How will the project schedule be created and managed?

How will the project schedule be created and managed?

The Project Schedule is a crucial component of the Project Management plan. It records the required start and finish dates for the project's terminal elements and shows their sequencing and relationships. Its purpose is to establish and manage the core element of time throughout the project and is directly linked to the knowledge area of Project Time Management. Once prepared and approved, the Project Schedule is used to monitor and control time during the implementation phase by comparing the actual progress of the project with the relative position in the schedule.

To ensure effective Project Time Management, the following processes are used:

- Plan Schedule Management

- Define Activities

- Sequence Activities

- Estimate Activity Resources

- Estimate Activity Durations

- Develop Schedule

- Control Schedule

These processes are designed to organize and prepare for the project work and then carry out the work itself while controlling the schedule.

Plan Schedule Management

Before creating the Project Schedule, it is crucial to establish the policies, procedures, and documentation that will be used to plan, develop, manage, execute, and control the schedule throughout the project.

The inputs required for this process include the Project Management Plan, Project Charter, Enterprise Environmental Factors, and Organisational Process Assets.

To achieve this, the following tools and techniques will be utilized: Expert Judgement, Analytical Techniques, and Meetings.

Once completed, the output will be the Schedule Management Plan.

Define Activities

The Define Activities step is all about pinpointing the exact schedule activities required to create the different project deliverables.

Here are the inputs for this step:

- Schedule Management Plan

- Scope Baseline

- Enterprise Environmental Factors

- Organisational Process Assets

To get the job done, we use these tools and techniques:

- Decomposition

- Rolling Wave Planning

- Expert Judgement

And finally, the outputs are:

- Activity List

- Activity Attributes

- Milestone List

Sequence Activities

The Sequence Activities step requires the identification and documentation of dependencies between schedule activities. This process involves the following inputs: Schedule Management Plan, Activity List, Activity Attributes, Milestone List, Project Scope Statement, Enterprise Environmental Factors, and Organisational Process Assets. The tools and techniques used are Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM) or Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM), Dependency Determination, and Leads and Lags. The outputs of this step are Project Schedule Network Diagrams, Project Documents, and Updates.

Code Activity: Dependencies:
Start Commencement of closure -
A Develop closure plan with keepers NA
B Shut down exhibit to public ?
C Prepare animals for transport ?
D Re-deploy keepers ?
E Transport animals ?
F Vacate enclosure ?
G Engage clean-up contractor ?
H Handover enclosure ?
Finish Giraffe enclosure closed -

When planning a project, it is important to recognize the relationships between different tasks in order to determine the order in which they should be completed. For instance, before painting a wall, it is necessary to first line the wall with plasterboard. There are four different types of dependencies to consider:

1. Finish-to-start: The next task cannot begin until the previous task is completed.

2. Finish-to-finish: The completion of the next task is dependent on the completion of the previous task.

3. Start-to-start: The start of the next task is dependent on the start of the previous task.

4. Start-to-finish: The completion of the next task is dependent on the start of the previous task.

Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM)

Activity dependencies can be graphically represented using this method:

What stops C from happening before D?

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)

An alternative method for representing activity dependencies:

Estimate Activity Resources

During the Estimate Activity Resources step, it's necessary to estimate the types and amounts of resources needed for each scheduled activity.

Inputs include the Schedule Management Plan, Activity List, Activity Attributes, Resource Calendars, Risk Register, Activity Cost Estimates, Enterprise Environmental Factors, and Organisational Process Assets.

Tools and techniques that may be used are Expert Judgement, Alternative Analysis, Published Estimating Data, Bottom-Up Estimating, and Project Management Software.

Outputs include the Activity Resource Requirements, Resource Breakdown Structure, and Project Document Updates.

The following elements must be identified and recorded for each activity:

1. Required resources (such as people, equipment, or materials)

2. Amounts of resources needed

3. Availability of resources for each activity (including any constraints)

Estimate Activity Durations

During the Estimate Activity Durations stage, the number of work periods required to complete each individual schedule activity is estimated.

The following inputs are required: Schedule Management Plan, Activity List, Activity Attributes, Activity Resource Requirements, Resource Calendars, Project Scope Statement, Risk Register, Resource Breakdown Structure, Enterprise Environmental Factors, and Organisational Process Assets.

Tools and techniques used include Expert Judgement, Analogous Estimating (for similar projects), Parametric Estimating (qty of work x productivity rate), Three-point Estimating (weighted average), Group Decision-Making Techniques, and Reserve Analysis.

Outputs include Activity Duration Estimates and updates to Project Documents.

After selecting an appropriate unit of time (days or hours), the duration for each resource for each activity is allocated, taking into account periods when work is allowed (e.g. EPA noise restrictions), different types of calendars (e.g. normal business hours or multiple shifts), state or national public holidays, and team member leave (vacations).

Estimating Time by Weighted Average
The following formula can be used to determine duration:

  • To: The optimistic (shortest) time within which only 1% of similar projects are completed
  • Tm: The most probable time (intuitive)
  • Tp: The pessimistic (longest) time within which 99% of similar projects are completed
  • Te: The calculated time estimate

Table for recording Estimating Time by Weighted Average

Code Activity Optimistic Probable Pessimistic Weighted Average
Start Commencement of closure - - - -
A Develop closure plan with keepers 1 2 3 2.0
B Shut down exhibit to public ? ? ? -
C Prepare animals for transport ? ? ? -
D Re-deploy keepers ? ? ? -
E Transport animals ? ? ? -
F Vacate enclosure ? ? ? -
G Engage clean-up contractor ? ? ? -
H Handover enclosure ? ? ? -

Relationships between Estimated Times:

Develop Schedule

To Develop Schedule, the first step is to analyze activity sequences, durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create a project schedule. This process requires multiple inputs, including Schedule Management Plan, Activity List, Activity Attributes, Project Schedule Network Diagrams, Activity Resource Requirements, Resource Calendars, Activity Duration Estimates, Project Scope Statement, Risk Register, Project Staff Assignments, Resource Breakdown Structure, Enterprise Environmental Factors, and Organizational Process Assets.

To accomplish this, several tools and techniques are used, including Schedule Network Analysis, Critical Path Method, Critical Chain Method, Resource Optimization Techniques, Modeling Techniques, Leads and Lags, Schedule Compression, and Scheduling Tool.

As a result, the outputs produced by this process include Schedule Baseline, Project Schedule, Schedule Data, Project Calendars, Project Management Plan, and Updates, including Project Documents Updates.

Example of an MS Project Gantt Chart:

Scheduling software is a useful tool for performing calculations such as early or late start, early or late finish, float, critical path, resource loading, and labour budget extrapolations. It also allows you to try various scenarios to determine the impact of changes and sort and extract data to produce a variety of reports. Additionally, it can perform some of the calculations to level your overloaded resources or meet a mandated target date and portray actuals compared to the plan from data you have entered. However, scheduling software cannot be used to define project objectives, develop the work breakdown structure, determine the logical dependencies of tasks, choose who should be working on which tasks, fix all the problems of resource overloading, attempt to meet a mandated target date by compressing the critical path, or design the correct reports for different people on your distribution list.

Creating a Typical Gantt Chart

Step 1: Set up new project file

Step 2: Enter tasks from WBS (scope)

Step 3: Enter durations (time estimates)

Step 4: Enter predecessors (sequencing)

Step 5: Enter resources (HR Management)

Step 6: Enter estimated costs

Step 7: Save baseline

Comments