Time management knowledge area is one of the difficult knowledge areas to many PMP aspirants while preparing for the PMP exam.
Time management knowledge processes takes the project scope as input to decompose the project scope into smaller activities, sequence the activities, estimate the resources & duration for each activity, develop the schedule and finally monitor and control the schedule to track the variations.
So the time management knowledge area will start with scope baseline. Hence this processes should start after the scope baseline is ready.
However the planning part is done much earlier, when you define all other subsidiary plans for the other knowledge areas.
If you observe time management knowledge area is where you start the formulas and mathematical calculations. Hence for many PMP aspirants, time management knowledge area seems to be the complex one while preparing for the PMP exam.
In the time management knowledge area, we have seen lot of tools and techniques that are essential for every project manager to understand and implement in their projects. Following are some of the most common and important tools and techniques that we learned while developing the schedule in time management knowledge area.
- Critical Path Method (CPM)
- Critical Chain Method (CCM)
- Schedule Compression Techniques
- Fast Tracking
- The Resource Optimization Techniques
- Resource Leveling
- Resource Smoothing
- Leads and Lags
There are other tools and techniques as well. However the above mentioned are the most popular and more important to understand for implementation as well as for the exam.
Time Management Processes
Eventually time management knowledge area processes (except planning) start with the scope baseline. Scope baseline comprise of scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS) and WBS dictionary.
Following are the time management knowledge area processes.
|#Serial No||Process||Process Group|
|1||Plan Schedule Management||Planning|
|4||Estimate Activity Resources||Planning|
|5||Estimate Activity Durations||Planning|
|7||Control Schedule||Monitoring and Controlling|
So let us look at these processes in detail one after the other.
Plan Schedule Management
Plan schedule management is done when you prepare plans for other knowledge areas. It defines how other time management knowledge processes are going to perform. It define the approach and methods of all other time management knowledge area processes.
The primary input for the plan schedule management process are project charter and other subsidiary plans and the one and only output of this process is the schedule management plan.
Please read through the blog post on plan schedule management process for more details.
Define activities process starts with the scope baseline. And scope baseline is the primary output of this process. Scope baseline contains the scope statement, WBS, WBS dictionary.
Define activities process will decompose the project scope into smaller activities so as to sequence and estimate each activity for developing the schedule.
So one of most important technique used in define activities process is decomposition.
The primary output of this process is the activity list and activity attributes. Activity list comprise of complete list of activities in the project. On the other hand activity attributes tells more information about the activities such as predecessor, successor of the activity, any constraints, etc.
Please read through the blog post on how to perform define activities process for more information.
Sequence activities process is all about determining the order of execution of the activities. Meaning which activity needs to perform when.
So the primary input to sequence activities process is the activity list and activity attributes which are the primary output from the define activities process.
The primary tools used in this process are
- Creating a network diagram using precedence diagramming method or activity on arrow
- Determining the dependencies between the activities
- Finally analyzing the leads and lags to use between the activities.
The primary output of sequence activities process is the project schedule network diagram. Eventually network diagram represent the
- Sequence of the activities
- Dependencies between the activities
- Finding the activities on critical path using critical path method(CPM).
Please read through the blog post on how to perform sequence activities process for more information.
Estimate Activity Resources
In short estimate activity resources process determines the resource requirements for every activity. This process determines
- What resources required for each activity?
- How many such resources required for the activity?
- How long the resources required for the activity?
The primary input for estimate activity resources process is the activity list, activity attributes and the resource calendars which will tell about resource availability across the project or sometimes across the enterprise.
Alternative analysis, published estimating data and bottom-up estimating are the primary tools and techniques used in this process.
This process outputs the resource requirements for each activity in the project.
Please read through the blog post on how to perform estimate activity resources process for more information.
Estimate Activity Durations
Estimate activity duration process is similar to estimate activity resources process in the way that it estimates the duration for each activity.
The estimate activity duration process used the activity resource requirements as the primary input to estimate the activity durations across the project.
There is a significant difference between the effort and duration. Duration is about how long the activity takes considering several parameters such as how many resources are going to work for the activity, skill level of resource, etc.…
On the other hand, effort is the total amount of hours spend on activity that may be shared by multiple resources.
In this process, we are estimating the activity durations.
The primary tools and techniques used in this process are the analogous, parametric and three point estimating techniques and also reserve analysis to introduce buffers or contingencies where applicable.
The primary output of this process is activity duration estimates.
Please read through the blog post on how to perform estimate activity durations process for more information.
Develop schedule process is the most complicated process and is a very daunting task for every project when creating the schedule.
This process has the maximum number of ITTOs across all the 47 PMP processes in PMP process framework.
Moreover, develop schedule process uses most of the ITTOs that we have seen so far in other processes of time management knowledge area.
The tools and techniques for developing schedule are very handy for the project manager in developing the schedule. The most common techniques are critical path method (CPM), critical chain method, schedule compression techniques, resource optimization techniques, leads and lags to name a few. Please read thorough the blog post on tools and techniques for developing schedule for more details.
The primary outputs of develop schedule process is the schedule baseline, project schedule, network diagram, milestone charts, schedule data and project calendars.
Please read through the blog post on how to perform develop schedule process for more information.
Eventually control schedule process focuses on comparing the actual project performance against the schedule to understand if there are any variances to trigger corrective actions.
Indeed work performance data is the key input to this process.
Schedule compression techniques, resource optimization techniques, leads and lags, project management software and the scheduling tools are the most common tools and techniques in the process of controlling the schedule.
The primary output of this process would be the change requests, work performance information to name a few.
Please read through the blog post on how to perform control schedule process for more information.
To conclude with this is a summary post of all the time management knowledge area process and the most important tools and techniques used in the time management knowledge area.
We have seen each of the processes in time management knowledge area in a high level in this post.
There are other blog posts created which are also important to read as part of the time management knowledge area. They are
- Critical Path Method (CPM)
- Float in Project Management and how to find the float?
- How to calculate float, free float, total float using Early Start, Early finish, Late start and Late finish?
- An end to end example of finding critical path and activity floats in a project
In case if you are not familiar with these concepts, please read through the above blog posts.