Plan Schedule Management Process – How To Plan The Project Schedule?

Plan schedule management process is about planning of how the other processes of time management knowledge area are going to be performed.

Whenever you mention about the project plan, lot of people visualize that they are asking about schedule management plan. However schedule management plan is not as same as project management plan. Recall that project management plan is an output of plan integration management process in the integration management knowledge area. And schedule management plan is just one subsidiary plan to the project management plan.

To relate the subject, many of us use tools such as Microsoft project or open project to plan project schedule.

Plan schedule management process is just as same as any planning processes in the other knowledge areas.

Just like any other planning processes in other knowledge areas, the plan schedule management process also uses the other subsidiary project management plans available along with organizational process assets and cultural aspects of the organization to build the primary output of this process, which is schedule management plan.

The schedule management plan, which is the only output of the plan schedule management process will describe about how to

  • Approach to define the activities in the project
  • How to sequence the activities
  • Considerations for estimate activity resources and their corresponding duration
  • How to develop and control the schedule

Plan Schedule Management process ITTOs

Plan Schedule Management Process

As we mentioned earlier, schedule management plan provides the planning of how the rest of the schedule management processes are going to be performed.

Below are the ITTO s for plan schedule management process.

InputsTools & TechniquesOutputs
  • Project management plan
  • Project Charter
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets
  • Expert judgment
  • Meetings
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Schedule Management Plan

 

Inputs

Project management plan

Project management plan is an input to all the planning processes. This mean that other subsidiary plans may be used in development of the plan for a specific knowledge area. In this case it is schedule management subsidiary plan. Although all the subsidiary plans will be of use, generally one of the most useful input for the plan schedule management process is the scope baseline which will provide valuable information about the scope of the project.

Project Charter

We have seen that project charter is one of the primary formal document for the project manager to start understanding about the project. Project chart primarily contains

  • Objectives and purpose of the project
  • Project high level description of the project
  • High level description about the deliverables
  • Important milestones in the project
  • Project constraints, especially to our context, if there are any time constraints in the project
  • High level assumptions pertaining to the project

So project charter is the starting point for the project manager to understand the project objectives, scope, milestones and any time constraints to be useful in the plan schedule management process.

Enterprise environmental factors

Enterprise environmental factors are common inputs to many project management processes. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on enterprise environmental factors.

In this context, primarily the enterprise environmental factors include

  • Organization policies about the work timings
  • Procedures on how to procure and get access to resources
  • Tools to use, to plan schedule management process
  • Work authorization system

Organizational process assets

Organizational process assets are detailed as part of common ITTOs blog post. Please read through the blog post on common PMP ITTOs for more details on organizational process assets.

  • Templates to be used for the plan schedule management process
  • Reference to historical schedule management plans of similar projects
  • Risks assessments of related to schedule management context
  • Other information from historical projects on when to re baseline the schedule management plan
  • Any other lessons learned from historical projects

Tools & Techniques

Expert Judgment

This is about taking experts opinion to plan schedule management  process in the project. Expert judgement is a common ITTO to most of the project management processes. Also refer to common ITTO s for detailed explanation about expert judgment.

Meetings

Eventually meetings are essential to discuss and agree on the schedule management plan. Meeting is also one of the common ITTOs. Refer to common ITTO s for detailed explanation about expert judgment.

Analytical Techniques

Indeed analytical techniques may be of use to analyze what methods to use for planning the schedule, what schedule planning tool to use, what schedule compression techniques to be applied, etc.. in the project while performing the plan schedule management process.

Outputs

Schedule Management Plan

Eventually schedule management plan is the only output of the plan schedule management process.

This usually contains the following information, but not limited to.

  • Model for the Schedule
    • Tool to use to plan schedule management process
    • How to create the schedule
    • Where to store
    • Frequency to update and distribute the schedule plan
    • Criteria to update the schedule plan
  • Accuracy Levels – As the project progress, more and more requirements will be clear and hence the accuracy levels will also increase.
  • Measuring Units – whether to measure in calendar days, or business days
  • What format and level(detail) of estimation to use – Considering the input as work packages from scope baseline, what level of detail the estimation should be done, based on the complexity and the need in the project.
  • Performance update – When to update the project schedule performance information such as % completion of activities or work packages.
  • Format of project schedule performance reports – Which format to use for the report? And What is frequency of the report to distribute to relevant stakeholders about project schedule performance.

Conclusion

To conclude with we have seen how to plan schedule management process. Then, we traversed through different ITTOs used in plan schedule management process.

Finally we have concluded with the one and only output of plan schedule management process. That is the schedule management process.

The next process in time management knowledge area is Define Activities process, which would use the scope base line from the scope management knowledge area and the schedule management plan to unfold the activities and milestones in the project

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