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Fundamentals of Project Scheduling

2 Days Classroom Session   |  
3 Days Live Online
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Professional Credits


ASPE is an IIBA Endorsed Education Provider of business analysis training. Select Project Delivery courses offer IIBA continuing development units (CDU) in accordance with IIBA standards.


NASBA continuing professional education credits (CPE) assist Certified Public Accountants in reaching their continuing education requirements.

This course offers 17.00 NASBA CPEs.


Select courses offer Leadership (PDU-L), Strategic (PDU-S) and Technical PMI professional development units that vary according to certification. Technical PDUs are available in the following types: ACP, PBA, PfMP, PMP/PgMP, RMP, and SP.

This course offers:
    14.00 PMP/PgMP Technical PDUs
    14.00 PMI-SP Technical PDUs


The project schedule is one of the key project management deliverables. In fact, it may be the document that is most fundamental to the success of the project. The project charter and scope statement describe the nature of the project and what you are trying to achieve. The project schedule tells you how you are going to complete the work.

This schedule management training class is a stimulating combination of class interaction, active learning exercises and group collaboration. Each is designed to teach through practice so that you are readily able to apply what you learn to your work immediately.

You Will Learn To:

Understand the purpose of a project schedule
Build a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Estimate the effort, duration and cost of a project
Convert a WBS to a network diagram to sequence the work
Understand the importance the critical path
Build a final schedule
Recognize schedule problems and utilize techniques to get back on schedule
Apply schedule management techniques to respond to case study scenarios describing schedule problems
Estimate the duration of the case study project using the network diagram and individual activity lengths
Upcoming Dates and Locations
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Course Outline

1. Introducing Projects and Schedules
The class starts with a discussion of projects, roles and the purpose of a schedule. The related concepts of scope and schedule are explored, and how project scope drives the project schedule.

Class Exercise: Discuss how project schedules are built and managed in your organization today. This discussion sets the stage for teaching the model for creating schedules.

2. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
All project schedules start with a WBS. The purpose of the Work Breakdown Structure is to capture all the detailed elements of work required to complete the project. Sequencing is not important at this time. This process of breaking larger work components into smaller work components is called "decomposition".

Class Exercise: Given the understanding or WBS's, review a number of WBS examples to see which ones appear to be correct and which are flawed. 
Class Exercise: Read the initial case study exercise. Build work breakdown structure using one post-it note each summary and detailed activity. Number each activity based on the WBS level.

3. Estimating Effort
The WBS contains chunks of work smaller than an estimating threshold. The project team now needs to review all the detailed activities and estimate the actual effort hours of the work. A number of estimating techniques are reviewed and practiced during this section. Common estimating problems are described to warn students not to apply these same erroneous techniques.

Class Exercise: The students review and discuss a scenario where different estimating techniques are described and applied.
Class Exercise: Students discuss the estimating techniques that are applied in their organization. This exercise helps match the class discussion to the students own experiences on projects. 
Class Exercise: Project scenarios are describes. Students discuss how they would resolve the potential problems using techniques from this section.

4. Network Diagrams
The first step in converting the Work Breakdown Structure into a network diagram is to look at all the detail activities and sequence them in chronological order. In the sequencing process, you determine the work that gets done first, second, third, etc. You also determine the work that can be done in parallel with other activities. This results in the creation of the network diagram. 
Although the network diagram contains many paths from start to end, one of the paths is most important – the critical path. This is the path used to drive the end date.

Class Exercise: The WBS that was created earlier is used for this exercise. The sequence of the case study project is validated, and the logical sequence is used to map the WBS to a network diagram.
Class Exercise: A simple network diagram is reviewed to understand and discuss the nature and relevance of the critical path.

5. Common Scheduling Projects
Once the baseline schedule is created it must be updated and managed throughout the project. In this section the class discusses common (and not so common) schedule problems.

Class Exercise: Students review a number of project scenarios and determine the possible schedule problems that could arise from the situation.

6. Schedule Management Techniques
In the prior section, many schedule problems were discussed. In this section the class reviews many techniques designed to get a project back on schedule. These techniques are used as tools the project manager can apply based on the cause of the schedule delay.

Class Exercise: Review a number of schedule problems and determine one or more techniques for each problem to get the project back on schedule.

Who should attend

Anyone involved with the selection, management, or execution of a project will benefit from this course, including:

  • Project Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Program Managers
  • Technical Leads
  • Systems Architects
  • Developers
  • Quality Assurance