Develop Schedule

This article contains most of the important information you need to know about Develop Schedule process in order to answer questions related to this topic in the PMP Exam, I recommend you review this type of articles 1 week before your exam date, all information mentioned are based on PMBOK Guide 6th edition and PMP Exam Prep 9th edition for Rita Maclhy’s, ITTO refers to Inputs, Tools & Techniques and outputs.

This process is a part of Planning Process group and Time Management Knowledge Area with the following ITTO’s

Inputs:

  1. Project Management Plan (Schedule management plan & Scope Baseline )
  2. Project Documents ( Activity resources requirements , Activity List , Activity Attributes , Project Schedule network diagrams , Activity Duration estimates , Resources breakdown structure , Risk Register , Scope of statement , Resources Calendar , Project Staff assignments , Resources requirements , lessons learned register )
  3. Agreements
  4. Organization process assets
  5. Enterprise environmental factors

Tools & Techniques:

  1. Schedule Network analysis
  2. Critical Path method
  3. Critical chain method
  4. Data Analysis ( What-if-Scenario , Simulation )
  5. Resource optimization techniques
  6. Modeling techniques
  7. Leads and lags
  8. Schedule compressions
  9. Scheduling tools
  10. Project Management Information System
  11. Agile release planning

 

Outputs:

  1. Schedule Baseline
  2. Project Schedule
  3. Schedule Data
  4. Project calendars
  5. Change Requests
  6. Project Management Plan updates ( Schedule management plan , Cost Baseline )
  7. Project document updates ( Activity Attributes , assumption log , Duration estimates , lessons learned register , resources requirements , risk register )

 

  • One the Network diagram is completed, activity resources and estimates are done , it is the time to put all this data into a schedule tool to create a schedule model .
  • A Project schedule model consists of all project data that will be used to calculate the schedule , such as activities , dependencies , lead and lags …
  • Schedule : Calendar based , approved , and realistic as it relates to all of the other activities and resources that are needed to complete work of project.
  • Schedule Network Analysis :

 

  1. Critical Path Method ( CPP) : Determining the longest path through the network diagram , the earliest and latest an activity can start and the earliest and latest an activity can be completed
  • Critical path: the longest duration path through a network diagram and determines the shortest time it could take to complete a project.
  • Near Critical path: The path is close in duration to critical path, the closer in length the near critical path to the critical path are , the more risk the project has.
  • Float / Slack : three types of float to know for the exam
  1. Total Float, amount of time and an activity can delay without delaying the project end date or an intermediary milestone.
  2. Free Float, Amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the early start of its successor.
  3. Project Float , Amount of time a project can be delayed without delaying the externally imposed project completion date required by the customer.
  • Float is considered as an asset for the project.
  • All activities on the critical path have zero float.
  • Activity float = ( Late Start – Early Start ) Or ( Late Finish – Early Finish)

 

  1. Schedule Compression : The objective is to compress the schedule without changing the scope , usually used when the project have negative float.
  2. Fast Tracking , Allows overlapping of activities or doing activities in parallel , Usually it increases risks and requires more attention to communication.
  3. Crashing, Adding resources in order to shorten activity while maintaining the project scope , always results in increased costs and may increase risk.

 

  1. Modeling , It is used to calculate or model the effect of activity durations changes is Monte Carlo analysis

 

  • Monte Carlo Analysis : Uses a computer software to simulate project outcome , simulation can tell you the probability of completing a project on specific day or for a specific cost , it can give you the project overall risk, It is very useful in dealing with path convergence .

 

  1. Resource Optimization
  2. Resource Leveling, used to produce a resource-limited schedule , leveling lengthens the schedule and increases cost in order to deal with a limited amount of resources, resources availability and other resource constraints .
  3. Resource Smoothing, a modified form or resource leveling where resources are leveled only within the limits of the float of their activities so the completion dates activities are not delayed.

 

  1. Critical Chain method (CCM)

Another way to develop a bought into approved, realistic and formal schedule, it takes into account both activities and resources dependencies. This method uses a network diagram and critical path to develop a schedule by assigning each activity to occur as late as possible to still meet the end date , you add resource dependencies to the schedule , and then calculate the critical chain , starting at the end date , you build buffers for resource limitations and risks into the chain at critical milestones.

  • Note that buffers are not like pad , they are planned and inserted to minimize know risks.
  • Project Schedule , It is the result of all planning processes in schedule management ,it will be iterated in response to risk management and other parts of management until an acceptable and realistic schedule can be ageed upon .
  • Buffer : determined by assessing the amount of uncertainties .
  • Parkinson’s Low : Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion
  • Hammock Activities : Higher level summary activities between milestones.
  • Project Calendars should identify the working days.
  • Project schedule can be shown in three forms depending on the needs of the project ,
  1. Network Diagram, Shows only dependencies.
  2. Milestone Chart, Only show major events, milestones have zero duration, those durations are good tools for reporting to management and to customer.
  3. Bar charts, they are week planning tools, but they are effective for progress reporting and control.
  • Agile release planning provides a high-level summery timeline of the release schedule based on the project roadmap and the product vision for the products evolution , it determines the number of iterations or sprints in the release .
  • Schedule Baseline, Version of a schedule model used to manage the project and that the project team’s performance is measured against, the difference between the schedule baseline and the end date is called project float .


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