What Goes to Vegas Stays in Vegas

PPicture a poor, lonely network wedding diagram sitting on a bedside table in Vegas…

I naively thought that I would have time to work on applying the schedule to my network diagram while I was in Vegas this past weekend. So I spent a bunch of time printing it out, cutting it down, and taping it together last week so I would have a portable version I could write on. Justin and I both decided that the plane to Vegas was no place to be thinking about our wedding. Once we got to our hotel room I took it out of my purse, put it on the bedside table, and promptly forgot about it. Big surprise!

Now that I am back in the real world I have had an opportunity to print out my network diagram again and apply the schedule. It didn’t take me long to realize that this is one part of the project management process I will need to stray from a bit. In project management there are very structured techniques for building a project schedule. So far I have followed everything for the most part; work breakdown structures, estimating, network diagrams. Those were all necessary pieces of the scheduling puzzle.

Now, according to project management practices, I am supposed to take the estimated effort and network diagram that I calculated previously, work forward to figure out the critical path, backwards to figure out the float, and calculate early and late finishes and starts. That’s a lot of work, I’m sure it’s worth in most circumstances, but not mine.

The difference between planning a wedding yourself and planning a project as a project manager is that with planning a wedding the majority of the tasks can be completed simultaneously and don’t rely on the task before it to be able to begin. Additionally, Even if a task relies on a predecessor task, it may not need to be started right after the predecessor task is completed. So, I have decided to be less structured with applying the calendar to my network diagram.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Printed out my network diagram
  2. Wrote the weighted average (completed in Turkey Trotting and Estimating) above each task in one color
  3. Wrote the completed by date underneath each task in another color (I used theknot.com’s wedding checklist as a guideline)
  4. Created an account at dooster.net and entered all my tasks and made sure to add the weighted average in the time and cost section (Dooster automatically syncs to your Google calendar so it makes it easy to get reminders for due dates)

Now I know exactly when I need to have each task completed and how long it will take me. Plus I have it nicely displayed in my Google calendar (which I can share with Justin so he gets reminders too). I still need to give tasks that are due on the same day priorities so I know what order to start things in but I think I am in pretty good shape.

And for my lonely network diagram that I forgot on the bedside table: I can only hope that it was found by a bride to be who was in Vegas for her bachelorette party.

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