Passing the #PMP Exam: Inputs and Outputs—Time Knowledge Area (part 1)



1. Introduction

In this next series of posts on memorizing the processes, we move on to the final step 6, which is memorizing the INPUTS & OUTPUTS associated with each of the 42 processes. In order to breakdown the memorization into more bite-size chunks, I am going to break down this topic into at least 9 posts, one for each knowledge area. (There may be some knowledge areas that require more than one post.)

 This post covers chapter 6 of the PMBOK® Guide, which covers the Time Knowledge Area. This knowledge area contains 6 processes, five of which are in the Planning Process group, and the last of which is in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group.

 (I am splitting the discussion of the Inputs & Outputs into two different posts; this post will cover Processes 6.1 through 6.3.)

2. Review of processes in Time Knowledge Area

As a review, here is a chart which gives a summary of the processes themselves, plus the tools & techniques used as part of that process.

Process
Number & Name
Process Description Tools & Techniques
6.1 Define Activities Identifying actions to be performed to produce product deliverables. 1. Decomposition

2. Rolling wave planning

3. Templates

4. Expert judgment

 

6.2 Sequence Activities Identifying and documenting relationships among the project activities. 1. Precedence diagramming method (PDM)

2. Dependencey determination

3. Applying leads and lags

4. Schedule network templates

 

6.3 Estimate Activity Resources Estimating type and quantities of resources (human and material) required to perform each activity. 1. Expert judgment

2. Alternatives analysis

3. Published estimating data

4. Bottom-up estimating

5. Project management software

 

6.4 Estimate Activity Durations Approximating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources. 1. Expert judgment

2. Analogous estimating

3. Parametric estimating

4. Three-point estimates

5. Reserve analysis

 

6.5 Develop Schedule Analyzing activity sequences, durations, resources requirements, and schedule constraints to create product schedule. 1. Schedule network analysis

2. Critical path method

3. Critical chain method

4. Resource leveling

5. What-if scenario analysis

6. Applying leads and lags

7. Schedule compression

8. Scheduling tool

 

6.6 Control Schedule Monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and manage changes to schedule baseline. 1. Performance reviews

2. Variance analysis

3. Project management software

4. Resource leveling

5. What-if scenario analysis

6. Adjusting leads and lags

7. Schedule compression

8. Scheduling tool

3. Definition of inputs, outputs

The inputs for a given process are the documents or results of other processes that are used in order to do the process. The results of going through the process are the outputs. These outputs are then used as inputs for some other process.

4. Generic inputs

Before we start, there are two “generic” inputs that are used in many, many processes. The term “generic” inputs is not to be found in the PMBOK® guide; that’s just my term I made up in our study group to clue people in to the fact that they are included as an input in more processes than you could probably name off the top of your head.

A. ENVIRONMENTAL ENTERPRISE FACTORS (EEF)

This is the “company culture”, or factors that are external to the project but which influence the project’s success. These can include the company databases and, in particular, the project management software used by the company.

B. OPERATIONAL PROCESS ASSETS (OPA)

Written procedures, policies, and guidelines that are used by the company to guide all operations, including projects. Lessons learned would be an important part of OPA.

Think of the operational process assets as the “hard copy” (written procedures), and the environmental enterprise factors as the “soft copy” (software and the company culture or “unwritten rules” that govern how work is done).

NOTE: Tools & Techniques will be listed for the purpose of completeness and for reference, but their detailed description will be omitted, because it is contained in the blog posts specifically covering Tools & Techniques for that knowledge area.

6.1 DEFINE ACTIVITIES

INPUTS

6.1.1 Scope Baseline

The scope baseline contains the scope statement, WBS, and WBS dictionary. The project deliverables, constraints, and assumptions from the scope statement are considered while defining activities. The contains of the work packages in the WBS are broken down into activities.

6.1.2 Enterprise environmental factors

The project management information system.

6.1.3 Organizational process assets

Policies and procedures related to planning, templates for activities lists from previous projects.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

6.1.1 Decomposition

6.1.2 Rolling wave planning

6.1.3 Templates

6.1.4 Expert judgment

OUTPUTS

6.1.1 Activity list

It is obvious that the output of the Define Activities process would be an activity list.

6.1.2 Activity attributes

In parallel to the WBS dictionary, the activity attributes gives information about the activities in the activity list, such as the resources they would require, who is responsible for doing them, etc.

6.1.3 Milestone list

This identifies all milestones, whether they are required by contract, or optional based on the organization’s desire to take opportunities to gauge the progress of the project.

6.2 SEQUENCE ACTIVITIES

INPUTS

6.2.1 Activity List

This is the output from the 5.1 Define Activities process. It is used as the input for this process Sequencing Activities.

6.2.2 Activity attributes

This is an output of the 5.1 Define Activities process. Some of the activity attributes may include which activities are its predecessors and successors; this information is valuable for constructing the sequence of activities.

6.2.3 Milestone list

This is an output of the 5.1 Define Activities process. This contains dates for scheduled milestones, which will be included in the activity sequence.

6.2.4 Project scope statement

This contains product characteristics which may affect the sequencing of activities.

6.2.5 Operational Process Assets

Scheduling methodology from previous project files.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

6.2.1 Precedence diagramming method (PDM)

6.2.2 Dependency determination

6.2.3 Applying leads and lags

6.2.4 Schedule network templates

OUTPUTS

6.2.1 Project schedule network diagrams

This shows the activities as nodes in a diagram which connects them according to the logical relationships or dependencies between them.

6.2.2 Project document updates

The activity lists, attributes, and the risk register may need to be updated.

6.3 ESTIMATE ACTIVITY RESOURCES

INPUTS

6.3.1 Activity List

This is an output from 6.1 Define Activities. It contains the activities to which resources need to be applied.

6.3.2 Activity attributes

This is an output from 6.1 Define Activities. It gives information about the activities that can be used in estimating the resources required for them.

6.3.3 Resource calendars

This shows what resources are available for each time period of the planned activities for the project.

6.3.4 Enterprise Environmental Factors

Information on resource availability.

6.3.5 Organizational Process Assets

Historic information on resources used on similar projects.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

6.3.1 Expert judgment

6.3.2 Alternatives analysis

6.3.3 Published estimating data

6.3.4 Bottom-up estimating

6.3.5 Project management software

OUTPUTS

6.3.1 Activity resource requirements

This gives the types and quantities of resources required for each work package.

6.3.2 Resource breakdown structure

Hierarchical structure of identified resources by category (labor, material, equipment, and supplies) and type (skill level, grade level).

6.3.3 Project document updates

The activity list, attributes, and the resource calendars may be updated.

The next post will cover the inputs and outputs of processes 6.4 through 6.6.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: