Questions tagged [scheduling]

This is for task scheduling or resource allocation questions.

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58
votes
18answers
17k views

Is it sound project management practice to make software engineers fix bugs “off the clock”?

I work in a largish, multi-team software development shop that builds a vertical B2B solution suite for a highly regulated domain. We are trying to become more Agile; we are iterating better than we ...
30
votes
14answers
8k views

Do projects ever end early?

When scheduling, I tend to add a lot of reality into the guestimates I am provided with. I always add in generous amounts of probable sick days for manpower and extra time for integration and bug ...
30
votes
7answers
28k views

How do you schedule delivery dates in Scrum?

I've run into a constant issue. When a project starts, the client typically has a list of functionalities to be built in to the application. As a team we would like to follow Scrum. But the next thing ...
26
votes
12answers
2k views

When and how to schedule effective meetings?

I'm the lead programmer turned project manager in a small shop. Our project has entered "the last 90%" phase where many things need to be communicated between different departments. This means many ...
24
votes
14answers
4k views

Are 40 hour work-weeks (no overtime) acceptable for development teams?

No matter what our current conditions are, it seems like my team is always working 40 hour work-weeks. Under normal work conditions this would be fine, but as we approach a deadline on a major ...
24
votes
3answers
12k views

In Scrum, how to estimate research stories?

In our Scrum team, when there is uncertainty about a story or the team is not sure about how to implement it, we take up a research story first. Based on the findings of this research story, we are ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Fogbugz Evidence Based Scheduling

Has any one in the community used 'evidence-based scheduling' by Fogcreek's fogbugz to come up with estimates and schedules on your real projects? I understand the basis of this technique (well ...
18
votes
5answers
485 views

How should I account for non-coding time when estimating duration of a coding task?

I was wondering whether this approach I am doing to scheduling dev work on a day to day basis is correct. In which I assume that instead that a developer has 8 hours a day to do coding, they actually ...
17
votes
5answers
508 views

How to schedule a team during a time of many holidays, on a project with a tight deadline?

You are assigned a three month duration project at the end of the calendar year that has legal obligation of a finish by Jan 1. The schedule is very aggressive with higher odds missing that date than ...
17
votes
5answers
953 views

How can I help my project manager deal with schedule pressure?

Often the project manager in my team is under severe pressure to commit to and deliver to a particular schedule, when this looks unlikely they get stressed and this has an impact on the whole team. ...
16
votes
4answers
22k views

What is the typical ratio of PM/EM hours to “work” hours in a project?

What is the rule-of-thumb ratio of Project Manager/Engagement Manager time to overall project time (e.g. man-hours for work products) in a project? I'm especially interested in an answer within the ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Scrum and interruptions (urgent bugs, requests)

Does Scrum take into account interruptions? For example: urgent bugs from production environment requests from other teams This is very important in real development process. In practice of Scrum ...
13
votes
7answers
12k views

How can I use MS Project to manage an agile project

We use MS Project to manage a project. Although I know that MS Project is just a scheduling tool, we use it to get the current state of the project. We update the % complete field at the end of every ...
12
votes
5answers
472 views

How do you work around a production team that is distracted by support tickets and micro projects?

I need some guidance on this project management situation. I have a software team with 4 developers, 1 QA analyst, and 2 part time student interns. I have several projects where the owner has over-...
12
votes
4answers
691 views

How can I improve a project schedule on a project I took over and complete it on time?

I just took over a project from a Project Engineer and just saw a revised project schedule. The revised schedule shows the project will be delayed by 3 months. I am trying to complete it within the ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a clear benefit to separating “issues” from “tasks” when working in larger teams?

Is there a clear benefit to separating issue from task when working in larger teams? When working with sizable teams of developers in addition to a number of external clients, QA, and any other form ...
12
votes
4answers
339 views

What techniques are useful when factoring in the likelihood that one or more members of the team may take leave during a project?

What's the best way of planning for the possibility that a key member(s) of the team might want to take leave at some point during a project? I understand one solution is to buffer the project ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I schedule resources across multiple projects?

Drawing from the body and comments of a previous question, what is the best way to schedule simultaneous projects and resources to those projects? For example, in a group of 16 staff, each working on ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Agile/scrum - tracking time spent in current iteration towards stories from the next iteration if all current stories are done

Our team has been slowly trying to go towards agile, and like many other teams, up to this point, the question of "what do we do when we actually finish all commitments?" is fairly new and foreign to ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Participants of sprint planning meeting - Is it essential to involve part-time team members

I'm currently in the process of getting my team in a position to start using Scrum and Sprints within the next couple of weeks - I intend on taking on the role of Scrum Master as long as everyone on ...
10
votes
7answers
656 views

Valuable Information When Managing Multiple Projects

When managing multiple projects at once, what information would be most valuable to a project manager if the projects are related? Not related? [Purpose is for the development of new project ...
10
votes
5answers
338 views

How to communicate with project leaders when they are doing poorly

I have been on multiple projects where the project leaders have not involved themselves in the project enough to even learn what the project is really doing. Other times the project leaders didn't ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What went wrong - project going off track

I'm not a PM. I'm a developer working on a large project with a small team at an 18 person company. The "team" is just me and the project manager. The project isn't the largest my company has ever had ...
10
votes
2answers
901 views

How can I make company-wide scheduling and resource allocation decisions?

I've recently been taken on in a Programme Management role for a software company. There are several definitions of Programme / Program Manager out there - my role encompasses, amongst other things: ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I track team member utilization across a range of projects?

I have a fixed-sized team (with fixed-hours) and products, more than the team can handle. At any given time, while my resources are working on one product, requests keep flowing in about work on other ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

For planning purposes, how many work hours per day should I expect of each staff member?

In my reading on SE, some people say 5-6 hours and this agrees with my experience. In our company, we commonly are "at work" 7.5 hours each day, but from a PM point of view... How many hours should ...
9
votes
4answers
394 views

Resources used by multiple PMs

I am the Infrastructure PM on a large project, working as part of a team of PMs with different responsibilities. These include Development, Testing, Environment Support, and Implementation. My remit ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Organise Help Desk?

I have to organize the help desk. I have some thoughts and ideas. The project for which I have to do is a Web application. It has 5 servers in different time zones. We have something about 25 ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

Is a project manager responsible for completing a project on time?

Of course, a project manager should strive to complete a project on time, but is it correct to say that it is a project manager's professional responsibility? I mean that no matter how professional a ...
7
votes
5answers
10k views

How to calculate budget margin?

Say a work package (containing several tasks) is estimated to take between 320 (Most likely) and 480 (Worst case) hours of work (not duration) to complete. Because of some dependencies and the ...
7
votes
4answers
214 views

How can I handle objections about the percent of utilization of a non-technical PM?

One of our best PMs is a non-technical PM. She used to be a BA, not a developer, and is extremely detail oriented, has excellent communications, is Scrum certified, etc. We are placing her on one of ...
7
votes
6answers
5k views

Buffers, tolerances - how do you approach them in your project management practice?

How do you apply them in practice? What tools do you use / what would you recommend?
7
votes
1answer
107 views

How to deal with scheduling/control when task insertion (vs task duration) is primary risk

We're working on a project that has a considerable amount of task insertion risk (by which I mean either a) the insertion of new tasks into the WBS or b) the rearrangement of technical dependencies in ...
6
votes
4answers
221 views

How to decide if a “quick, small change” should be implemented?

In my blog I assert that (in software projects) the quick, small change does not exist. Let's define the quick, small change as a 30-second task. Let's take a simple task: Deleting the extra period ...
6
votes
3answers
312 views

Who owns the project timeline?

On a large, fully staffed, project team, under ideal situations, who would you expect to own the project timeline?
5
votes
6answers
3k views

How to add value beyond collecting tasks and their dates?

As a project manager I catalogue a group's tasks, definitions, dependencies, milestones, resources, and similar other elements of a project. The managers use this to report up, estimate project health,...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How to anticipate delays in the project schedule?

I once managed a very intensive, very complex project that with every tool, illustrated an on-time schedule. But in the end, the project was severely delayed. I understand the concept of "known ...
5
votes
5answers
470 views

What are the benefits of queuing tasks as opposed to assigning them?

When something needs to be done, be it a new task or getting help with an existing one, a knee-jerk reaction I've often seen in the wild is finding a person to do it. Here are some random examples of ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to start my first project?

I'm going to manage my first project that is really a small stream of an even greater project, and my boss said that I could make my own schedule and plans etc. I have a couple of questions, I need ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the purpose of the “as late as possible” constraint in MS Project?

I understand that I can use this constraint in MS Project, but really, what is a good use case for this? When does this constraint make sense?
5
votes
3answers
137 views

Schedule & Customer Blame

Here are work we are having some difficulty with, well, difficult customers during the implementation phase of a semi-custom SaaS product. Standard story, I guess, ship deliverable's and then nothing ...
5
votes
4answers
397 views

How to manage a developer with poor work ethics

Background: I am the PM / Scrum master in a development team, we follow a semi-agile framework for app development. The team (which is newly formed) consists of 3 developers. I am not the line ...
5
votes
4answers
202 views

Timeline for outsourced software development

We currently have a website solution project in which I am involved. We are also outsourcing the development from local software-development companies. We have not selected a vendor because we are at ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Linear Programming and PERT charts

I've studyed some Operations Research (maths), as well as some Project Management (for engineers) at Uni. It is fairly well known that directed Graph with weighted edged (such as a PERT Chart, and ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Unable to schedule a 4-hour task completed over 2 days in Gantt Chart

I'm trying to create a detailed Gantt chart, using MS Project 2013, for a project in one of my courses. Being a student, I'm not working the same number of hours every day. For example, I may have a ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

When is it okay to pad estimates?

Project Managers are expected to guess the future, a difficult task even in sciences like meteorology. As many projects finish late (due to expanded scope, underestimated durations, etc), it is ...
4
votes
5answers
455 views

Can story points remain constant between the initial estimate and later planning sessions?

Background We have a bunch of epic stories. We have a fixed term to do the project. We have to get approval from a project board. We don't know the velocity of the project team yet. The project ...
4
votes
5answers
352 views

What's the most effective way of sharing the schedule with the team?

I'm keen to know the perceived best way of sharing a company wide schedule of work. Here are some key considerations: I want the team to be able to see what is upcoming in the next 1-6 weeks and the ...
4
votes
6answers
336 views

How should we balance chores to reduce technical debt with impending deadlines for features?

I'm the Scrum Master on a project with three developers, one QA person, one designer, and me. We work on a project that we inherited about three years ago, a "portal" website and a cordova app. We're ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What does it mean to 'crash a project'?

'Crash the project' is a term is used frequently in PMP materials. What does it mean exactly? How is it related to 'compressing the schedule', if at all?