February 21, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Project Management: Top 10 Tips for Validating your Project Schedule

By Linky van der Merwe

schedule WBS validation

Link to Schedule Validation Template

This article is aimed at existing project managers who use a scheduling tool like MS Project, or similar to plan their projects and then to execute against the plan.

Use the validation template once the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is transferred to a scheduling tool. The purpose is to validate that the project schedule contains all the necessary WBS elements to complete a project successfully.

#1 Deliverables

Are the key deliverables shown at the highest level of the WBS? If you do all of the detail tasks, will you have completely accomplished the summary deliverable?

#2 Scope and breakdown

Does the WBS represent the entire scope of the project and is it set at the appropriate level for the size and type of project?

#3 Milestones

Are there enough milestones identified and checkpoints when moving from one phase to the next?

#4 Governance

Are governance tasks separated out into their own section? Is there sufficient project management time across entire project?

#5 Structure

Does the WBS map to a methodology and does it make sense within that context?

#6 Estimates

Did the person who is most familiar with the task estimate the task itself? Check the accuracy of the task after the work had been performed.

#7 Risk

Did you document any risks for the tasks?

#8 Dependencies

Are the task dependencies implemented with the correct logic? Does the overall sequence of phases/deliverables make sense?

#9 Resources

Have all the resources been identified in the resource sheet? Is there any duplication of resources?  Are all resources named completely and consistently using a naming convention?

#10 Tasks, assignments, durations

Are there any assignments on summary tasks?  Does each detail task have at least one human resource assigned?

Final validation

It is always a good practice to have your schedule reviewed by an independent party or a senior architect not part of the planning team.

Please click here for the validation template that supports the schedule validation steps.