What is a Master Schedule? Project Management and Construction Planning
A master schedule is a summary level schedule which highlights the principal activities and their estimated duration,
This type of schedule helps in early communication among stakeholders in particular senior management. The schedule is also useful for team brainstorming during the initial phases of the project to work out logistics.
Master schedule vs Milestone schedule
A milestone is a significant event in the project usually marked by the completion of a major deliverable.
A milestone schedule is used for reporting status reports to top-level management and external stakeholders.
The milestone schedule helps the project team leader review and identify all of the significant and major project related milestones that may come during the course of a project.
In the process of coordinating and keeping track of all of the components of a project, the project management team, and specifically the project management team leaders, devise a number of individual schedules, each of which maintains track of a specific component of an element of the project on a smaller, more specific scale.
However, keeping track of where things rest in the big picture of the project may be an arduous process, particularly in light of the number of individual schedules that exist for the various components mentioned above.
As a result, it is important - if not essential - for the project team leader to compile a thorough and complete master schedule for the project.
This master schedule represents a summary-level project schedule the purpose of which is to identify all of the major deliverables for the project as well as all individual work breakdown structure components.
Also identified typically are all unique schedule milestones.
To learn more about how this master schedule may be used to breakdown the project into manageable chunk and assigned to different teams and workers, click here to read our article on Work Breakdown Structure.
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