Work planning tools are meant to help not hinder the project manager. However, if used incorrectly, they can cause even more work than they are worth. Kevin Korterud of PMI.org confesses his struggle with making his work plan match his project, and he offers some advice for future project managers.
First, make sure you aren’t working in reverse. You should always fit your plan around the core goals of your project. Never force a project to work around a pre-chosen plan.
Also, the complexity of your project is a factor. The progress-tracking method that works for one project won’t necessarily work for the next one. Sometimes, a percent complete scheme will be a perfect tracking method. Other times, a more complex project will require the use of earned value or a similar method to measure how you are doing.
Finally, always measure how thoroughly you’re using your resources. If you’re not, the resources probably aren’t being used to their full advantage, and your optimistic project schedule may be way off.
With these tips in mind, you can mold the perfect project work plan, and achieve success on your project in the process.