Passing the #PMP Exam—Study Group Discussions (The Process Matrix—Time Knowledge Area)


In the last post, I went through the 5 processes in the Scope knowledge area (chapter 5 of the PMBOK® Guide).

In this post, I go through the 6 processes in the Time knowledge area (chapter 6 of the PMBOK® Guide).

Here’s where we are so far: the boxes in green are what has already been covered, and the boxes in yellow are being covered in this post. (Boxes in grey are to be covered in future posts.)

Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Integration 6

1

1

1

2

1

Scope 5

3

2

Time 6

5

1

Cost 3

2

1

Quality 3

1

1

1

Human Resources 4

1

3

Communications 5

1

1

2

1

Risk 6

5

1

Procurements 4

1

1

1

1

2

20

8

10

2

Here’s the portion of the process matrix that lists the processes in the Time knowledge area, which is chapter 6 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge area # Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Time 6

5

1

Here’s a description of the six processes that are included in the Scope Knowledge Area, 5 of which are in the Planning Process Group and 1 of which is in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group.

Process
Group
Process
Number
Process
Name
Process Description
Planning 6.1 Define Activities Identifying actions to be performed to produce product deliverables.
6.2 Sequence Activities Identifying and documenting relationships among the project activities.
6.3 Estimate Activity
Resources
Estimating type and quantities of resources (human and material) required to perform each activity.
6.4 Estimate Activity
Durations
Approximating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources.
6.5 Develop Schedule Analyzing activity sequences, durations, resources requirements, and schedule constraints to create product schedule.
Monitoring & Controlling 6.6 Control Schedule Monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and manage changes to schedule baseline.

Let’s take a closer look at the process descriptions, taken from the PMBOK® Guide. I think if you pay attention to the essence of what each process is, you will see how they flow from one to the other.

6.1 Define Activities

Okay, in the last planning process for the previous knowledge area, 5.3 Create WBS, the process of work to produce deliverables was broken down to the level of the work package.

This process Define Activities takes it one more step, to the level of activities.

6.2 Sequence Activities

Okay, you have a WBS which is now broken down into activities. In what order to you do them? Do you have to do them all one after another (series relationship) or can you do some of them simultaneously (parallel relationship)? By the time you are done, you know WHAT needs to be done and in WHAT ORDER.

6.3 Estimate Activity Resources

But how long will the project take? To get that answer, you need to find out WHAT RESOURCES you have to do the project, both human and material resources. For example, this process will result in telling you that you have 5 staff members, each of whom can work only ½ day or 4 hours on the project.

6.4 Estimate Activity Durations

Let’s continue with the example from the previous paragraph. If the result of 6.2 Sequence Activities is that the project will take 100 man-hours from start to finish, and you have 8 staff members who work half-time on the project, you can tell that the project will take 100 man-hours / (5 staff members x 4 hours/day) or 5 days.

6.5 Develop Schedule

This is the finalization of the schedule, the end result of the process that started in 6.1 Define Activities. This becomes the schedule baseline of the project.

If you picture what these processes DO, then you can see how the order they are listed in is quite logical.

6.6 Control Schedule

Now switching to the Monitoring & Controlling process group, Control Schedule tells you whether you are proceeding according to schedule, ahead of schedule or behind schedule. If there are changes to the project which require a change in schedule, those changes are managed here.

This is obviously in the Monitoring (check) and Controlling (act) process group with regards to the schedule.

The next post deals with the Cost Knowledge Area.

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