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


In the same way that the scope management process 5.4 Create WBS creates the WBS (which contains the scope broken down into work packages) and the WBS dictionary (information related to the work packages), the schedule management process 6.2 Define Activities creates the activities list (the work packages broken down into the activities needed to produce them) and the list of activity attributes (information related to the activities).

Another document produced in this process is the list of milestones, which are significant points in the project (including the deadline for concluding the project).

Because of the tool and technique of progressive elaboration, each iteration of the planning may uncover new details of activities, in which case there will be change requests to the activities list and changes in the schedule baseline.

Here’s a more detailed look at the outputs of this process.

6.2.3.   Define Activities:  Outputs

6.2.3.1  Activity List

The activity list is the result of the technique of decomposition applied to the work packages of the WBS.   The work packages are things, tangible or otherwise, and so are nouns, whereas activities are the work required to completed those work packages, and so are verbs.

If the rolling wave planning technique is used, then the activities list may be updated periodically during the course of the progress.   The activity list typically includes

  • activity label or name
  • a unique activity identifier
  • WBS ID (the identifier of the work package associated with each activity)
  • the scope of work description for each activity

Other details regarding the activities, such as an estimate of their cost of the resources required to do them, are included in the list of activity attributes.

When the next process 6.3 Sequence Activities is done, more details may added to the activity list such as the predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships (how are the activity and the successor activity connected), and/or any leads or lags between the end of the activity and the start of the next one.

6.2.3.2  Activity Attributes

Activity attributes are details related to the activities in the activity list, such as:

  • where the work is to be performed,
  • the resources assigned to do the work

6.2.3.3  Milestone List

A milestone is a significant point or event in a project.   A milestone list identifies all project milestones, but remember that in terms of the schedule, a milestone is considered to have zero duration because they represent a point or event on the project.

6.2.3.4  Change Requests

If progressive elaboration is used as a planning technique, then after the initial iteration of the plan, additional levels of activities may be uncovered in further iterations.   In this case, activities are added to the activity list through a change request.   Since these activities will add time and cost to the project, the project baselines will also be changed (see the following paragraph.)

6.2.3.5  Project Management Plan Updates

The baselines of the project, which are part of the project management plan, may be changed whenever additional activities are added to the activity list.

  • Schedule baseline–as work packages are progressively elaborated into activities, work may be revealed which was not part of the initial schedule baseline, in which case the schedule baseline may also need to be changed
  • Cost baseline–if additional activities are added to the activity list, then the cost associates with these activities may also require changes to the cost baseline

Now that all of the activities are listed, they need to be put in order.   That is the subject of the next process, 6.3 Sequence Activities.

 

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