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How would you recommend to schedule a task such as create and maintain project plan which applies regular weekly updates for the duration of the project?

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There is a concept of BAU or CDB. That is "Business as Usual" or "Cost of Doing Business". In official PMI speak, it is called "Monitoring and Controlling". These are tasks and activities that need to be done and yet have nothing to do with the actual project.

For example, we have staff meetings every week, we don't task these out in a project. It's part of an overhead.

Creating a project status report falls into this category. It is part of the normal day to day function of the job.

If you are running an agile project, all these "Cost of Doing Business" items are just things you need to take into account when determining how much capacity you have to work. If the project status will take you four hours a week, your capacity is four hours less (Pro Tip- Capacity is NOT 40 hours. Average team capacity is about 20-24 hours a week).

If you're in a traditional project I recommend having a separate "project" which is your "Project Management Project". In here track all the things you have to do every week as part of your "day job."

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  • It can also be useful to track this capacity by type, to be included in any retrospectives or discussions around "we're in too many meetings!", etc. My experience with team capacity matches Joel's as well - about 25 hours of actual work time per week is typical. Aug 11 '15 at 17:25
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"Maintaining project plan" and similar tasks shouldn't be in the project plan. It can be included in the project estimation or as part of resource planning though.

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  • Thanks for the feedback - makes sense to track separate from the project. However, I manage 12-13 projects and want to somehow be able to allocate my time across all as best as I can and sometimes managing communication, status, plans etc take up a significant chunk of it
    – Sina
    Aug 4 '15 at 19:41
  • I understand. The project plan timeline contains the deliverable's and milestones rather than the day-to-day work activities though. It sounds like the real issue is how to best plan/allocate your time in relation to your day-to-day PM tasks. With 12-13 projects, that's a real challenge. Aug 4 '15 at 21:39
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You could use a hammock task and assign yourself to a low assignment unit (<5%). See: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/141733

The link references Project 2003 - but the same applies to later versions of project.

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