6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 6.6 Control Schedule: Inputs

We are at the final process for the schedule management knowledge area, namely the Control Schedule process.   The word “Control” tells you we have gone from the planning process group to the monitoring and controlling process group.    Whenever you see “Control” in a process, you should realize it really includes both monitoring (seeing if there is a variance from the plan) and controlling (doing something about that variance if one is detected).

As a monitoring and controlling process, the inputs are coming from the planning process group for the schedule knowledge area and the executing process group, namely, the general process of 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work.    The outputs are going to go to

  • the general monitoring and controlling process 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work
  • to the process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control if there are any change requests, and
  • any updates to the project management plan and/or project documents.

Let’s go through these inputs.

6.6.1 Control Schedule:  Inputs  Project Management Plan

The project management plan consists of a) 9 knowledge area plans, b) 3 subsidiary plans for requirements, change and configuration management, and c) project baselines for the major constraints of scope, schedule, and cost.   The elements that are inputs to this process include:

  • Schedule management plan–this plan, which is the output of the process 6.1 Plan Schedule Management, contains guidelines on how to do all of the other processes, including this one of 6.6 Control Schedule.   Such guidelines include:
    • Project schedule model maintenance–the process used to update the status and record process of the project in the schedule model
    • Rules of performance measurement–how will earned value measurement be used to monitor the schedule
    • Control thresholds–variance thresholds for monitoring schedule performance, so that some action will be needed to be taken if the performance (based on the rules of performance measurement specified in the previous paragraph) varies beyond a certain threshold
    • Reporting formats–in what format, with what frequency, and to whom will reports about the progress on the schedule be made?
  • Schedule baseline–created in the process 6.5 Develop Schedule, the current version of the schedule model is referred to as the schedule baseline and it is the plan against which the actual results will be compared to see if there is a variance.
  • Performance measurement baseline–using Earned Value Analysis, you can calculate a measure of how well the project is doing, either a Schedule Performance Index (SPI) or the Schedule Variance (SV).
  • Scope baseline–This is actually three documents in one:
    • the project scope statement (which breaks down the scope from the requirements to the level of deliverables which fulfill those requirements),
    • the WBS (or Work Breakdown Structure, which further breaks down the scope from the level of deliverables to that of work packages, whose completion you will be monitoring as a part of this process, and
    • the WBS dictionary, which contains information about the work packages such as the duration estimates, also used in monitoring as a part of this process.  Project Documents

The project documents used as inputs to this process are (these are arranged by knowledge area)

Integration Knowledge Area

  • Lessons learned register–created as an output of 4.4 Manage Project Knowledge, this is updated in many processes so any lessons learned early on in the project can benefit you later on; in this case, to improve schedule control.

Schedule Knowledge Area

  • Schedule data–particularly the inputs to the schedule model such as the scheduled activities and their attributes, which may end up being updated as a result of this process.   These are processed by the Project Management Information System tool (such as Microsoft Project) to create the project schedule.
  • Project schedule–the output of the schedule model, particularly the most recent version referred to as the schedule baseline.
  • Project calendars–these are the calendars that show the working shifts when resources are available to work on the project.   These are the general calendars that affect the company as a whole, for more specific calendars for each resource, see the “resource calendar” document below.

Resources Knowledge Area

  • This is an output of 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources and shows the availability of physical and human resources to be used on the project.  Work Performance Data

An output of process 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work, this shows for the reporting period in question

  • which activities have started
  • the progress of activities (their actual duration so far, remaining duration, and percent complete)
  • which activities have completed

This data will be compared to the schedule baseline to see if there is a variance, and the output of this comparison will become work performance information which is useful to the project team.  Organizational Process Assets

  • Schedule control-related policies, procedures, and guidelines (usually contained in the Schedule Management Plan)
  • Schedule control tools that the company has developed (a software program like Microsoft Project created by another company is considered to be an Environmental Enterprise Factor).
  • Monitoring and reporting methods to be used (also usually contained in the Schedule Management Plan).

With these inputs, we are ready to do the process!   The tools and techniques of this process are contained in the next post.






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