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Project Time Management

Project Time/Schedule Management

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This chapter covers key concepts related to Project Time Management.

  1. The knowledge area of Project Time Management consists of the following processes -

    Time Management Processes

    Process Project Phase Key Deliverables
    Plan Schedule Management Planning
    Define Activities Planning Activity List, Milestone list
    Sequence Activities Planning Project Schedule network diagrams
    Estimate Activity Resources Planning Activity resource requirements,
    Resource breakdown structure
    Estimate Activity Durations Planning Activity duration estimates
    Develop Schedule Planning Project Schedule
    Control Schedule Monitoring and Controlling Work Performance measurements,
    Change Requests

  2. The Define Activities process has the following Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs -

    Define Activities Process

    Inputs Tools and Techniques Outputs
    Scope baseline Decomposition Activity list
    Enterprise environmental factors Rolling wave planning Activity attributes
    Organizational process assets Templates Milestone list
    Expert judgment

  3. The Sequence Activities process has the following Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs -

    Sequence Activities Process

    Inputs Tools and Techniques Outputs
    Project scope statement Precedence diagram method (PDM) or AON Project schedule network diagrams
    Activity List Applying leads and lags Project document updates
    Activity attributes Schedule Network Templates
    Milestone list Dependency determination
    Organizational process assets

  4. The Estimate Activity Resources process has the following Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs -

    Estimate Activity Resources Process

    Inputs Tools and Techniques Outputs
    Activity List Expert judgment Activity resource requirements
    Activity attributes Alternative analysis Resource breakdown structure
    Resource calendars Published estimating data Project document updates
    Enterprise environmental factors Bottom-up estimating
    Organizational process assets Project Management software

  5. The Estimate Activity Durations process has the following Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs -

    Estimate Activity Durations Process

    Inputs Tools and Techniques Outputs
    Activity list Expert judgment Activity duration estimates
    Activity attributes Analogous estimating Project document updates
    Activity resource requirements Parametric estimating
    Resource calendars Three-point estimates
    Project scope statement Reserve analysis
    Enterprise environmental factors
    Organizational process assets

  6. The Develop Schedule process has the following Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs-

    Develop Schedule Process

    Inputs Tools and Techniques Outputs
    Organizational process assets Schedule network analysis Project Schedule
    Project scope statement Critical path method Schedule baseline
    Activity List Schedule Compression Schedule data
    Activity attributes What-if scenario analysis Project document updates
    Project Schedule Network diagram Resource levelling
    Activity Resource requirements Critical chain method
    Resource Calendars Scheduling tool
    Activity duration estimates Applying calendars
    Project Management Plan -
    Risk Register
    Adjusting Leads and Lags
    Enterprise environmental factors

  7. The Control Schedule process has the following Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs -

    Control Schedule Process

    Inputs Tools and Techniques Outputs
    Project management plan Performance reviews Work performance measurements
    Project schedule Variance analysis Organizational process assets updates
    Work performance information Project management software Change requests
    Organizational process assets Resource leveling Project management plan updates
    What-if scenario analysis Project document updates
    Adjusting leads and lags
    Schedule compression
    Scheduling tool

  8. Bar charts (or Gantt charts) are used to display tasks and their dates in a graphical fashion. They are used to display information of the type task 1 is scheduled from date A to date B. Typically the date range is displayed in the X-axis and the tasks on the Y-axis. Bar charts do not show task dependencies. They are generally used to track progress and show to the team.
  9. Milestone charts are similar to bar charts but display only major events. They display major milestones (for example bridge design completed). They are used to report status to Management.
  10. Network diagrams are used to display activities and their dependencies. Network diagrams can be used to perform critical path analysis. Network diagrams can also be used to perform crashing and fast tracking of the project.
    There are two type of network diagrams -
    • Activities on Node (or Precedence)
    • Activities on Arrow (or AOA)
    Precedence is most commonly used. AON and AOA cannot have loops or conditional relationships.
  11. An activity in a network diagram is displayed as shown below.
    Activity name
    Activity Number Estimate

    As an example -

    Documentation
    2 5 days
    In the above example Documentation is activity number 2 and is estimated to last 5 days.

  12. Precedence (or Activity on Node) diagrams can be used to display four type of relationship between activities. These are
    • Finish-To-Start
    • Start-To-Start
    • Start-To-Finish
    • Finish-To-Finish

    Finish-to-start relationship means the dependent activity cannot start until the first activity is finished. This is the most common way to represent relationships between activities.

  13. Activity on Array (AOA) network diagrams have the following characteristics.
    • AOA only uses Finish-To-Start relationship between tasks.
    • PERT and CPM can only be used with AOA.
    • Dummy events are shown with dotted lines. They do not take any time. They show dependencies between tasks.
  14. Longest path through the network diagram is called the critical path. The activities on the critical paths are called critical activities.
  15. Lags are inserted waiting times in between tasks. For example Task B cannot start until three days after task A completes.
  16. Slack or Float is the amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying the project. Tasks on the critical path have zero float.
  17. Critical Path Method (CPM) has the following characteristics.
    • It uses one time estimate per activity
    • It can be drawn only using AOA diagrams
    • It can have dummy events
  18. Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) has the following characteristics.
    • It uses three estimates per activity - optimistic, pessimistic and most likely
    • It can be drawn only using AOA diagrams
    • It can have dummy events
  19. PERT utilizes more information than CPM as it considers the "Pessimistic" and "Optimistic" values in addition to the "Most Likely" value in its calculations. The following are formulae used by PERT -
     Mean = (P + 4M + O)/6
     Standard Deviation = (P-O)/6
     Variance = ((P-O)/6)2

    Here P is the pessimistic estimate, O is the optimistic estimate and M is the most likely estimate.
  20. GERT is another type of network diagram. It can support looping.
  21. If a project has more than one critical paths then the risk to the project increases.
  22. Resource levelling refers to keeping the resources same across the duration of the project.
Questions on Project Time Management are available in Schedule Questions.


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