Passing the #PMP Exam: Inputs and Outputs—Time Knowledge Area (Part 2)



 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 6.4 through 6.6.)

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.

6.4. ESTIMATE ACTIVITY DURATIONS

INPUTS

6.4.1 Activity List

This is the output of process 6.1 Define Activities.

6.4.2 Activity Attributes

This is the output of process 6.1 Define Activities.

6.4.3 Activity Resource Requirements

This is the output of process 6.3 Estimate Activity Resources. The duration of most activities depends on the resources assigned to that activity and the availability of those resource (which is given by the next input 6.4.4 Resource calendars). An activity may be assigned originally on an eight-hour-a-day basis, but if the person assigned to that activity is only available for four hours a day, it will take twice as many days to complete the activity.

6.4.4 Resource calendars

These indicates the availability of resources to be used on the activities.

6.4.5 Project scope statement

This gives assumptions to be considered when estimating activity durations.

6.4.6 Enterprise environmental factors

Reference data regarding estimating resources.

6.4.7 Organizational process assets

Historical information on resource estimation.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
6.4.1 Expert judgment

6.4.2 Analogous estimating

6.4.3 Parametric estimating

6.4.4 Three-point estimates

6.4.5 Reserve analysis

OUTPUTS

6.4.1 Activity duration estimates

This gives the likely number of work periods required to complete an activity. They are given with a range of possible results.

6.4.2 Project document updates

Activity attributes, and assumptions (part of scope statement) may be updated.

6.5 DEVELOP SCHEDULE

INPUTS

6.5.1 Activity List

This is the output of process 6.1 Define Activities.

6.5.2 Activity Attributes

This is the output of process 6.1 Define Activities.

6.5.3 Project schedule network diagrams

This is an output of process 6.2 Sequence Activities

6.5.4 Activity Resource Requirements

This is the output of process 6.3 Estimate Activity Resources. The duration of most activities depends on the resources assigned to that activity and the availability of those resource (which is given by the next input 6.4.4 Resource calendars). An activity may be assigned originally on an eight-hour-a-day basis, but if the person assigned to that activity is only available for four hours a day, it will take twice as many days to complete the activity.

6.5.5 Resource calendars

These indicate the availability of resources to be used on the activities.

6.5.6 Activity duration estimates

This is the output of process 6.4 Estimate Activity Duration.

6.5.7 Project scope statement

This gives assumptions and constraints that may impact the project schedule.

6.5.8 Enterprise environmental factors

Scheduling tools.

6.5.9 Organizational process assets

Scheduling methodology, project calendar.

TOOL & TECHNIQUES

6.5.1 Schedule network analysis

6.5.2 Critical path method

6.5.3 Critical chain method

6.5.4 Resource leveling

6.5.5 What-if scenario analysis

6.5.6 Applying leads and lags

6.5.7 Schedule compression

6.5.8 Scheduling tool

OUTPUTS

6.5.1 Project schedule

This can be in the form of a bar chart, project schedule network diagram, and/or a milestone chart.

6.5.2 Schedule baseline

This is the version of the schedule developed from the schedule network analysis that has been accepted and approved by the project management team.

6.5.3 Schedule data

Contains the start date, finish date, milestone date, and all resource requirements for each time period.

6.5.4 Project document updates

Activity resource requirements, activity attributes, calendar, and risk register may all be updated.

6.6 CONTROL SCHEDULE

INPUTS

6.6.1 Project measurement plan

The project management plan contains the schedule management plan and the schedule baseline.

6.6.2 Project schedule

This is the output from the 6.5 Develop Schedule process.

6.6.3 Work performance information

This tells about the project progress, and it used to compare to which activities have been planned to be finished by that point in the project.

6.6.4 Organizational process assets

Scheduling tools.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

6.6.1 Performance reviews

6.6.2 Variance analysis

6.6.3 Project management software

6.6.4 Resource leveling

6.6.5 What-if scenario analysis

6.6.6 Adjusting leads and lags

6.6.7 Schedule compression

6.6.8 Scheduling tool

OUTPUTS

6.6.1 Work performance measurements

This is a measurement of the calculation of the schedule variance (SV)

SV = EV – PV

or as an alternative the schedule performance index (SPI)

SPI = EV/PV

6.6.2 Organizational process assets updates

If there are variances, the causes of them and any corrective actions chosen to correct them are included.

6.6.3 Change requests

Rather than corrective action to bring the project back to the project baseline, it is possible that a change request may be done to change the project baseline components, such as the schedule baseline.

6.6.4 Project management plan updates

The schedule baseline, cost baseline, or the schedule management plan may be updated.

6.6.5 Project document updates

Other documents that may be updated are the project schedule itself.

The next post will cover the inputs and outputs of the Cost Knowledge Area.

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