A schedule is merely the translation of the project plan into individual tasks, identifying durations, responsibilities, start and finish dates and milestones.
It is not unknown for a project management team to want to jump straight in, generate a schedule and then get on with the project as soon as possible.
Project management is the whole aspect of planning, which leads to a realistic schedule, which in turn requires monitoring and control.
In the main, management wish for the end product to be of high quality (performance), cheap (cost) and produced quickly (time).
In practice, it is difficult to achieve all of these at the same time and unrealistic plans and schedules often result.
The cost (C) of a project can be given as a function of the performance (P), time (T) and scope (S), that is.
C= ƒ (P,T,S).
The reduction of time (T) often involves increasing cost (C) (extra labour) or reducing the scope (S).
You may produce a very high quality product (P) at increased cost … but is that what the customer wanted?
Have you over engineered the product?
In general project management might be defined as:
‘Planning, scheduling and control of project activities to obtain a product having the correct performance (quality), within agreed cost and time objectives for a given scope of work, while using resources efficiently and effectively’.
Another might be:
‘It concerns bringing about resources, technology, skills and ideas to achieve a business objective and deliver a business benefit’.