Project Scheduling Rules

This eBook is a collection of 19 essential rules of project scheduling which I find important and useful. These rules are based on the PMI and the DoD standards and codes.

I’ve explained the reasons behind each one, and the way you can apply them in the real world.

Table of Contents

  • Rule 01: Scheduling Methodology Should Be Documented and Approved
  • Rule 02: The Schedule Should Have a Complete Scope
  • Rule 03: Level-of-Efforts Should not Be Critical and Should not Have Variance
  • Rule 04: Activities Should Have Unique Names
  • Rule 05: Activity Names Should Have a Verb
  • Rule 06: Each Activity Should Have at Least One Predecessor and One Successor
  • Rule 07: Activities Should not Be Dangling
  • Rule 08: Most Relationships Should Be FS
  • Rule 09: SF Relationships Should Be Avoided as Much as Possible
  • Rule 10: Long Lags Should not Be Used
  • Rule 11: The Number of Lags Should Be the Fewest Possible
  • Rule 12: The Number of Leads Should Be the Fewest Possible
  • Rule 13: Activities Should not Have Negative Floats
  • Rule 14: Activities should not Have Long Floats
  • Rule 15: Activities Should not Be Split
  • Rule 16: Date Constraints Should Be the Fewest Possible
  • Rule 17: Date Constraints Had Better Be Implemented Through Milestones
  • Rule 18: Activities Should not Have Long Durations
  • Rule 19: Duration Units Had Better Be the Same


  • First edition: discontinued
  • Second edition: available in the publisher’s website
  • Third edition: will be available until mid 2016, under Creative Commons license

Note: the book used to be available for free, but the publisher, Book Boon, has switched to a subscription-based model in 2015, and you can have access to this and many other books by paying a small amount now.


If you like, you can subscribe using the following form, to receive the new edition of the book as soon as it’s ready. You will also be informed of other new material that I will release. It would be an email every few months, and you can always unsubscribe :)

39 thoughts on “Project Scheduling Rules

  1. thanks eng nader
    for ur information share it is a good effort and simplified with examples to read thanks and keep the good work

  2. I commend your effort and thanks for adding to my knowledge in this field.

    The book is explicit and clear of undestanding.


  3. Please forward to listed email, as I am unable to download the ebook. I think it will be a beneficial tool. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for putting the effort into this ebook it is concise and very useful.

    I have a suggestion that you add in the some information on utilising product-based planning into the schedule (ie deliverables focus).



    1. Dear David,
      Thanks for your good suggestion.
      It was one of the items I had in my initial list, but later thought that it’s better to limit the topics to time management, and product-based planning is more of a scope management topic [at least in my mind]. That’s why I didn’t cover it here.

      Best Regards,
      – Nader

  5. A must read by all the Planners & Schedulers. This small book has really shaped my planning job
    Nader a thumb up for you.

  6. Hi Nader,
    Thank you for sharing! Excellent and I really admire You for having such kind of achievements! More blessings and keep it up!

  7. Excellent quick no-nonsense introduction to planning and also very useful for reference / brush-up.

    Thanks for sharing. Appreciated.

  8. Hello,
    I’v worked in project controls 20 years and your book is one of the most useful and concise compilation I’ve come across.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. The pity there is no scheduling standard available to apply in project schedules, only these rule good to have it in the schedule. We can’t make any body to apply these in schedule. Could you please let me know what is the upper limit of long lag.


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