In a large scale project, the project can run to tens of thousands activities. It is a mammoth task to develop and maintain such a programme. Enterprise version of scheduling software such as Primavera and MS Project enables super users such as planners to work on the schedule. At any point in time, only one super user can maintain exclusive mode and update the Programme while the other users can only be in “view only” mode. This is not good news as it restricts to one user to work on the schedule at any one point in time.
A better way is to break the schedules into many sub-projects schedules. A Master Schedule is created and linked to multiple sub-project schedules. This way each sub-project schedule can be developed on its own and then integrated with other sub-project schedules through the external links as shown below.
A problem with the above programme architecture is there are multiple external links and tracing and trouble shooting the programmes logic are very difficult and tedious.
Instead a better form of developing and maintaining a large schedule for a large scale project is what I can the “Hub and Spoke” architecture.
The Master Schedule shall provide an outline the overall schedule and high level schedule. The detail of each sub-project shall be developed in their respective sub-project programmes by the respective sub-project planners.
The Master Schedule being a high-level schedule, shall include only the various the interface dates and hammock activities, which link to the various sub-projects.The only programme logics in the Master Schedule is the logic links between the sub-projects/packages.
The sub-programme logic will reside in each sub-projects. The respective planners for each sub-project owns and update their respective sub-project programmes. The dependencies between sub-programmes are done through links to the Master Schedule and not directly between the sub-programmes. In a way, the Master Schedule acts as a middle man between the sub-programmes.
The beauty of this approach is that any change in dependencies between sub-projects are all maintained in the Master Schedule and thus makes the tracing and changes of logics between sub-programmes easier to manage. The planners are free to make changes to their respective sub-programmes without affecting other sub-programmes and work on their programmes concurrently.