Because a project has a finite beginning and end, scheduling and time management are critical to almost any project’s success. In the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) there are seven processes to this knowledge area:
- Plan Schedule Management
Before scheduling activities begin, the methodology and tools which will govern the schedule development process are defined.
- Define Activities
The project is divided into tasks. This establishes the basis for creating a schedule and managing the project work.
- Sequence Activities
The relationships between the tasks are identified. A network diagram is produced and the critical path is determined.
- Estimate Activity Resources
The resources required to perform each task are identified. Resources can include manpower, tools, equipment, supplies, and anything else which can impact the completion of the task.
- Estimate Activity Durations
The number of work periods required to complete each task are determined.
- Develop Schedule
The schedule is created using either project management software, spreadsheets, or some other method of presenting the sequence of tasks required to complete the project.
- Control Schedule
Throughout the project, adherence to schedule is measured and mitigating actions performed to ensure the project completes on time.
The first six processes are part of the planning process group, and thus result in an entry into the Project Management Plan. The last one is part of the Monitoring & Controlling process group and is thus performed throughout the project execution phase.