 if I want to have enough time to arrive to my destination on time.
I have seen this approach being used in planning sessions for big and complex projects and I would like to know if this approach is backed up by any sort of theory of management. Our team is trying to learn how to do Scrum and so far I have not found this sort of approach in the materials that I have read.