6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 6.2 Define Activities: Inputs

The previous process, Plan Schedule Management, was the process which created guidelines that help the project team do all of the other schedule-related processes.   This is the first planning process which takes the result from the scope management process 5.4 Create WBS and uses it as input to the first step in creating the schedule for the project.   In particular,  it takes the work packages, the lowest level of the work breakdown structure, and identifies the activities needed to produce them.

So one way of thinking of the distinction between work packages and activities is to recognize that work packages are nouns, because they represent what is to be accomplished, and the activities are verbs, because they represent how those work packages are to be produced.

This post will cover the inputs to this process.

6.2.1  Define Activities:  Verbs Project Management Plan

The components of the project management plan that will be inputs to this process are:

  • Schedule management plan–this is the knowledge area management plan related to the schedule, and it will contain guidelines for taking the WBS, part of the scope baseline that is an output of the 5.4 Create WBS process, and using it to create the output of this process 6.2 Define Activities, namely, the activity list.
  • Scope baseline–one of the baselines for the major constraints of the project (scope, time, and cost).    It is not one document, but three altogether:   the project scope document (which contains the scope broken down from the customer requirements to the deliverables that will fulfill them), and the WBS (the work breakdown structure which further breaks down the scope down to the level of work packages) and WBS dictionary (which contains information about the constraints or other important details associated which each work package).  Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Organizational cultures and structure (this will affect which scheduling methodology will be used on the project, for example, and how decisions are made regarding the schedule)
  • Published commercial information from commercial databases (this helps create activity lists from work packages which are standard for the industry and type of project you are working on)
  • Project management information system (PMIS)–remember, PMI considers the software such as Microsoft Project and to be an enterprise environmental factor because it is something which is created by another company, but the actual data, that is, project documents from previous projects, are part of the organizational process assets (see below) Organizational Process Assets

  • Templates, standardized processes, and schedule planning-related policies, procedures, and guidelines (which should be incorporated into the overall Scope Management Plan)
  • Lessons learned repository (especially those entries related to lessons learned about how  to create the schedule)
  • Historical information (i.e., activity lists from previous similar projects)

With these inputs, it is now time to do the process itself, which is covered in the next post on Tools and Techniques of 6.2 Define Activities.



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