Project Time Management
Project time management is of 7 processes. The project time management processes are:
Plan schedule managementDefine activitiesSequence activitiesEstimate activity resourcesEstimate activity durationsDevelop scheduleControl schedule.
Plan Schedule Management
This step is where you establish all the policies, procedures and documentation required for managing your project schedule from your first plan, ongoing development, execution and then controlling the schedule.
The output of doing this planning is to produce a schedule management plan. However, in real life, you probably won’t have a separate plan to manage your schedule. Much of what you work out here will end up in your project management plan and that’s perfectly adequate.
This process identifies and documents what you need to do to produce the project’s deliverables. In other words, it identifies the project tasks. You’ll use the scope statement that you put together during the scope management activities to help you break down the work into individual tasks. The main output of working through this is that you’ll end up with a defined list of project tasks. That’s useful as it’s the main input to the next process.
Using your task list, now you have to put them in the right order. At the end of this process, you’ll have a view of the relationships between project tasks. This process helps you put your project work in the right order so that you can make efficient use of the project’s resources and deliver as quickly as possible.
The PMBOK Guide talks about producing a network diagram as the output of this process, but that’s rarely necessary, and certainly, nothing that you’d have to do by hand. If you want to do network diagramming for some reason, then use your project management software to do it. Ultimately, though, a list of dependencies and potential start and end dates for tasks will be just as good and less time-consuming.
Estimate Activity Resources
When you know what you are going to do, the next step is to work out what resources you need to achieve that. The Estimate Activity Resources process helps with that. In this process, you’ll work out what human resources, equipment, and supplies you need, plus the quantity you need of each
Estimate Activity Durations
This step is where the hard work of calculating how long each task is going to take happens. During this process you’ll work out how long it’s going to take to do each activity, using the resources that you have identified. Don’t forget to take into account resource availability and holidays with your activity durations. Just because a task only takes 8 hours doesn’t mean it will be finished by the morning.
Finally, you can now put together your project schedule. With all the information gathered from the above processes, it should be easy. Developing the schedule is one of the more complicated processes in the PMBOK Guide.
There are 13 inputs (everything above plus risks, scope, and elements relating to the project context). The schedule itself is only one of the outputs, but the others are (in my view) less important.
After all, you’ve gone through all of this to get the schedule which is a critical document for managing your project’s performance. Your schedule doesn’t have to be a Gantt chart.
Finally, the Control Schedule process gives you the tools you need to monitor and update your project schedule, making sure that changes are managed appropriately and that you keep control of the timings of your project. Preparing your project schedule and tracking it afterward are large pieces of work, but it’s worth it to know that you have a schedule that you can be confident about.
Determine activity sequencing on projects
Why do you think schedule issues often cause the most conflicts on projects?
Part of the reason are the different attitudes and work styles that exist towards schedules as stated in the text. Schedules may be viewed differently in other cultures as well and Project managers must be aware of these concerns. Sometimes the original schedule was not realistically thought out and was too aggressive. Time goals should be s.m.a.r.t. along with the rest of the project goals. Also, milestones can be used so that the project has points to assess the progress and help determine where the project is in relation to the schedule goals. Another reason is that time continues to move forward no matter what is being done to manage it. Careful consideration must be exercised to keep this perspective in mind during the time management process. Project contingencies will arise in the development of complex systems and these will need to be addressed. Often though the Project manager has not planned for the unexpected events on some level and may misuse resources to address “Murphy” as Goldratt states. But project managers must be aware that unplanned events will happen at some point and there should be a plan in place to deal with the problems. Also, people tend to build in too much safety time into their task completion estimates, but fail to utilize this allotted time and succumb to student syndrome, which basically means waiting until the last minute to begin the task and rushing through it quickly. This misuse of the available time causes projects to fall behind because too much false safety is consuming the time resource that was never utilized on the project. Finally, scheduling is an imprecise process and involves many people issues which adds to greater uncertainty. PM”s are not sure of all of the variables that may affect the schedule. The scope of the project must be clearly defined and a detailed Work Breakdown Structure must be organized so a realistic work schedule can be assembled.