Project Schedule Development – How To Develop Project Schedule?

Develop project schedule is about creating the schedule for the whole project. Develop schedule process uses all the outputs from time management knowledge area.

Many aspirants confuse easily thinking that project schedule is as same as the project management plan. However project schedule is about only developing the timelines for all parts of the project. On the other hand project management plan is a level higher than the subsidiary plans. In fact the project management plan comprise of all the subsidiary plans of the project.

Many of us might have developed the schedule using the Microsoft project or open project tool in our career. It is really a very complex task in the project and takes good amount of time and effort.

The following are the processes that we have already seen as part of time management knowledge area. Just in case if you have not familiar with any of the process, please read through the below blog posts before reading this blog post on develop schedule process.

Eventually develop schedule process uses the outputs from all the above mentioned time management processes. There is one more process left in the time management knowledge area, that is control schedule. Control schedule process is about monitoring the schedule with actuals for any variations, which will be covered next blog post.

When to perform Develop Project Schedule process?

As the develop schedule process uses the outputs of all the above listed time management processes, this process is performed after all the above listed processes.Develop Project Schedule process

Develop Project Schedule Process ITTO s

As mentioned earlier this process is very complex compared to the other processes across 47 processes in the PMP process framework.

It uses the all the outputs that we have seen from the above processes to develop the project schedule.

The following are the ITTO s for the develop schedule process.

Inputs Tools & Techniques Outputs
  • 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
  • Organizational Process Assets
  • Schedule Network Analysis
  • Critical Path Method (CPM)
  • Critical Chain Method (CCM)
  • Resource Optimization Techniques
  • Modelling Techniques
  • Leads And Lags
  • Schedule Compression Techniques
  • Scheduling Tool
  • Schedule Baseline
  • Project Schedule
  • Milestone Charts
  • Project Network Diagram
  • Schedule Data
  • Project Calendars
  • Updates to Project Management Plan
  • Updates to Project Document

Inputs

Schedule management plan

Schedule management plan will describe the approach of how the other processes of time management knowledge should perform.

In this case schedule management plan will provide methods and approach of how to determine and develop project schedule .

Activity List

Activity list is the complete list of activities in the project. You need to consider every activity which is part of the project to roll up the schedule for the entire project.

Activity Attributes

Activity attributes are additional information about the activity. So whenever you use activity, you would also need to activity attributes to understand more about the activity. For example activity attributes can be the predecessor, successor, assumptions and any constraints on that activity, etc.

Project Schedule Network Diagrams

Remember that project schedule network diagrams are created during sequence activities process. These are primary input to develop project schedule process. Project schedule network diagram is to mainly show the sequence of activities, dependencies between the activities and to find critical path of the project. Read through the blog post on how to create the network diagram for the project.

Activity Resource Requirements

Activity resource requirements are an output of the estimate activity resources process. And this is one of the primary inputs to the develop schedule process.

Resource Calendars

We have seen resource calendars are handy to understand the resource availability as well as to tag any resources for the activities in advance. So resource calendars show the usage of resources in the current project and other projects of the enterprise.

Activity Duration Estimates

This is the primary output of the process estimate activity durations process. This describe the duration required to complete each activity in the project.

Project Scope Statement

Project scope statement may have important assumptions and constraints which may impact the project schedule. Hence project scope statement is also required as an input to develop schedule process.

Risk Register

Risk register contains all the risks that are identified in the project to that point in time.  For every estimating process, eventually there would be lot of uncertainties which will impact the estimates or schedule. Hence risk register needs to consider while developing schedule.

Project Staff Assignments

Project staff assignments tells that which resources are assigned for which activities. The project schedule is dependent heavily on the resource availability. Hence they should be considered as input during develop schedule process.

Resource Breakdown Structure

Resource breakdown structure is hierarchical representation of resources based on the type and category of resources.

Enterprise Environmental Factors

Enterprise environmental factors are part of common ITTO s for many project management processes. Please read the blog post on common ITTO s for more details.

In this context, your organization might have policies and procedures that are useful in developing the schedule. For example working weeks, holidays, number of working hours per day, tool to use for develop schedule process, etc…

Organizational Process Assets

Organizational process assets are a common ITTO s for many project management processes. Please read the blog post on common ITTO s for more details. Project manager can refer to historical project schedules and lessons to know how the schedule was developed and what issues may need to consider while developing schedule.

Tools & Techniques

The following tools and techniques are used in developing the project schedule.

Please read through the blog post on tools and techniques in develop schedule process for more detail information on the tools and techniques used in this process.

Outputs

Schedule Baseline

The schedule baseline is an approved version of the schedule. So the schedule baseline contains the schedule for actual scope as well as for the approved changes till that point. Any change to the baseline has to go through the formal process of perform Integrated change control process we have seen in integration management knowledge area.

Project Schedule

The project schedule show the start date and end date of each activity, milestones and the entire project. Project may have multiple milestones and each milestone may have multiple activities.

For example, many of us might have seen the Microsoft project or Open project with the schedule shown in a row-column format on the left hand pane and the Grantt chart or bar chart will appear on the right hand side pane.

Project schedules are usually shown most commonly in milestone charts and Grantt (or bar) charts.

Milestone Chart

Milestone charts are high level representation significant points in the project. Usually milestone charts are useful to present the information to the senior management or in any context where detailed schedule is not relevant to present.

Bar Charts or Grantt Charts

On the other hand bar charts or Grantt charts are detailed representation of schedule including the project activities, milestones and the overall project schedule.

Below is an example of Grantt chart.

Project Schedule - Grantt Chart - Bar Chart

Project Network Diagram

Eventually project network diagram is a graphical representation of sequence of the activities and their relationships. Also using the network diagrams, you determine the critical path of the project and the activity floats. Please read through the detailed blog post on how to create network diagram and find the float of an activity.

Schedule Data

Schedule data is all the information that we used to develop the project schedule. So, these are the activity list, activity attributes, activity resource requirements, activity durations, constraints, risks, assumptions, etc. So schedule data is the basis for the project schedule .

Project Calendars

Eventually project calendars contains the activity schedules, shifts and working hours, etc…

Updates to Project Management Plan

Project management plan Updates is a common ITTO for many PMP processes. Please read through the blog post on Common ITTO s for more details. During the schedule development, there could be possible changes to the project management plan.

Updates to Project Documents

Project Document Updates is a common ITTO for many PMP processes. Please read through the blog post on Common ITTO s for more details.

In estimating activity durations, you may see updating the activity list, activity attributes to name a few. Eventually updates to activity list and activity attributes will happen with more information about the activity, if any. For example you may need to update the assumptions pertaining to an activity.

Conclusion

To conclude with we have seen a large number of ITTO s exist for develop project schedule process. Although project schedule development seem to be simple, in reality this is very daunting task. Practically speaking though you may have all the outputs, you would revisit these outputs and the schedule in multiple iterations.

Once we develop the project schedule, the next process is to monitor and control the schedule for any variations.

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