6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 6.1 Plan Schedule Management: Inputs

Welcome to the next chapter of the 6th Edition PMBOK® Guide, that of Schedule Management.   The first process with any knowledge area related to the major constraints of the project (scope, schedule, and cost) is going to be a planning process which basically is a guideline on how to do all of the other processes in that knowledge area.   Schedule management is no exception:   the first process is Plan Schedule Management.   Figuring out the output is easy; it’s the Schedule Management Plan, one of the components of the overall Project Management Plan.  But what are the inputs to this process?   That is the subject of today’s post.

6.1.1  Plan Schedule Management:  Inputs  Project Charter

The project charter contains many elements, including any high-level constraints on the major constraints of scope, schedule, and cost.   In the case of the schedule, the sponsor of the project, who is responsible for the creation of the project charter, can specify any important milestone dates for the project in the “summary milestone schedule.”   This outlines the major constraints on the schedule, including the most important one, the projected deadline date for the completion of the project.  Project Management Plan

Remember, the project management plan consists of the following categories of elements:

  • Management plans from each of the knowledge areas
  • Three subsidiary management plans (requirements related to the scope knowledge area, and change and configuration related to the integration management process 4.6 Integrated Change Control)
  • Project baselines–for scope, schedule, cost, and performance measurement (which uses earned value analysis that measures each of these constraints)
  • Project life cycle (will the project be done in phases?) and product developmental approach
  • Project documents (requirements documentation, issue log, change log, risk register, etc.)

Here are the elements that are used in creating the Schedule Management Plan.

  • Scope Management Plan–the scope management plan shows how to go from the detailed Work Breakdown Structure created in the process 5.3 Define Scope to the first process used in creating the schedule, process 6.2 Define Activities.   The WBS by itself just shows a list of work to be done; the planning processes of schedule management give a plan on exactly how to get that work done.    It’s analogous to a recipe; you need both the list of ingredients (analogous to the WBS) and the instructions on how to turn those ingredients into the finished dish (analogous to the schedule).
  • Product developmental approach (predictive, also known as traditional or waterfall, iterative/incremental, adaptive, also known as agile, and/or a hybrid approach)–this will have an effect on how the schedule is estimated, developed, and then controlled.  Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Guidelines for tailoring the organization’s standard set of processes and procedures to a specific project
  • Standardized estimating data for the application area and/or industry
  • Scheduling software (crucial point:   the software itself, such as Microsoft Project or Primavera, is an Enterprise Environmental Factor, but the data files themselves from previous projects are considered Organizational Process Assets)
  • Organizational culture and structure–will determine how resources are allocated and decisions are made with respect to the schedule
    • is it functional/centralized, devoted mainly towards operations, in which case decision making is done by a functional manager
    • is it projectized, devoted mainly towards projects, in which case decision making is done by the project manager
    • or a matrix organization, somewhere in between the two structures mentioned above, in which case decision making may be shared between the functional and project manager
  • Availability of team member resources and physical resources within the organization  Organizational Process Assets

  • Policies, procedures and guidelines (whether formal or informal) related to the development, management, and control of the schedule
  • Templates, forms, and monitoring and reporting tools
  • Historical information and lessons learned repositories from previous similar projects

With those inputs, the process of creating the Schedule Management Plan has tools and techniques that are common throughout the planning process in the various knowledge areas dealing with the major constraints:   expert judgment (to help with who is doing the plan), data analysis (to help with how the plan is done), and meetings (to help with where the plan is done).

Those tools and techniques are the subject of the next post.



2 Responses

  1. Could you help me to explain why dont we use Assumption logs & Risk registers are input for this process? I think there may be more assumptions & constraints about schedule (besides project charter) and maybe some risks which has mitigate action are related to schedule?

    • Yes, risk registers and assumption logs would be considered under “project documents” element as part of the project management plan that could be an input for the Schedule Management Plan.

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