Schedule Duration is basically an amount of time which a schedule takes from its beginning till its end, but in details this conception can be considered in several ways:
- Timeline – a time which a project takes, expressed as a chronological order of tasks, with their durations, visualized along a timescale (on time grid). This is a time map specifying a project’s schedule and explaining its duration in terms of its content. With a help of timeline it is possible to see what tasks are running in parallel and how they are related in terms of completion;
- Sum of all working time units – estimated durations of all particular tasks and jobs included into a project get classified (let’s say by a type of tasks) and summarized. This can be done for needs of calculating HR costs (when salaries are paid per work hours) and costs incurred by utilizing the equipment;
- Useful time versus idle time – a project schedule gets analyzed and cleared from non-productive time units covered by holidays, weekends, etc. It is a way to define inner reserves of time which can be engaged in a case of schedule slippage;
Schedule duration can be minimized with a help of different schedule compression methods: for example via adding more resources to tasks, rearranging more tasks to be running in parallel, and increasing number of working hours for staff by canceling holidays, weekends, etc.