Communication Rule #1 – Know your definitions

Communication Rule #1 – Know your definitions

Every day I hear people talk about a project plan that they have and when I ask for an example what I get from them is a list of tasks with a start and end day and an owner.  The problem is that a popular scheduling software tool identifies the files with an extension *.mpp which confuses people in calling the schedule a plan.

Problems often occur on projects when communication isn’t clear.  Too often I hear people interchange the words project management plan and schedule.  Those who know the definitions would understand that these are very different things. 

If you agree to deliver a project management plan to your client who understands the terminology, and you deliver a gantt chart schedule, your client will not be satisfied. 

Let’s compare these two terms:

CPC Blog post Comparison table.jpg

An example of a Schedule Management subsidiary plan is below:

CPC Blog post cost management table.png

An example of an actual schedule would be:

CPC blog post schedule chart.png

As you can see, a project plan is more about the scope of work, intended outcomes and benefits, whereas a schedule is the pathway to get you there. Typically, the project plan comes first and the schedule is created based upon that project plan. 

Know industry terminology and reduce miscommunications.

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