6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 6.3 Sequence Activities: Inputs

In the last process 6.2 Define Activities, the activities that go into creating each work package of the scope are defined and listed in an activity list.   This process 6.3 Sequence Activities, is where the relationship among the project activities is identified and documented in order to determine the logical sequence of work in order to do the project.

Here are the inputs to the process:

6.3.1  Sequence Activities;  Inputs  Project Management Plan

The two components of the project management plan used in this process are:

  • Scope management plan–this is the knowledge area management plan that covers scope management, in particular
    • the scheduling methodology (for example, Critical Path Method) and
    • the scheduling tool (for example, Microsoft Project) to be used in developing the project schedule model are specified.

When PMI talks about the project schedule model, just think of the project schedule.   The word “model” is added by PMI to make sure you know that it is not written in stone:   it may change if the assumptions that created it change based on newly discovered or recently changed information about the project.

  • Scope baseline–remember, this actually consists of three separate documents, the
    1. Project scope statement, which has the scope broken down from the level of requirements to the deliverables that will fulfill those requirements
    2. WBS–the work breakdown structure, with the scope of the deliverables further broken down into manageable parts called work packages.
    3. WBS dictionary–this contains information about the work packages, for example, who will do the work, what resources are needed, etc.  Project Documents

Project documents used as inputs are mostly those that are outputs of the previous process, but may also include documents that were created way back when the project charter was created (assumption log).

  • Activities list–all activities needed for the project, based on the decomposition process done on the work packages during the 6.2 Define Activities project.  These are to be sequenced in the upcoming process.
  • Activity attributes–information about the activities (most of this will be developed during the upcoming process, but to be included if any of this information is already known)
    • any clearly defined predecessor or successor relationships among activities
    • any specified leads or lags between activities
    • any specified logical relationships between activities (does the successor activity need to start before or after the predecessor activity ends, for example)
  • Milestone list–milestones can be specified as early as the project charter, but can also be made specific as a result of the last process
  • Assumption log–can be created as early as the project charter; these assumptions may influence the way the activities are sequenced.  Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Project management information system (PMIS) and/or scheduling tools–note that PMI considers that the software is an enterprise environmental factor, but documents created by the organization using the software are in fact part of the organizational process assets (see next section)
  • Organization work authorization systems (for each activity, does there need to be authorization at a certain level for work to go forward?)
  • Government or industry standards, particularly if the current project is similar to ones done before in the industry  Organizational Process Assets

  • Templates to be used for creating a network of the project activities during the upcoming process (should be included as part of Scope Management Plan)
  • Policies, procedures and/or guidelines for developing logical relationships between activities (should be included as part of Scope Management Plan)
  • Lessons learned repository–if there have been similar previous projects done by the organization, this can help with the process of sequencing the activities in the current project

With the inputs described above, we can now go ahead and do the main techniques of the

  • Precedence Diagramming Method
  • Dependency Determination and Integration
  • Leads and Lags

using the tool of the Project Management Information System (like Microsoft Project, for example).

These will be discussed in the next post.



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