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PROJECT SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT – PMBOK SIXTH EDITION

Project Management Body of Knowledge

Introduction :

There are three highlights from Prject Schedule Management :

  1. The name of the knowledge area changed from Project Time Management to Project Schedule Management
  2. The process “Estimate Activity Resources” has been moved to Project Resource Management.
  3. Critical Chain Scheduling as a technique is reoved
  4. Agile Release planning introduced

All these changes except Critical Chain Scheduling are very appropriate . The new process table looks as below :

FIFTH EDITION PROCESSES

SIXTH EDITION PROCESSES

6.1 Plan Schedule Management

6.1 Plan Schedule Management

6.2 Define Activities

6.2 Define Activities

6.3 Sequence Activities

6.3 Sequence Activities

6.4 Estimate Activity Resources

6.5 Estimate Activity Duration

6.4 Estimate Activity Duration

6.6 Develop Schedule

6.5 Develop Schedule

6.7 Control Schedule

6.6 Control Schedule

Trends and  Emerging Practices in Project Schedule Management

Iterative scheduling with a backlog and On demand scheduling are identified as emerging practices in scheduling

Tailoring considerations

Project schedule development and maintanance should be tailored agains the following considerations :

  • Lifecycle approach
  • Resource availability
  • Project dimensions : How the presence of complexity, uncertainty, novelty, pace etc. affects scheduling
  • Technological support

The following sections briefly explains the changes to the processes

Plan Schedule Management

In addition to Project Charter, the scope management plan are added as additional inputs

Development approach will significantly influence scheduling approach, estimating techniques, tools and how the schedule is maintained and controlled

Under tools and techniques Data analysis is added to incorporate different alternatives of rolling wave plans, duration’s and review mechanisms.

INPUT

T&T

OUTPUT

Project charter

Expert judgment

Schedule management plan

Project management plan
Scope management plan
Development approach

Data analysis

EEF & OPA

Meetings

Define Activities

Overall strcuture remains same. But there are few changes in inputs and tools and techniques

Once the schedule is basleined as part of progressive elaboration, defining activities in the future may reveal new scope that was not envisaged before. This should be handled through formal change control. Hence change request is added to the is process as additional output. When such changes are incorporated the plans and baselines will undergo updates. The same are reflected as additional outputs

INPUT

T&T

OUTPUT

Project management plan
1. Schedule management plan
2. Scope baseline

Expert judgment

Activity list

EEF & OPA

Decomposition

Activity attributes

Rolling wave planning

Milestone list

Meetings

Change requests

Project management plan updates
1. Schedule baseline
2. Cost baseline

Sequence Activities

While establishing dependencies we make lot of assumptions and they need to be discussed further during risk identification and analysis.

So assumptions log is added to inputs and outputs

To stress the importance of integrating dependencies in to the master schedule the name of the technique is changed to dependency determination and integration

INPUT

T&T

OUTPUT

Project management plan
1. Schedule management plan
2. Scope baseline

Precedence diagram
method

Project schedule network diagrams

Project documents
1. Activity attributes
2. Activity list
3. Assumption log
4. Milestone list

Dependency determination and integration

Project documents updates
1. Activity attributes
2. Activity list
3. Assumption log
4. Milestone list

EEF & OPA

Leads and lags

Project management information system

Estimate Activity Duration

The documents used to facilitate Estimate Activity Duration are grouped and expanded.

The following factors are considered while estimating the duration for activities:

  • Law of diminishing returns
  • Number of resources
  • Advance in technology
  • Motivation of staff

Lessons learned register and assumptions log are updated as a result of this process

INPUT

T&T

OUTPUT

Project management plan
1. Schedule management plan
2. Scope baseline

Expert judgment

Duration estimates

Project documents

Analogous estimating

Basis of estimates

EEF & OPA

Parametric estimating

Project documents updates
1. Activity attributes
2. Assumption log
3. Lessons learned register

Three-point estimating

Bottom-up estimating

Data analysis
1. Alternatives analysis
2. Reserve analysis

Decision making

Meetings

Develop Schedule

INPUT

T&T

OUTPUT

Project management plan
1. Schedule management plan
2. Scope baseline

Schedule network analysis

Schedule baseline

Project documents
1. Activity attributes
2. Activity list
3. Assumption log
4. Basis of estimates
5. Duration estimates
6. Lessons learned register
7. Milestone list
8. Project schedule network diagrams
9. Project team assignments
10. Resource calendars
11. Resource requirements
12. Risk register

Critical path method

Project schedule

Agreements

Resource optimization

Schedule data

EEF & OPA

Data analysis
1. What-if scenario analysis
2. Simulation

Project calendars

Leads and lags

Change requests

Schedule compression

Project management plan updates
1. Schedule management plan
2. Cost baseline

Project management information system

Project documents updates
1. Activity attributes
2. Assumption log
3. Duration estimates
4. Lessons learned register
5. Resource requirements
6. Risk register

Agile release planning

This process includes agreement as an additional input since the performing organization should include the contractual milestones and dates in their master schedule. In the same way the contractor/vendors dependencies may be incorporate in the schedule as constraints and deadlines

Agile release planning is added as another technique. A typical agile release plan is presented below

Develop_Schedule

Why critical Chain scheduling is excluded? I am not able to find sufficient reasons. This tool/technique consider uncertainties as opportunities and significantly enhance the delivery capability, and this is actively followed by many companies. I strongly believe there is no strong representations from the community to advocate this technique and hence received a back seat and it is a loss to PM community

Control Schedule

Minor changes. Performance Measurement baseline is added a fourth baseline in the sixth edition. The same has been echoed here.

In alignment with agile updates, the iteration burndown chart is used as a data analysis technique.

What if analysis also normally used while updating, revising schedules and hence added as another data analysis technique.

INPUT

T&T

OUTPUT

Project management plan
1. Schedule management plan
2. Schedule baseline
3. Scope baseline
4. Performance measurement baseline

Data analysis
1. Earned value analysis
2. Iteration burndown chart
3. Performance reviews
4. Trend analysis
5. Variance analysis
6. What-if scenario analysis

Work performance information

Project documents
1. Lessons learned register
2. Project calendars
3. Project schedule
4. Resource calendars
5. Schedule data

Critical path method

Schedule forecasts

Work performance data

Project management information system

Change requests

OPA

Resource optimization

Project management plan updates
1. Schedule management plan
2. Schedule baseline
3. Cost baseline
4. Performance measurement baseline

Leads and lags

Project documents updates
1. Assumption log
2. Basis of estimates
3. Lessons learned register
4. Project schedule
5. Resource calendars
6. Risk register
7. Schedule data

Schedule compression

Summary / Conclusion

Agile methodology well integrated in to Project Schedule Management

Dropping Critical Chain Scheduling is a big disappointment

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