The project schedule is one of tools that can be used to help establish and maintain the discipline needed to allow for a successful project. The project schedule is crucial to organizing and completing the project within the time frame established and within budget parameters. The schedule helps, but does not guarantee the quality of the project. The schedule can help managers make effective decisions as well as organize tasks effectively and efficiently. As we will discover, timing and forecasting cash flows is key to accurately calculating the important metrics for decision making such as internal rates of returns.
The project schedule will provide an outline of the major tasks, critical milestones, and the timing of key decisions and points for review. A detailed project schedule will provide the framework from which resource plans and cost allocations can be mapped. This tool can be used to help the team focus on:
Communicating the scope, sequence, and priorities
- Evaluate risks and sensitivities
- Allocate and manage to budget
While not as effective as the sophisticated scheduling software program, Excel can be used to prepare a schedule that is graphic and functional. This tutorial will provide a step-by-step outline to prepare a schedule in Excel that can be used to time cash flows within a discounted cash flow pro forma.