Scheduling Constraints

Linking from part 1 of this article, what answers did you get?

If you haven’t read part 1– stop cheating- go back and complete the exercise.

The answers will vary based upon the logic you have used.  In short there is no one correct answer, real life project management is the same.  Each decision made normally has a set of pros and cons.  For example if we increased the number of resources to get the project completed earlier whilst this may seem like an obvious solution, it brings its own issues; will they corporate? will they get in each other’s way? limit physical resources? and so on.

You will probably find that the two main things which constrained your ability to save time was:

Scheduling Logic:

A certain activity can’t start prior to another being completed, such as the painting can’t start until the wall are cleaned.  The equipment can’t be washed until the painting has finished and so on.


You may have assumed limitations as to the number of resources available to assist on the project, whilst this is a very real practical constraint in terms of scheduling tasks it is best to ignore it.  The reason for this is that it is much easier to add resource constraints in the future, but if you have programmed the schedule based upon resource constraints it is very hard to remove.

An example of this is that whilst logically I may be able to patch the walls whilst someone else is taping, there is sometimes the urge to put a constraint as I know I will only have 1 person doing the work.  As a general rule, don’t put this constraint in yet- when scheduling imagine you have access to unlimited resources as we can put in resource constraints later on.


One Response to Understanding task relationships in MS Project Part 2
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