PMI CAPM – Plan and Control Project Time Management

  1. Section Overview

Now it’s time to talk about time management. Well, technically, we’re talking about schedule management, and our conversation is going to begin in this section about planning schedule management. This is really going to define how the schedule is developed, how you’re going to manage it, execute it, and control it. So this is about creating a schedule management plan. There are lots of things to look for in this section, particularly what’s in the schedule management plan.

So we’re going to talk all about the things that have to go into a plan. And then, do you have to create this from scratch, or is there a form or a template that I can use to create the schedule management plan? In this section, we will also look at our scope, the work breakdown structure of our scope, and the work packages in the WBS. And now we’ll define the activities.

So this is a separate document in which we’re defining the activity list. So the activity list then allows us to begin scheduling work. So we’re going to talk about that. One technique that you might use but that you should know before your exam is the idea of “rolling wave” planning, where I may have a general idea of how long this project takes and what activities are going to happen at different points of the project. B

UT I have a better idea of what’s going to happen in this most imminent portion of the project. So you want to know about rolling wave planning and some ideas called phase gates that we’ll look at in this section. One thing that we can do, and that we’ll talk about in this section, is control accounts and plan packages. Two neat things to look out for are control accounts and planning packages. Then we’ll begin putting these activities in the order in which they should happen.

Most likely, you’re going to let your computer do this with Microsoft Project or Basecamp Primavera, whatever your favorite tool for project management is. However, you could do it all by hand, which would be somewhat painful prior to your exam. Most of these types of questions are going to make the assumption that you’re using the precedence diagramming method. So watch out for the precedence diagramming method. This is where we get into the stuff like finish to start, start to start, finish to finish, or the weird one, start to finish.

So those are the four different relationships we’ll talk about in this section. We’re going to look at dependencies. So I want you to watch for a couple of terms in this section. There are two kinds of logic when it comes to dependencies: hard logic and soft logic. I’m going to ask you about those in our wrap. hard logic and soft logic. leads and lags. I get a lot of questions about leads and lags that people seem to get mixed up. So we’ll nail that down in this section.

So look for leads and lags. This is also where we will begin estimating activity resources, because resources determine when activities can be done. So resources, remember, just aren’t people. Now overwhelmingly, we’re talking about people because they’re doing the work. But estimating the activity’s resources also includes things like equipment, materials, and facilities. So those resources affect when activities can be completed, the availability of resources, how quickly a resource can be delivered, and how quickly you can get the work done with the right resources. We also have to look at the availability of those resources, just as I mentioned. When are they available, and when are they not available? Do I have to find alternative resources? So, in this section, we’ll talk about two calendars: the project calendar and the resource calendar.

So look for that; we will get into estimating. Here’s the good news about estimating. The estimate types we create in this section can also be used with costs, using the same approach. So we’ll examine analogous estimating, parametric estimating, a three-point estimate, and simply the average. We’ll also look at precise estimates. “Pert” means programmer evaluation and review technique.

So we’ll look at pert. That all sets us up for developing the schedule, putting things in the order in which they should happen, looking at the logical relationships, what type of constraints happen between activities, and doing schedule network analysis. So this is preparing us for all about float, free float, total float, and project float. There’s a lot going on here. I’m going to walk you through the flotation process. This section contains an activity that requires you to float. And so it’s really important. A different approach to project network diagramming is the critical chain method. So we’ll discuss that in this huge section. There is a lot of information on this page. I know.

Then comes schedule compression. How do you get things done faster? So we’ll knock that out in this section, and we’ll end this section with a conversation about measuring project performance. How do you know your project is succeeding? How do you know you’re doing well? Well, just like you, you’re making progress and moving in the right direction. So that’s performance; we’ll do the same in our project. OK, hop in and start this section now and keep moving forward. You can do this.

  1. Plan Schedule Management

One of the most important topics in the entire Pinbox is schedule management. There are a lot of activities to do in planning schedule management and controlling your schedule that we’re going to talk about in this section. But we’re going to begin our conversation, as we do with each knowledge area, by talking about a plan for planning the schedule. So we’re going to talk about planning in its entirety. So let’s look at this first process to plan schedule management. The schedule management plan really defines how you’ll develop your schedule, how you’ll manage your schedule, and how you’ll execute and control your schedule. It defines your schedule management approach for the entire project. So the EDO here is plan schedule management.

We need the project management plan because we’re scheduling all of those activities, not just the ones that we see as work, but all of the activities like procurement, where we have to take into consideration any quality control reviews and the timing there and so on. So we need a PM plan, a project charter, because the charter not only authorises the PM and the project, but it also provides a high-level milestone. So what are the expectations of when things should happen or be completed in the project?

And then there are enterprise environmental factors—the rules and policies that you have to abide by when it comes to your schedule management. Then there are OPA templates and forms to help you manage the project, tools and techniques, expert judgment, analytical techniques, meetings, and finally the planning output. The schedule management plan is the schedule management. So what’s in the schedule management plan? Well, there are a lot of things that go into this activity. So schedule planning creates the project schedule model for development.

So we’re going to look at a schedule model. This is the visual representation of your schedule. So like a Gantt chart you might see when you open up Microsoft Project, or if you’re using Basecamp, or if you’re drawing it out on a piece of paper, that’s all your schedule model. So how should the schedule work? What’s the level of accuracy? So when we get into estimating, we’ll talk about that. Is it at a high level with a lot of variants, or are you deep in the project and so you have more precision? You’ve done this type of work before, so your estimates are more accurate. What are your measurement units? Hours. That’s pretty tight. days or weeks? Days is fairly common, but not hours, days, or weeks. Organizational Procedure Connections So when you go to schedule, what are the things in your organisation you have to consider to allow that work to happen?

So, if you’re in a matrix environment, a work authorization system, or if you have to procure resources to be on your team, all of that goes into this organisational procedure link. How will you maintain the project schedule model as changes happen, your schedule begins to slip, or you need to update it? So how will you maintain that and keep it up to date? The control thresholds A control threshold talks about if you have a variance, like if something is late by more than five days, you might have to do an exceptions report or a variance report.

3So how will you react to maintain control if things go off schedule or if they begin to slip from what was planned? What are the rules for performance measurement? So are you measuring the number of activities done and their ratio to the activities remaining? Are you comparing what was predicted to what happened? Are you using some earn-value management, like the SPI, the schedule performance index? So what are your rules for performance measurements? What are your reporting formats? If you have to do an exceptions report or a variance report, how do you make that happen?

And a lot of that will be controlled by what you document in your communications management plan. Chapter ten in the pinbox And then finally, process descriptions. What are these different processes that you’ll do in schedule management? So what does it mean to control the schedule? What does it mean to define project activities and so on? And that’s what we’ll be talking about in the remainder of this section. Okay, good job. You’ve reached the end of this very quick lecture on planning the schedule. Next, we’re going to get into some more particulars about what you do with those activities that you’ve created for your team to do. I’ll see you at the next lecture.