5th Edition PMBOK® Guide: Chapter 6: Process 6.6 Develop Schedule


1.  Introduction

The purpose of this process is to put everything together from the first five time management processes and create a schedule model.  This terminology is new with the 5th Edition:  what does this mean apart from the schedule.  There is schedule data which goes into making the schedule, and then there is the presentation of the schedule, typically in the form of a Gantt chart or some other visual representation that is easy to understand.

The reason why it is referred to as a schedule model, it to distinguish it formally from the schedule data and schedule presentation, but to remind the project manager that it is based on assumptions that may change, or risks that may occur during the course of the project.

2.  Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs
This list of inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs is the most complicated of any of the other five planning processes in Time Management because it is in fact the culmination of all of them.

The inputs come mostly from the outputs of other time management processes, but also include outputs from scope, risk, and even human resource management.

6.6  DEVELOP SCHEDULE
INPUTS
1. Schedule Management Plan Identifies the scheduling method and tools to be used, and how the schedule is to be calculated.  It is an output of process 6.1 Plan Schedule Management.
2. Activity List Identifies activities that will be included in the schedule model.  This is an output of process 6.2 Define Activities.
3. Activity Attributes Provides details to be used to build the schedule model.  This is an output of process 6.2 Define Activities.
4. Project Network Schedule Diagrams Contains the logical relationships between predecessor and successor activities used to calculate the schedule.  This is an output of process 6.3 Sequence Activities.
5. Activity Resource Requirements Identifies types and quantities of resources required for each activity used to create the schedule model.  This is an output of process 6.4 Estimate Activity Resources.
6. Resource Calendars Contains information on the availability of resources.  This is an output of process 6.4 Estimate Activity Resources.
7. Activity Duration Estimates Contains quantitative assessments of the likely number of work periods required to complete an activity.  This is an output of process 6.5 Estimate Activity Durations.
8. Project Scope Statement Contains assumptions and constraints that can impact development of the project schedule model.  This is an output of process 5.6 Define Scope.
9.. Risk Register Identified risks and their characteristics affect the schedule model.  This is an output of Risk Management.
10. Project Staff Assignments Specifies which resources are assigned to each activity.  This is an output of Human Resources Management.
11. Resource Breakdown Structure Provides details by which resource analysis can be done.  This is an output of process 6.4 Estimate Activity Resources.
9. EEFs
  • Scheduling standards
  • Scheduling tool
  • Communication channels
10. OPAs
  • Project calendars
  • Scheduling methodology
TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
1. Schedule network analysis Technique that generates the schedule model:  it includes

  • Critical path method
  • Critical chain method
  • What-if analysis
  • Resource optimization techniques

and calculates early and late start and finish dates of project activities.

2. Critical path method Through a forward and backward pass analysis, it calculates early start, early finish, late start, and late finish dates for all activities to find the critical path, the longest path through a project which consequently yields the shortest possible project duration.
3. Critical chain method Allows project team to place buffers on any project schedule path to account for limited resources and project uncertainties.
4. Resource optimization techniques Used to adjust schedule due to demand and supply of resources:

  • Resource leveling
  • Resource smoothing
5. Modeling techniques
  • What-if scenario analysis:  used to assess feasibility of the project schedule under adverse conditions
  • Simulation:  calculates multiple project durations based on different sets of assumptions (Monte Carlo analysis)
6. Leads and lags Develops viable schedule by adjusting the start time of successor activities.
7. Schedule compression Shortens project duration without reducing the project scope in order to meet schedule constraints.

  • Crashing:  adds resources
  • Fast-tracking:  activities normally done in sequence are now performed in parallel for part of their duration
8. Scheduling tool Automated scheduling tools contain the schedule model and expedite the scheduling process.
OUTPUTS
1. Schedule Baseline The approved version of the schedule model by which performance of the project will be measured.  Can only be changed through formal change control procedures.
2. Project Schedule The schedule baseline refers to the schedule model, whereas the project schedule refers output of the schedule model.  It can be represented in the following ways:

  • Bar charts
  • Milestone charts
  • Project schedule network diagrams
3. Schedule Data Information used to describe and control the schedule:

  • Resource requirements
  • Alternative schedules (best case vs. worst case, resource-leveled vs. non-resource-leveled, etc.)
  • Scheduling of contingency reserve
4. Project Calendars Identifies working days and shifts available for scheduled activities of the project.
5. Project Management Plan Updates
  • Schedule baseline
  • Schedule management plan
6. Project Documents Updates
  • Activity resource requirements
  • Activity attributes
  • Calendars
  • Risk register

The various tools & techniques will take a series of posts to discuss because they are so vital in understanding how a schedule is put together.  Plus, they tend to be favorite topics for PMP and CAPM exam questions, so there is another pragmatic reason for discussing them in detail.

The schedule data, schedule presentations, and schedule model are all outputs of this process.  The schedule model is the schedule baseline, against which the actual performance of the project is measured in the monitoring and controlling processes of schedule management, which are covered in the post covering process 6.7 Control Schedule.  This will be covered after the tools & techniques for this process, starting with the next posts on schedule network analysis.

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