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make decisions now, even if action is in the future. A revised decision
is usually better than one reached at the last moment.”
“Time management is only a set of
skills and tools to help us more efficiently control the events of our
Hyrum W. Smith
Figure PMI PMBOK PMP Certification Chart 3
6.1 – Activity Definition
that must be
in the WBS.
Activity - A specific task or set of tasks that are required by the
project, use up resources, and take time to complete.
- The result of completing one or more activities with an
identifiable end state occurring at a particular time. Events use no
Network - The combination of all activities and events. Used to
define the project and the activity precedence relationships on a project.
Enterprise Environmental Factors
220.127.116.11 Organizational Process Assets
18.104.22.168 Project Scope Statement
22.214.171.124 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
126.96.36.199 WBS Dictionary
188.8.131.52 Project Management Plan
Decomposition during the activity definition process means subdividing the work
packages into smaller, more manageable components called schedule activities.
This is performed by the team members responsible for the work. If
there is any doubt as to how the work is to be done on an activity, then it
should be decomposed at least one level lower.
Decomposing the project WBS
“Post-It” notes are great
for teams working on a schedule in a group format. Brainstorms &
post-it notes are techniques within decomposition, and
Prior similar projects are
one of the basis for developing or modifying your templates.
Rolling Wave Planning
Rolling Wave Planning is just what it sounds like. In a company you may do five
year plans every year. Each year you plan for the next five and update the plan
from last year. In a project you may plan near term work in greater detail and
at a low level in WBS, but plan work farther in the future at a high level. The
key is you keep rolling the wave of planning. Every month you may plan ahead
for five months.
184.108.40.206 Expert Judgment
220.127.116.11 Planning Component
Think of a Planning Component as a point on WBS that cannot be decomposed to
work package level and one that may require a high-level schedule and cost
Other Tools (not in PMBOK Guide)
Define activities to complete
Action Verb/Noun Format “Conduct
Meeting” “Test Software”
Definition begins by building from the WBS. The WBS from Scope
Definition is a set of deliverables. The WBS lists and categorizes all potential
project deliverables. Then we divide these into the tasks or activities
that will provide these deliverables.
In some PM software
the WBS and the activity list are developed concurrently into a Task List
type of WBS. You may either have two related documents or one integrated
document. It is important to understand which of these an organization
uses. When someone says WBS, they may be talking about different
This website helps by
explaining what a task list is and does “The Project Task List is used
by the team as a guide to reaching milestones and eventually completing
the project. The task list changes over time. The initial task list is a
list of tasks that need to be accomplished in order to at least reach
the first milestone. Additionally, you should have at least a high level
task list for the entire project. Detailed task lists become more
apparent as you move through the project.”
Merrell, UoP 2005
6.2 Activity Sequencing:
Activity Sequencing involves
identifying and documenting interactivity dependencies.
18.104.22.168 Project Scope
22.214.171.124 Activity List
126.96.36.199 Activity Attributes
188.8.131.52 Milestones List
184.108.40.206 Approved Change
Activity Sequencing: Tools and Techniques
Diagramming Method (PDM)
The Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) is
a method for drawing CPM or PERT network diagrams using nodes to represent
activities and connecting them by lines to show relationships
This figure is an example of an AON for Activity
on Node or PDM. In precedence diagramming, the individual elements of
work that comprise a project are called activities. In an AON Diagram -
activities are represented as boxes, or nodes, that can be connected using
logic relationships, thereby defining the order in which activities occur.
The combination of activities and relationships are graphically represented
by the precedence network.
The performance of each activity in the network
requires a discrete time interval - the activity duration. With durations
assigned to activities in the network, start and finish dates can be
calculated based on the logical relationships that have been defined.
This method of diagramming supports all
mathematical analysis techniques discussed in the Schedule development
section, except for conditional diagramming.
220.127.116.11 Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM)
The Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM) is a method for drawing CPM and PERT network diagrams using arrows to
represent activities and nodes show relationships (dependencies).
Comparing PDM and ADM
PDM–Precedence Diagramming Method is also sometimes called Activity-on-Node (AOD) and sometime called Task on Node.
ADM–Arrow Diagramming Method (Activity-on-Arrow).
Sometimes called Task on Arrow.
Although these to figures look the same they are very different projects
with a different number of tasks. According to PMI, which one you use
depends on your preference.
Two Types of Network Diagramming
Diagramming Method (PDM)
Activity on Arrow
18.104.22.168 Schedule Network
Project Network Diagramming starts as a tool and output of Activity Sequencing.
It is used to display and/or determine:
Activity dependencies (3.8.0.P)
Critical sequence of activities (3.8.0.P)
Length of schedule (3.10.0.P)
Float of activities (regular, free & negative) (3.11.0.P)
Early and late start and finish of activities
It is rarely done manually, but always used by scheduling software. The
Network Diagrams are used to show activity dependencies and determine critical
path. Three that are common, Activity-on-node, Activity-on-arrow, and
logic bar charts (a Gantt chart that connects the tasks).
Bar Charts, also called Gantt charts, show start and end dates, expected
duration, and progress-to-date.
Milestone Charts identify scheduled start and end dates of major deliverables
and key project interfaces. It is best used for presenting the project at a
Mandatory Dependencies: Mandatory
Dependencies are specific to the nature of the project work. Absolutely must
happen in the described manner. Referred to as ‘hard logic’
Example: You must file your tax return before you
can receive your tax refund check. The IRS is not sending you a check
without reviewing that return.
Discretionary Dependencies: Discretionary
dependencies are set by the project team based on their experience. Also
referred to as soft logic, preferred logic, or preferential logic. Here there
may be a preferred order of events that reduces cost, risk or time, but other
orders can be acceptable to the quality of the product.
Example: Refilling your gas tank when it hits the
1/4 full mark on the gas gage. If you do it at that point you will never run
out of gas, but you could wait until later. You may run the risk of not
being close to a gas station, or having to accept whatever price is at the
External Dependencies: External
Dependencies link between the project activities and activities external to the
The release date of a new government safety regulation related to your
product might precede your definition of safety requirements. Before the
OSHA Right to Know Laws came out, companies were righting Material Data
Sheets into projects so as to be prepared for the time when they would be
22.214.171.124 Applying Leads and
Leads–Allows an acceleration of a successor activity. May begin one task a
couple of days ahead of another.
Lag–Directs a delay in a successor activity. Must wait a couple of days before
we start the next task.
Activity Sequencing: Outputs
126.96.36.199 Project Schedule
188.8.131.52 Activity List (Updates)
184.108.40.206 Activity Attributes (updates)
220.127.116.11 Requested Changes
6.3 Activity Resource Estimating:
6.4 Activity Duration Estimating:
Expert Judgment is a PMI tool the means guided by historical information and it
often comes from team members doing the work.
Analogous Estimate are based on duration of a previous, similar schedule
activity. This methods is often used where there is a limited amount of
detailed information available.
Parametric Estimates are quantitatively determined based on units of work and
productivity rate. This method is often used where detailed work performance
information is available and often based on industry or company standard.
Standard – A
required approach or parameter for conducting an activity or task. Also, an
acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; a
Three-Point Estimates determine pessimistic, most likely, and optimistic
duration estimates. Sometimes confused with PERT methods. This method is
use to calculate the durations found in the PERT chart.
The first formula calculates one standard deviation + or - when added to the
formula calculates the mean duration to be used in the PERT chart related to one
represents the average time or the time estimate.
represents the most optimistic reasonable possibility.
represents the most pessimistic reasonable possibility.
represents the most likely possibility.
6.5 Schedule Development
6.5.1 Activity Duration Estimating: Inputs
Organizational Process Assets
18.104.22.168 Project Scope Statement
22.214.171.124 Activity List
126.96.36.199 Activity Attributes
188.8.131.52 Project Schedule Network Diagrams
184.108.40.206 Activity Resource Requirements
220.127.116.11 Resource Calendars
18.104.22.168 Activity Duration Estimates
22.214.171.124 Project Management Plan
6.5.2 Activity Duration Estimating: Tools
126.96.36.199 Schedule Network Diagram
188.8.131.52 Critical Path Method
With the exception of Gantt charts, the most common approach to scheduling is
the use of network techniques such as PERT and CPM.
PERT - The Program Evaluation and Review Technique was developed by the
U.S. Navy in 1958 during the Polaris Missile Projects
CPM - The Critical Path Method was developed by DuPont, Inc during the
same time period. Uses PDM
(AON) or ADM (AOA) to calculate early and late start and finish dates for
project activities and theoretical project length.
Critical Path –
The sequence of activities that must be completed on schedule for the entire
project to be completed on schedule. It is the longest duration path through the
schedule. If an activity on the critical path is delayed by one day, the entire
project will be delayed by one day (unless another activity on the critical path
can be accelerated by one day).
Float “Slack” or “Total Float”
Float is the amount of time an activity may be delayed without effecting the end
date of the project or the critical path length.
(Early Start and Early Finish Dates) and (Late Start and Late Finish Dates)
For any activity with float the start and finish dates may move without
effecting the end date. However, for activities on the critical path, early and
late (start & finish) are the same. We use a forward pass to determine early
start and finish dates. We use a backward pass to determine late start and
finish dates. We must know the critical path length to calculate late start and
Below we will look at the PMI way and an
easier "yet will not help you with the PMP" way.
Example of the PMI, PMP Way
Here is an awkward way of doing something
easy. To pass the PMP you should learn this method. Notice it is
different from the AMA example (the way I learned it).
Use a forward pass for Early Start and
Calculating Early Start -- When
calculating the Early Start you do not "just" carry the Early Finish
from the last activity forward. Instead you carry the number for the
largest possible Early Finish forward
(+1) to represent the beginning of the new day. Notice that task C
starts on the 10th day. That makes sense, but look at Early Finish.
Also notice that G uses the Early Finish of C and not D... because C is
Calculating Early Finish -- When
calculating the Early Finish you do not "just" carry the Early Start (+)
Duration Forward. Instead you carry the number for the Early Start
Forward (-1) to represent the beginning of the new day and then add the
Duration. Notice that task C starts on the 10th day and has a duration
of 8 days and ends on the 17th day.
Therefore, 10 + 8 = 17. It may
be best to count on your fingers...the first finger is 10...count out 8
including the first finger = 17. The method used in the AMA
example below does it
So if you are not
crazy yet...this may push you over the edge. The PMP method is
more complicated than it has to be...But then this is one reason you would want
to have us help train you.
Use a Backward pass to calculate Late Start and
Calculating Late Start and Finish
Step One: When
calculating the Late Finish you use a backward pass and just carry the
critical path's total (27) to the Late Finish Position on the last activity
in each path (F, G, and H). But, don't get use to that, you only do that
Step Two: Calculating
the First Late Start -- When
calculating the First Late Start, take the Late Finish and subtract the
Early Finish, then subtract 1. For (H) (27 - 19 -1 = 17).
Step Three: Calculation the Next
Late Finish -- When calculation the next Late Finish, Select the
smallest Late Start related to the appropriate paths, then subtract 1.
For (D) you have two choices (G or
F). G's Late Start is 18 and F's Later Start is 14.
Use 14 then (-1) gives us 13 for D's Late Finish.
Continue with Step Two and Three to
the starting point (Start Box).
The amount of time an activity may be delayed without effecting the early start
of any subsequent activity. Float maybe positive or negative.
Example of An excellent Method
that is Not the PMI, PMP Way
Example of a forward
pass and backward pass as explained in American Management Association (AMA)
information from 2000.
During Backward Pass
Slack and Late Start Are Calculated Like This.
how long your complex project will take to complete
which activities are "critical," meaning that they have to be
done on time or else the whole project will take longer
If you put in information about the cost of each activity, and how
much it costs to
speed up each activity, CPM can help you figure out:
whether you should try to speed up the project, and, if so,
what is the optimal plan for speeding up the project.
Found by Tara W. Mullins, UoP 2005
http://www.waa-inc.com/projex/PERT/aon.htm, This link gives a good example of building a house
the critical path for the project we do two passes. The earliest start
times for each task from its preceding tasks and their durations, the
latest start from the descendants and the tasks duration.
Found by Tara W. Mullins, UoP 2005
184.108.40.206 Schedule Compression
220.127.116.11 What-if-Scenario Analysis
18.104.22.168 Resource Leveling
22.214.171.124 Critical Chain Method
126.96.36.199 Project Management Software
188.8.131.52 Applying Calendars
184.108.40.206 Adjusting Leads and Lags
220.127.116.11 Scheduling Model
6.5.3 Activity Duration Estimating: Outputs
18.104.22.168 Project Schedule
Project Schedule Network Diagrams
22.214.171.124 Schedule Model Data
126.96.36.199 Schedule Baseline
188.8.131.52 Resource Requirements (Updates)
184.108.40.206 Activity Attributes (Updates)
220.127.116.11 Project Calendar (Updates)
18.104.22.168 Requested Changes
22.214.171.124 PM Plan (Updates)
Schedule Management Plan (Updates)
To apply the calendar means to use information about when work can be performed
to modify a schedule.
Compression is to shortening the schedule without changing the scope.
Crashing is decreasing the total project schedule duration (e.g. hire
extra people). While focusing on the critical path of the project. To
maximize your efforts focus on:
the critical path (nothing ease matters as much),
look for the largest duration tasks where a small percentage of a change
will have the biggest impact, and
sometimes the tasks that are closest to you in time will give you other
opportunities as time goes on.
Fast Tracking is performing activities in parallel (e.g. doing more
than one task in parallel with another). Do not place tasks in series
unless there is a no other way.
What if something happened? This method may involve simulation (i.e. Monte
Carlo analysis, or other methods) to calculate a distribution of possible
Resource Leveling is modifying the schedule to consider resource constraints.
This may change the critical path and could drive estimating the critical path.
Appling resource constraints to critical path may cause new critical path. Used
to identify and address bottlenecks by applying buffers.
3.8.1.D - Network
Network Diagrams are used to show activity dependencies and determine critical
path - three are common, Activity-on-node, Activity-on-arrow, and logic bar
charts (a Gantt chart that connects the tasks).
PMI PMBOK PMP Certification Chart 4
5.0 -- Project Cost
Cost management processes focused on completion of the project within the
approved budget. The primarily concerned with costs needed to complete the
schedule activities (e.g. labor, material, services). Project managers must
create budgets that set clear expectations and have a disciplined cost control
program and costs should be measured and managed as the project delivers value.
5.17.0.P -- Cost
Life Cycle Costing:
Life Cycle Costing
considers the effect of project decisions on the cost of using, maintaining, and
supporting the product of the project thought the entire life cycle.
Types Of Cost:
Fixed Costs – Cost that do not change based on level of other factors.
Variable Cost – Cost that change based on level of other factors.
Direct Cost – Cost directly attributable to the execution of the project.
Sunk Cost – Costs that cannot be recovered whether the project moves forward
Analogous Estimates are based on actual cost of previous, similar projects and
is used where there is a limited amount of detailed information available.
Bottom Up Estimates:
Bottom up estimates are the cost estimates of individual activities or work
packages. These estimates are then summarized or ‘rolled-up to find the costs
at higher levels.
Parametric estimates are quantitatively determined based on units of work
(cost/unit). It is used where detailed work performance information is
available and is often based on industry or company standards.
Reserve Analysis (tool):
Analysis is use to determine the ‘reserve’ or ‘contingency allowance’ to deal
with known unknowns. The reserve analysis should be
aggregated into buffers to avoid overestimating activity cost
estimates. The reserves are used at the discretion of the project manager.
5.18.0.P -- Cost Budgeting
total cost estimate for any budgeting period exceed a known funding limit? What
are the funding limits?
Cost Management Plan
The Cost Management Plan is produced during the Develop Project Management Plan
process. The Cost Management Plan guides execution of all Cost processes and
Precision level required for cost estimates,
Units of measure utilized (e.g. staff hours, weeks) for each resource,
Control account procedures,
Earned value rules (e.g. work units, 0-50-100%), and
5.18.1.D – Cost
The Cost Baseline is a time-phased budget for the project. It is used to
measure, monitor, and control project cost performance and is often expressed as
S-curve. Cost baselines aggregate activity costs by period (day, week, month)
and larger projects may have multiple cost baselines (i.e. labor, materials).
NOT THE SAME AS A BUDGET.
Budget is not a process output, it is the total approved cost estimate for a
project, WBS component, or activity.
8.0 -- Communication Management:
The communication management knowledge area includes processes to address the
timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, and
retrieval of project information. It includes communication with all
stakeholders (but especially
project team, senior management, customer and
sponsor). Some say it is the most important skill for a PM to have. PM spend
up to 90% of their time communicating and therefore PMs must communicate:
Directly (always deal with the problem)
Truthfully (the whole truth)
Accurately (even if you don’t believe it)
Understand communication channels is important, the more people you add the more
complicated communicating becomes.
The Number of Channels = N
The Number of People = n
N = [n (n-1)]/2
Building the project team
Involve customer and other
Upper management involvement - level
- vendor/supplier dependencies/involvement
- avoid the “ready, fire, aim” fiasco
- establish five sections of project plan
project goal and purpose
- work breakdown structure
- time estimates
- recruit and assign
- develop Task Network & Gantt charts
- reporting procedures
State University website provides a basic high-level view of
project management in a concise way. The website is primarily
for the Administrative Information Services department at
Michigan State; however, the site offers an excellent high-level
view of project management planning in a very intuitive
presentation. The website offers a simple flowchart of the
planning process that has links for explanation of inputs,
outputs, and tools/techniques. The only limitation to the
website is the fact that the information is very basic, and a
basic knowledge or background is required in order to make the