Daily schedule refresh

Our advice was to refresh (i.e. update, breakdown, pull-in) your schedule once a week.

This is a best practice, since most teams only update their schedule before major program reviews! We find that faster teams actually refresh their schedule more frequently, every morning in the best cases.

Here is some advice we recently gave to a client...

  1. Start on Monday (and thereafter every day), 8:30-9:00 so it doesn't eat into the work day

  2. Keep the meeting strictly to within 30 minutes -- if extra time is needed then agree there and then who is needed, let the others go and continue or reschedule

  3. Keep the update part to ONLY update, hold engineering discussions to after unless relevant for updating -- after doing this for a couple of weeks it will be very, very smooth

  4. People will get the chance to change the schedule after the update

  5. You will need to shut people down if what they're talking about is not relevant and note it for later -- they'll learn after a while to hold off until after the update is completed

  6. Set the look ahead to 2-3 days in fastUpdate (you will have 15-20 activities to update at 15 seconds/activity = 5 min.).

  7. Engineering discussions happen after the update -- make changes to the schedule then pull-in -- you should allow 20-25 min. to do this to stay within the 30 mins.

Advantages to daily refreshes:

  1. Contrary to popular belief, daily refreshes are faster because changes to the schedule are typically small -- easier on the team

  2. Tighter control of the schedule - you will see slips within a day and not waiting a week to see them which means you can correct faster

  3. Pull-in the schedule daily

  4. The team sees the schedule every day rather than once a week

  5. Daily refreshes mean many small changes entered over the course of a week versus letting them build up and doing them all at once (time consuming and a waste of the team's time).

fastUpdateis a module included in fastworksProject, an open source add-on to MS Project.