6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 6.5 Develop Schedule: Tools and Techniques (1)

This is the process where the schedule is finally developed.   In earlier planning processes for schedule management you have

  • listed all the activities you need to complete the project (process 6.2)
  • put the activities in a logical sequence, including the possibility of doing several activities at the same time (process 6.3)
  • estimated the duration of each of the activities (process 6.4)

With these previous processes completed, you can now put the schedule together.

6.5.2 Develop Schedule:  Tools and Techniques Schedule Network Analysis

This is actually a group of techniques, many of which are described in their own section below.

  • the critical path method or CPM (, which estimates the minimum project duration
  • resource optimization techniques ( , which adjusts the activity durations to accommodate the resource schedule (i.e. when people are available to work on the project
  • modeling techniques (, which analyzes risks and their effect on the schedule, resulting in a range of completion dates
  • the use of schedule reserves or buffers to reduce the probability of a schedule slip (sometimes referred to as a critical chain method–not listed in the 6th Edition PMBOK® Guide but referred to in the 5th Edition)
  • the addition of leads and lags between activities ( as necessary, which adjusts the time of successor activities
  • schedule compression techniques (, used to accelerate the schedule if necessary to meet required deadlines

I will be doing a summary explanation of these techniques in the sections below.   For examples of these techniques, I will be referring to diagrams in the 6th Edition PMBOK® Guide itself or previous posts I have done for the 5th Edition PMBOK® Guide.   Don’t worry, although these were done for a previous edition of the Guide, the techniques themselves have not changed and the tool (the Project Management Information System such as Microsoft Project) hasn’t changed either.    The one additional tool and technique that is included in the 6th Edition is agile release planning, obviously used only in a case where you are using agile methodology on a project (see section

Since the tools and techniques of this process cover an enormous amount of material, I am splitting them up in several posts.   The next post will cover the critical path method and resource optimization techniques.




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