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Difference between Planning & Scheduling

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Haresh Jayanth
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 216

What is the difference between Planning & Scheduling?? Is scheduling requires a skilled and experience person to carryout the job or it requires a person who is just has expertise in software??


Dear Haresh,

Are you satisfied with the answers or your still have a doubt?

With kind regards,

Wilfredo Barbacena
User offline. Last seen 21 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 30

This is what have I read;
"...planning is the process of identifying all activities necessary to complete the project while scheduling is the process of determining the sequential order of activities, assigning planned duration and determining the start and finish dates of each activity. Planning is a prerequisite to scheduling because there is no way to determine the sequence until they are defined...however they become synonymous because they are performed interactively...and its better to be a good planner than to be proficient in software..."
- Project Management for Engineering and Construction, 2nd Ed.

Hi Mike,
good schedule takes into account technology, financial, and supply restrictions and defines project budget, resource and material requirements. Such thing as pure scheduling does not exist at all.

I 100% agree with you. Those who cannot plan cannot create good schedule.

Best Regards,
Lawrence Cuozzo
User offline. Last seen 3 years 49 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 44
I tend to agree with Vladimir. In my opinion, planning and scheduling go hand in had. I feel that almost anyone can learn to use a planning software package. If you want to call that person a "scheduler", then go right ahead. But if I am looking to hire you as scheduler, you better know how to plan a project, otherwise don’t bother coming for the interview.

Hi Vladimir

It seems that you have defined the Schedule as being part of the project plan by listing the other parts that are not scheduling.

It was a simple question - but probably one that cannot be simply answered.

Best regards

Mike Testro
the schedule is a part of the project plan like project budget, material requirements, staffing plan, etc.
Please clarify your question.
Hi Vladimir

OK but which part?

Best regards

Mike Testro
Scheduling is a part of planning

Project planning is largely an experience based art, a group process requiring contribution from all affected parties for its success.

On the other hand,

scheduling is the science of using mathematical
calculations and logic to predict when and where work is to be
carried out in an efficient and time effective sequence.
Believe there is nothing wrong with asking for sample schedules, sure I could start from scratch, think it through and produce a work of art that doesn’t miss a beat.

Then there is reality, you are asked for a program template so a PM can flesh something out him or herself, then give back to you to refine and make work.

Don’t have the time to labour away thinking all projects through for those who are actually on the job and have the site knowledge and detail.

As a planner / scheduler I’m happy to work with site guys / girls, provide collaborative advice about how programs work and help them through the process.

I’m a carpenter by trade and know the construction process fairly intimately, I can judge times and know sequences but don’t have the patience to detail all projects from start to finish.

Kind regards,

Craig Adams
Hi Daniel,
thank you for your interest to Spide Project.

You can download Spider Project Demo from http://www.spiderproject.ru/demo_e.php

Demo is almost full functional but with 40 activities per project restriction. You can try it and there are no time limits for its usage. Many Universities use Spider Demo for teaching students on PM methods.
Start learning the software with First Project section of Spider Project Help.

The software does not require IT skills and may be called very user friendly for professionals. But novice users may be frightened by the number of options it suggests.
The key approach - click the mouse on the line number and select what to do with the element in the line in pop-up menu.

The cost depends on the version that is needed and ranged from approximately $650 to $4000. There are Lite, Desktop, Desktop Plus, Professional versions with increasing functionality. Buying any license you will get an opportunity to install any number of Spider Viewers for those who will use the schedules but are not authorised to change the data.

Even Lite version includes a lot of advanced functions like Skill scheduling, resource-constrained schedule optimization, cash flow management, etc.
Professional version includes portfolio and risk management and a lot of unique functionality.

A lot of Spider Project functions are unusual and I will be glad to answer your questions.

Best Regards,
Daniel Limson
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Oct 2001
Posts: 318
Hi Vladimir,

Yeah, nowadays planning and scheduling go hand in hand and it is usually being done by one person, the Planning Engineer. The Engineer in charge will sometimes (not all the time though) tell you on how he wants to build the project and the rest is up to the Planning Engineer to put a decent plan together.

Vladimir, on another note, I am quite intrigued with your spider scheduling software, since you have been promoting it for quite sometime now (haha!just kidding). Based on feedbacks, I heard it is really a good software. Is it a friendly user software. Where can I get it and How much does it cost?

Best regards,
We do not distinguish planning and scheduling.
Scheduling is what the software does when project planner created project model that includes activity dependencies, resource availability and assignments, work quantities, production rates, calendars, material supplies, costs, restrictions, etc.

Best Regards,
Daniel Limson
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Oct 2001
Posts: 318

I think this subject was discussed here before as what Mike has mentioned below. Anyway, I would like to share my personal view and experience cause I was practically asked the same question during a job interview.

My view is that Planning is the process of gathering all the information required to start and complete a certain project. It means reading all the tender documents, contract, scope of works, BoQ and drawings and defining the logic, the constraints, the production rates and resources required (including risks) in order to achieved the end date on time. While, scheduling is just simply putting all the activities together and linking it to form a logically link network using a scheduling tool like primavera or any other software.

Best regards,
Hi Shahul

I have to challenge you on that definition.

The planner knows the construction sequence because he has built something like it before and can write down what task relies on what predecessor and therefore what follows.

The scheduler puts the planners sequences into a programme environment.

To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw "He who can Plans - he who can’t schedules"

Best regards

Mike Testro.

Planning = Sets out General and overall view of the project

Scheduling = Plan + Time

Calculation of Early and late dates,floats and longest path are computed in scheduling
Rodel Marasigan
User offline. Last seen 31 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1516
Hi Haresh

We have had this discussion before on PP.

A planner knows how to build things.

A scheduler knows how to work the software.

Some people can do both.

Some people think they can do both but cannot - hence the hundreds of requests on PP for sample programmes.

Best regards

Mike Testro