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BSBPMG512

Manage project time


Learner Guide
BSBPMG512
Manage project time

1|Page ©Universal Institute of Technology 2017


Table of Contents
Table of Contents................................................................................................................................... 2
Unit of Competency ............................................................................................................................. 4
Performance Criteria............................................................................................................................ 5
Foundation Skills .................................................................................................................................. 6
Assessment Requirements ................................................................................................................... 7
Housekeeping Items ................................................................................................................................ 8
Objectives ................................................................................................................................................ 8
1. Determine project schedule ............................................................................................................... 9
1.1 – Develop work breakdown structure with sufficient detail to enable effective planning and
control .................................................................................................................................................... 10
What is a work breakdown structure?............................................................................................... 10
Developing a work breakdown structure .......................................................................................... 11
Why develop a work breakdown structure? ..................................................................................... 12
1.2 – Estimate duration and effort, sequence and dependencies of tasks, to achieve project
deliverables ............................................................................................................................................ 13
What are project deliverables? .......................................................................................................... 13
Estimating the duration and effort of your project ........................................................................... 13
Sequence and dependencies of tasks ................................................................................................ 15
What is a Gantt chart? ....................................................................................................................... 16
1.3 – Use project scheduling tools and techniques to identify schedule impact on project time
management, resource requirements, costs and risks .......................................................................... 18
What is a project schedule? ............................................................................................................... 18
Project scheduling tools and techniques ........................................................................................... 19
Other tools and techniques ............................................................................................................... 23
1.4 – Contribute to achieving an agreed schedule baseline and communication of the schedule to
stakeholders ........................................................................................................................................... 24
Types of baselines .............................................................................................................................. 24
What is a schedule baseline? ............................................................................................................. 24
Agreed schedule baseline .................................................................................................................. 25
Communication plans ........................................................................................................................ 26
Collecting, storing and distributing project information ................................................................... 27
2. Implement project schedule ............................................................................................................ 28

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2.1 – Implement mechanisms to measure, record and report progress of activities according to
agreed schedule ..................................................................................................................................... 29
Measuring, recording and reporting progress of activities ............................................................... 29
2.2 – Conduct ongoing analysis to identify baseline variance ............................................................... 31
Setting a baseline ............................................................................................................................... 31
Identifying baseline variance ............................................................................................................. 31
Variance table .................................................................................................................................... 32
2.3 – Analyse and forecast impact of changes to the schedule............................................................. 33
Change management ......................................................................................................................... 33
Change control system....................................................................................................................... 33
Analysing and forecasting the impact of change ............................................................................... 34
Preliminary impact evaluation ........................................................................................................... 34
Impact analysis ................................................................................................................................... 35
Analysing your options ....................................................................................................................... 36
2.4 – Review progress throughout project life cycle and implement agreed schedule changes .......... 37
2.5 – Develop responses to potential or actual schedule changes and implement them to maintain
project objectives................................................................................................................................... 37
Project life cycle ................................................................................................................................. 37
Reviewing project progress................................................................................................................ 38
Implementing agreed schedule changes ........................................................................................... 40
Updating task status .......................................................................................................................... 41
3. Assess time management outcomes ................................................................................................ 42
3.1 – Review schedule performance records to determine effectiveness of time management activities
............................................................................................................................................................... 43
The effectiveness of time management activities ............................................................................. 43
3.2 – Identify and document time management issues and recommend improvements .................... 45
Scheduling issues ............................................................................................................................... 45
Time management issues .................................................................................................................. 47
Scope creep ........................................................................................................................................ 48
Suggested improvements .................................................................................................................. 48

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Unit of Competency
Application

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to manage time during projects. It involves
determining and implementing the project schedule, and assessing time management outcomes.

It applies to individuals responsible for managing and leading a project in an organisation, business, or
as a consultant.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of
publication.

Unit Sector

Management and Leadership – Project Management

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Performance Criteria
Element Performance Criteria
Elements describe the Performance criteria describe the performance needed to
essential outcomes. demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Determine project 1.1 Develop work breakdown structure with sufficient detail to
schedule enable effective planning and control
1.2 Estimate duration and effort, sequence and dependencies of
tasks, to achieve project deliverables
1.3 Use project scheduling tools and techniques to identify
schedule impact on project time management, resource
requirements, costs and risks
1.4 Contribute to achieving an agreed schedule baseline and
communication of the schedule to stakeholders

2. Implement project 2.1 Implement mechanisms to measure, record and report


schedule progress of activities in according to agreed schedule
2.2 Conduct ongoing analysis to identify baseline variance
2.3 Analyse and forecast impact of changes to the schedule
2.4 Review progress throughout project life cycle and
implement agreed schedule changes
2.5 Develop responses to potential or actual schedule changes
and implement them to maintain project objectives

3. Assess time 3.1 Review schedule performance records to determine


management effectiveness of time management activities
outcomes 3.2 Identify and document time management issues and
recommend improvements

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Foundation Skills
This section describes language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills incorporated in the
performance criteria that are required for competent performance.

Skill Performance Description


Criteria

Reading 1.1, 2.1-2.4, 3.1 Identifies, interprets and analyses textual information
obtained from a range of sources

Writing 1.1, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2 Drafts and develops documentation required for project
scheduling and reporting using appropriate formats and
language

Oral 1.4, 2.5 Participates in a verbal exchanges using clear and detailed
Communication language and appropriate non-verbal features to convey
expectations and advise others on progress

Numeracy 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1- Calculates time requirements for project scheduling
2.5 Uses basic mathematical formula to determine costs and
other necessary resources

Interact with 1.4, 2.5 Actively identifies requirements of important


others communication exchanges, selecting appropriate channels,
format, tone and content to suit purpose and audience

Get the work 1.1-1.4, 2.1-2.5, 3.1, Plans and schedules complex activities, monitors
done 3.2 implementation and manages relevant communication
Monitors actions against goals, adjusting plans and
resources where necessary
Uses analytical skills to review and evaluate process and
decide on future improvements
Uses digital applications to access, organise, integrate and
share relevant information in effective ways

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Assessment Requirements
Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to:

Develop a project schedule using project management tools and techniques


Implement, analyse and monitor a project schedule
Conduct a review of project scheduling and recommend improvements for the future

Knowledge Evidence

To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, the individual must:

Explain estimation techniques to determine task duration and resource effort


Explain procedures for identifying critical path
Explain procedures for managing project baselines, establishment and variance
Summarise project life cycle phases and describe each phase
Explain best-practice time management methodologies, their capabilities, limitations, applications
and outcomes
Summarise key tools for project scheduling
Explain work breakdown structures and application to project schedules

Assessment Conditions

Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates


consistent performance of typical activities experienced in the management and leadership – project
management field of work and include access to workplace documentation, including:

Examples of project schedules, reports and feedback from project stakeholders regarding time
management
Case studies and, where possible, real situations
Interaction with others

Assessors must satisfy NVR/AQTF assessor requirements.

Links

Companion volumes available from the IBSA website: http://www.ibsa.org.au/companion_volumes -


http://www.ibsa.org.au/companion_volumes

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Housekeeping Items
Your trainer will inform you of the following:

Where the toilets and fire exits are located, what the emergency procedures are and
where the breakout and refreshment areas are.

Any rules, for example asking that all mobile phones are set to silent and of any
security issues they need to be aware of.

What times the breaks will be held and what the smoking policy is.

That this is an interactive course and you should ask questions.

That to get the most out of this workshop, we must all work together, listen to each
other, explore new ideas, and make mistakes. After all, that’s how we learn.

Ground rules for participation:

o Smile

o Support and encourage other participants

o When someone is contributing everyone else is quiet

o Be patient with others who may not be grasping the ideas

o Be on time

o Focus discussion on the topic

o Speak to the trainer if you have any concerns

Objectives
Discover how to determine project schedule

Know how to implement project schedule

Learn how to assess time management outcomes

Gain skills and knowledge required for this unit

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1. Determine project schedule
1.1. Develop work breakdown structure with sufficient detail to enable effective planning and
control

1.2. Estimate duration and effort, sequence and dependencies of tasks, to achieve project
deliverables

1.3. Use project scheduling tools and techniques to identify schedule impact on project time
management, resource requirements, costs and risks

1.4. Contribute to achieving an agreed schedule baseline and communication of the schedule to
stakeholders

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1.1 – Develop work breakdown structure with sufficient detail to enable
effective planning and control

What is a work breakdown structure?


A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a tool used within project management that aims to capture the
project tasks in a visual, organised manner. It is a decomposition of your project into smaller
components and it organises your project into smaller, more manageable sections. It provides the
project manager with an opportunity to predict outcomes based on a particular scenario. This ensures
that the decision-making process is effective. A WBS can also be used to help identify potential risks
within your project. The development of the WBS normally occurs at the start of a project and a
completed WBS will resemble a flowchart. If a project ever falls behind, the WBS is usually referred to as
it thought of as the map of the whole project. After your project is completed, your WBS can provide
you with data for performance measurement.

A work breakdown structure may include:


Activity and task descriptors

High-level deliverables framework

Multi-level task granulation

Work breakdown task dictionary.

Activity and task descriptors


Your WBS will be created using breakdown elements; activity and task descriptors are examples of these
breakdown elements. Activity and task descriptors give a brief summary of what the activity or task
involves.

The activities within your WBS usually result in the development of your project deliverables; your tasks
are the subsets of an activity.

High-level deliverables framework


High-level deliverables are the major deliverables of your project. When developing a WBS, you can
start with these high-level deliverables and break these into lower deliverables. Continue breaking them
down until you have manageable activities or tasks.

Multi-level task granulation


Multi-level task granulation involves combining tasks of differing importance and it allows you to plan
more effectively.

Work breakdown task dictionary


A work breakdown task dictionary is a document that supports your overall WBS. It contains every detail
that is necessary to complete your project and provides definitions for each component within your
WBS.

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Developing a work breakdown structure
Before you start developing your WBS, ask yourself:
How will you use it later on in your project?

Does your WBS need to be process or product orientated?

What are the goals and objectives of your project?

The most basic level of your WBS will be the decomposition of your project scope. The scope of your
project should be defined into chunks that the project team can understand and each level of the WBS
should provide further definition and detail. By doing this, you can ensure that things outside of your
project scope are not added.

Every element within the WBS should be logically connected to the other elements. The elements
within the WBS are the tasks related to a project and may be a service, product, data or a combination
of these.

To develop a WBS, the project manager needs to define the key objectives, followed by the tasks that
are required in order to meet these objectives. Think of your WBS as a tree; it has a trunk and branches.
The objectives form the basis of your WBS. These are then divided into deliverables, followed by sub-
deliverables. You should keep subdividing until the components are detailed enough for the planning
and management processes; these are usually the work packages.

The development of a WBS should be a team effort and be a culmination of multiple inputs and
perspectives for your project. Brainstorming sessions are helpful to develop a WBS as they get everyone
involved and do not rely on technology. Although it is easy to do using note cards, sticky notes or a
whiteboard, it is not translated into an electronic format very easily. There is mind-mapping software
available to assist with the development of a WBS. By using this method, a project manager can assign
budget and duration estimates easily.

The software that is available includes:


MindView

WBS Schedule Pro

XMind

FreeMind

MindMeister.

There is no one way to create a WBS; you should do what is right for your own project. Your work
breakdown structure should have sufficient detail to enable effective planning and control.

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Once you have created your WBS, you can then use it to create a Gantt chart; this will track your project
tasks across time. Gantt charts with be discussed further in Chapter 1.2.

You can use:


Lines to connect the elements and show interactions

Arrowheads to indicate time progression

A colour code to represent the status of each element.

Why develop a work breakdown structure?


There are many benefits of a WBS.

A detailed, well-organised WBS can help with effective:


Budgeting

Scheduling

Quality assurance

Allocation of resources

Quality control

Product delivery

Risk management.

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1.2 – Estimate duration and effort, sequence and dependencies of tasks, to
achieve project deliverables

What are project deliverables?


Project deliverables are the building blocks of your overall project and are the tangible, measurable and
specific results of the process of your project. Deliverables are the reason projects are created and they
may contain a number of smaller deliverables. They are the products and/or services you give to
customers, clients and employees and they normally have a date for when they are due. A project
deliverable can be either an outcome that is to be achieved or an outcome that is to be provided.
Although they are closely related to objectives, deliverables and objectives are not the same thing. In
order to achieve your project objectives, you will need to identify your project deliverables in order to
help you.

Examples of project deliverables:


Reports

Documents

Server upgrade

Consumer goods

Hardware

Software

Design documents

User manuals

Training program

Systems

Milestones.

In order to achieve these project deliverables, you should estimate the duration and effort, sequence
and dependencies of the project tasks.

Estimating the duration and effort of your project


You should estimate the duration and effort of your project in order to assign resources, determine how
long your project will take and estimate costs.

Effort is concerned with the work that needs to be done within the project. Duration is how long the
project is estimated to take. You can work out the duration estimate by taking the estimated effort and
dividing this by the estimated resources.

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For example:
If you had to produce a 300-page report and you know you can roughly write around
10 pages a day, you can estimate that the duration of your project will be 30 days.
300 ÷ 10 = 30.
Estimating the duration and effort may include:
Allowance for contingency and risk
Availability of resources and supplies
Degree of variation
Expert opinion
Level of accuracy
Prior project history
Regulations and standards governing resource performance
Top-down or bottom-up estimating.
To be good at estimating your project effort and duration, consider:
How accurate your estimates should be
Making sure the whole team are in agreement about what needs to be estimated and
delivered
Spending time analysing and understanding the requirements of the project
Involving experienced people in your estimation process
Having different groups estimating the same thing and comparing the outcomes
Experimenting with different estimation tools and techniques
Recording your estimates and how you arrived at them.
Remember:
Estimation is an ongoing activity
Estimation should take place regularly throughout the project
After analysing the key requirements, break the effort into
manageable pieces
All estimations carry a degree of uncertainty
Be realistic
To factor in all phases of your project
The estimation tools will help you to consider all different aspects of
your project
Estimate effort in labour hours (not calendar time)
To account for unexpected problems.

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Sequence and dependencies of tasks
Sequence is concerned with the order of the tasks and activities within your project. Dependencies are
the relationships among the tasks within your project which determine the order in which the activities
need to be performed. They are the relationships of preceding tasks to succeeding tasks. Once the tasks
are created within your project, they need to be linked to show the relationships between them. Linking
your tasks will create the task dependencies. The relationships between the project tasks drive the
schedule for the project.

Sequence and dependencies may include:


Deliverable milestones

Preferred, logical or required order of task completion

Relationship between tasks impacting on start and finish times and dates.

Dependencies can be mandatory, discretionary or external.

Mandatory dependency
A mandatory dependency is a project activity that must be carried out at a particular time within the
project’s life cycle. The nature of your project will dictate the order in which some activities should be
performed. Mandatory dependencies may be requirements of the project’s contract, physical
limitations or the laws that are in place.

Discretionary dependency
Discretionary dependencies are activities within your project that don’t necessarily have to be carried
out at a particular time; but they should be. These dependencies are usually based on the project
team’s knowledge as well as best practices. They outline how and in what order the project team would
like the activities to be done; they enable to team to optimise the flow of work. As a project progresses
and adjustments are needed, these dependencies are often reviewed and altered if necessary.

External dependency
External dependencies are outside of the project and the team’s control; they are not part of the project
activities. These dependencies should still be reflected within a project schedule as they will impact on
the actual project activities.

Example
Imagine your project is to build an extension on a house; a bathroom. Before you start anything you will
be required to gain permission to build the extension; without this permission your project cannot
begin. This would be an external dependency that should be accounted for within your schedule. In
order to paint the walls of the new bathroom, they will need to be built and plastered first. These are
examples of mandatory dependencies; they must be done in that particular order. When it comes to the
final touches, such as the floor; should the skirting go on before or after? This would be an example of a
discretionary dependency as it will depend on the knowledge and experience of the project team. One
project team would put them on before; another project team would put them on after.

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There are four types of dependency relationships:
Finish to start (most common relationship)

Start to start

Finish to finish

Start to finish (least common relationship).

You can link tasks within the same project by using a range of software, including:
Network Diagram view

Calendar view

Gantt chart view.

What is a Gantt chart?


A Gantt chart is a visual representation of a project schedule that shows you what has to be done within
your project and when it needs to be done by. By laying out the project tasks and events in the order
they should be completed in, the Gantt chart helps to sequence those events and tasks. It will show the
project activities displayed against time and the time is broken down into increments; days, weeks or
months. To the left of the chart is the list of activities and along the top there is a suitable time scale.
The activities are represented by bars and the position and length of that bar reflects the start date,
duration and end date of each activity. This chart uses the horizontal lines to show the amount of work
that is done in certain periods of time in relation to the amount of time that was originally planned for
those periods.

Look at the example below:

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A Gantt chart allows you to easily see:
The start and end date of the whole project

What the various activities are

When each activity begins and ends

How long each activity is scheduled to last

Where activities overlap with other activities, and by how much.

The Gantt chart is the most common and easiest way to create dependencies and to show predecessor
and successor relationships.

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1.3 – Use project scheduling tools and techniques to identify schedule impact on
project time management, resource requirements, costs and risks

What is a project schedule?


Regardless of the size of your project, a project schedule is a key part of project management. It is used
in the planning stage of your project and uses estimation, educated guessing and prediction to reflect all
the work that is associated with delivering your project on time. Due to this uncertainty, your project
schedule should be updated constantly. Your project schedule is a tool that can be used to
communicate what work needs to be done within your project, which resources the work requires and
the timeframes in which it needs to be performed. It will also show you the sequence in which the
project work should be done as well as the work has already been done. The elements that you include
within your project schedule may be closely related to your WBS (discussed in Chapter 1.1).

Your project schedule can help you to:


Track the progress of your project

Assess how time delays will impact your project

Determine the best way to allocate your resources

Figure out where excess resources are available

Monitor and control your project activities.

In order to create your project schedule, you will need:


A description of the project scope

Your WBS

List of activities

An effort estimate for each activity

List of resource requirements and availability

Project risks

Personal and project calendars.

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Project scheduling tools and techniques
In order to identify schedule impact on project time management, resource requirements, costs and
risks, you may need to assist in using project scheduling tools and techniques. You should use these
tools and techniques to fragment your project work into smaller tasks.

Project scheduling tools and techniques may include:


Bar charts

Conducting or supervising qualitative and/or quantitative time analysis, such as


schedule simulation, decision analysis, contingency planning and ‘what if’ scenarios

Critical chain management

Critical path diagrams

Gantt charts

Project schedule network diagrams

Standalone, organisation-integrated or cloud-based software tools

Using personal experience and/or subject matter experts

Using specialist time-analysis tools to assist in the decision-making process.

Bar charts
Within project scheduling, a bar chart can be used to manage the dates of the individual processes
within your project. Each individual process of you project will be represented by a single bar; processes
that have agreed dates are represented by dark, bold bars and the processes with dates that have not
been agreed are represented by a thin, lightly coloured bar. Gantt charts (see Chapter 1.2) are a type of
bar chart that are commonly used within project scheduling.

Another type of chart that can be used within project management is a PERT chart; a Program
Evaluation Review Technique chart. A PERT chart can be used to schedule, organise and coordinate the
tasks within a project. Using a network diagram, it presents a graphic illustration of a project.

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Conducting or supervising qualitative and/or quantitative time analysis
Qualitative and/or quantitative time analysis can include:
Schedule simulation

Decision analysis

Contingency planning

‘What if’ scenarios.

Critical chain management


This method builds on the analysis that is done using critical path and resource levelling techniques and
it is used when these levelling techniques have delayed the end date of your project. Chain
management reprioritises the project work and provides simple tracking principles that can accelerate
your project. Within this method, the tracking approach is shifted to concentrate on the critical
resource.

Critical path diagrams


Critical path diagrams are a method that is used to determine what the shortest time to complete
project phases or the whole project is. This method analyses every possible sequence of tasks based
upon the network diagram to determine which sequence is the longest. Using the relationships and
durations from your network diagram, you will need to calculate the earliest possible start date and
finish date for each task. Determine the latest possible start and finish date for each task. The sequence
of tasks with identical date for earliest and latest start is the critical path. Remember; this method
assumes that you have all the resources exactly when you need them.

Gantt charts
A Gantt chart is a visual representation of a project schedule that shows you what has to be done within
your project and when it needs to be done by. By laying out the project tasks and events in the order
they should be completed in, the Gantt chart helps to sequence those events and tasks. This method is
easy to use and maintain. Refer to Chapter 1.2 for more information.

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Project schedule network diagrams
A network diagram is basically a flowchart of all the project tasks and as we can see above, most
advanced analytical scheduling tools start with this. It is thought of as a better technique to use when
the task durations are uncertain and it can provide guidance as to who the internal customer is for each
task. A network diagram is created by determining the predecessor and successor relationships and
then connecting the tasks based upon those relationships.

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Standalone, organisation-integrated or cloud-based software tools
There are many software tools available to assist you with your project schedule. You should make sure
that you choose software that is within your budget and can be used easily.

These may include:


Microsoft Project

ZOHO Projects

FastTrack Schedule 9

@task

Primavera P6

Tenrox.

You may have software tools that are already integrated into your organisation. Make sure you are
aware of any tools that you should be using. By using these project scheduling tools and techniques, you
will be able to identify schedule impact on project time management, resource requirements, costs and
risks.

Personal experience and/or subject matter experts


Another project-scheduling technique that can be used to identify schedule impact on project time
management, resource requirements, costs and risks is using your own personal experience. Perhaps
you have worked on many projects in the past and can use this experience to assist you identifying the
schedule impact within your current project.

Also, subject matter experts can be helpful when trying to identify schedule impact. If you are working
on your first project, you may not be comfortable; that’s where a subject matter expert can be helpful.

Specialist time-analysis tools


There are many specialist time-analysis tools available to assist in your decision-making process. One
example is project management simulation; this will show you the possible outcomes of the decisions
that you make. This can help to reduce the level of risk within your project.

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Other tools and techniques
Control systems
Within your project, you should have a control system in place to measure and report any deviations
from the budget, scope or schedule. From this, you are able to control these deviations by correcting
them and bringing your project performance back into line with your original plans. Within time
management, these control systems assist you in making necessary schedule updates. For example, if a
project activity is taking longer than originally planned, it may be necessary to create new estimates for
the activity’s duration.

Life-cycle costing
Life-cycle costing evaluates project costs, including design and development, operation and
maintenance. By doing this, you gain a clearer picture of the real cost of project ownership.

Logistics support analysis


Within project management, logistics support analysis involves pre-planning all aspects of a plan in
order to create efficiency and reduce the cost of providing resources. It can help to ensure that your
schedule is relevant and efficient.

Schedule impact may include:


Accuracy of estimates

Advances or delays in task completion

Changes to project risk

Changes to resources and costs

Degree of change to baseline

Relevance of task dependencies.

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1.4 – Contribute to achieving an agreed schedule baseline and communication
of the schedule to stakeholders

Types of baselines
Within your project, you will come across many types of baselines.

For example:
Scope baseline

Cost baseline

Quality baseline

Schedule baseline.

Scope baseline
Your scope baseline is your approved project scope. You can use it during scope change management in
order to determine and prevent the occurrence of scope creep.

Your scope baseline will encompass:


Your project scope statement

Your WBS

Your WBS dictionary.

Cost baseline
Your cost baseline is a component within your project management plan and it is a time-phased budget.
You can use your cost baseline as a basis to measure, monitor and control the overall cost performance
of your project against.

Quality baseline
Your quality baseline includes the quality objectives of your project. You can then use this as the basis
for measuring and reporting the quality performance of your project.

Schedule baseline
Your schedule baseline is a specific version of your project schedule. This chapter will look into what a
schedule baseline is and the ways in which you can communicate this with your stakeholders.

What is a schedule baseline?


A schedule baseline is an approved version of your project schedule and by establishing the baseline;
you are marking the end of the planning phase of your project and the beginning of the execution and
control phase. Your schedule baseline will act as a point of reference and all future measurements will
be compared to it. It is used to determine any variation between the plan and actual progress of your
project. From this, you will be able to identify if any preventative or corrective action is needed. If any
changes to the scope of your project are made, you will need to establish a new baseline schedule. The
process of controlling your schedule baseline is critical for the success of your project.

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A schedule baseline may include:
Assigned responsibility

Assigned schedule-management responsibilities

Charted milestones

Contingency plans

Project schedule and sub-schedules

Critical path analysis

Resource assignment to task

Schedule-management strategies and actions.

Agreed schedule baseline


You should contribute to achieving an agreed schedule baseline with your project team. Your schedule
baseline will be developed from the schedule network analysis of the schedule model. This analysis
needs to be accepted and approved within your project team as the schedule baseline and should
include baseline start and finish dates.

What is a schedule network analysis?


Your schedule network analysis can be used to manage your time effectively and it helps to keep your
project focussed on your target goal(s). It is a detailed report of how and what you should execute
within the next step of your project.

It employs a schedule model and various analytical techniques to calculate the early and late start and
finish dates.

The analytical techniques that are used within a schedule network analysis may include:
Resource levelling

Critical chain method

What-if analysis

Critical path method.

Your schedule network analysis may include network diagrams to provide a graphical view of activities
and how they relate to one another. These will displayed using either PERT or Gantt chart (discussed in
Chapter 1.3).

By tracking your project and looking at your planned estimates against the actual progress, this schedule
baseline can then be used to identify any variances. You should compare your baseline estimates to the
actual status of your project.

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Example table showing schedule baseline:

Activity Early start Early finish Late start Late finish Baseline Baseline
start finish
Design 01/06/14 10/06/14 03/06/14 17/06/14 01/06/14 10/06/14

Development 08/06/14 24/06/14 10/06/14 24/06/14 08/06/14 22/06/14

Test 25/06/14 05/07/14 25/06/14 01/07/14 23/06/14 01/07/14

Ship 06/07/14 06/07/14 06/07/14 06/07/14 02/07/14 02/07/14

Once you have agreed on a schedule baseline, there are many tools that can assist you in achieving
results; including a Critical Path Schedule (CPS). A CPS identifies the longest path throughout your
project and can help to determine the shortest possible time in which all activities within your plan can
be completed. If a task within your critical path is delayed; this will delay your entire project.

Example CPS:

TASK JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL


A

Communication plans
Throughout your project it will be necessary to communicate with the stakeholders regularly. You
should ensure that you have a communication plan in place that assists in keeping the stakeholders up-
to-date with the project. By having a communication plan in place, you and your project team will know
when to communicate with the stakeholders and how to do it effectively. You should aim to keep the
stakeholders well informed and to understand exactly what they desire. In most cases, you should try
and keep the communication process as a two-way exchange; don’t just talk, listen too. You should aim
to gather information from the stakeholders themselves and everyone within your project team in
order to decide on the most appropriate communication plan for you, your team and your project. Your
project schedule is something that needs communicating with the stakeholders and you should choose
the most advantageous communication channel to ensure it is effective.

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Ask yourself:
Who are the stakeholders that you need to communicate with?

What are the objectives for communication?

When should communication occur?

What information should be communicated?

What is the strategy for communicating?

Along with informal methods of communicating with your stakeholders, i.e. lunch meetings and hallway
conversations, there are also formal ways to communicate with them.

For example:
Newsletters

Reports

Social media

Email

Meetings

Conference calls.

Collecting, storing and distributing project information


What are your procedures for collecting, storing and distributing the information that needs
communicating with the stakeholders?

Ask yourself:
Is one person responsible for communicating with the stakeholders?

Is it a team responsibility?

Are there any privacy issues that need to be taken into account?

Do any government regulations need to be considered?

Consider the potential risks involved with communication; what if you can’t reach them and how can
you keep it within your budget? Your communication plans will depend on you, your project team, the
stakeholders and the nature of the project itself; there is no one way of doing things.

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2. Implement project schedule
2.1. Implement mechanisms to measure, record and report progress of activities according to
agreed schedule

2.2. Conduct ongoing analysis to identify baseline variance

2.3. Analyse and forecast impact of changes to the schedule

2.4. Review progress throughout project life cycle and implement agreed schedule changes

2.5. Develop responses to potential or actual schedule changes and implement them to maintain
project objectives

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2.1 – Implement mechanisms to measure, record and report progress of
activities according to agreed schedule

Measuring, recording and reporting progress of activities


You should know how the work within your project is progressing compared to your schedule.
Measuring the progress of your project activities will contribute to the overall success of it. It involves
looking back at the agreed schedule and seeing what progress has been made in relation to it. It also
involves looking forward and assessing what still needs to be done with the time and resources that are
left. Measuring progress involves measuring the work performed against the work that is expected to be
performed with the given resources. By measuring the progress of you project activities, you can see
areas within your project that need to be improved and plan for these future improvements. Any
problems that occur can be identified early on if you are continually monitoring the progress of your
project activities. This allows you to take the appropriate action quickly and avoid interrupting the
project.

There are many techniques that you can use to measure the progress of your project. The technique
that you use may depend on the type of project you are involved with or the requirements of the
project manager or team. Your method for measuring the progress of you report should have been
identified and planned within the early stages of your project.

The methods that can be used to measure the progress of your project activities may include:
Reporting periods

Project status

Project phases

Highlight report

Milestone chart

Checkpoint report

Percentage complete

S-Curve

Exception report

Earned value management.

The reporting of a project’s progress is a key activity of project management. When recording and
reporting the progress of your project in relation to the planned schedule, the way that you should do
this may depend on the project itself. You should be aware of the recording and reporting process in
relation to your own project. Throughout your project, you will need to conduct regular reports on the
progress against your budget, your scope and your schedule. Aim to keep your report brief and sum up
all of the key points.

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There are many things you can include in your progress report, including:
The overall status of your project

Your project summary

The key issues

Any identified risks

The tasks that are involved in your project

The suggested next steps

Any decisions that are needed

Your budgeted cost

The money that has been spent so far.

By reporting the progress of your project regularly, a valuable written record of a project’s life can be
created. You can use this to look back on your project and identify any areas that could be improved.

As discussed in Chapter 1.3, a project schedule should be constantly monitored and updated. You
should know what steps are required if your project doesn’t seem to be progressing in a way you
expected it to. If you find that this is the case, you may need to update the project schedule. Your
schedule should be altered in order to reflect the actual progress of your project. This will ensure that
the forecast of the remaining work stays realistic.

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2.2 – Conduct ongoing analysis to identify baseline variance

Setting a baseline
A baseline contains a group of primary reference points including:
Start dates

Finish dates

Duration estimates

Work estimates

Cost estimates.

To create baselines within MS Project 2010, follow these steps:


Click the ‘Project’ tab

Click ‘Set Baseline’

Choose the option ‘Set Baseline’

Choose the baseline that you wish to set.

You can set multiple baselines within your project; this will give you a chance to gain frequent snapshots
of where your project stands.

To update baselines within MS Project 2010, follow these steps:


Choose the new task that you wish to add to the baseline

Click the ‘Project’ tab

Click ‘Set Baseline’

Choose the option ‘Set Baseline’

Choose the baseline that you wish to update

In the ‘Set Baseline’ box; choose the baseline that you wish to update

Under ‘For’; click ‘Selected tasks’.

Your baseline should include your best estimates as it will be used throughout your project to assess its
progress.

Identifying baseline variance


In order to identify any baseline variance, you will need to conduct ongoing analysis throughout the
process of your project. You will need to constantly track your project and monitor your schedule. You
may need to compare a position or status within your project with an earlier version of it. It is possible
to view your baseline data alongside the current planned data, the actual data and the variance
between them.

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To compare your baseline to the original within a Gantt chart:
Click ‘View’ tab

In the ‘Task Views’ group; click ‘Gantt chart’

Click ‘Tracking Gantt’.

You can also use a variance table:


Select the ‘View’ tab

In the ‘Data’ group; click ‘Tables’

From the drop-down choices; choose ‘Variance’.

Variance table
A variance table shows the start and finish dates for both the scheduled information and the baseline
information. From this, you can identify any difference between the two types of information. In order
to evaluate your progress prediction, you can compare this prediction with how your project is actually
progressing. If there is a difference between your actual and planned progress, it may indicate that your
original plan is no longer accurate. This may mean that you need to review the scope of your project.
However, it could also be down to a change in the nature of your project. If you find your project is not
on schedule, you will need to start corrective actions in order to bring it back on track.

Example variance table:

Task Start Finish Baseline Baseline Start Finish


Start Finish Variance Variance
A 25/06/14 25/06/14 25/06/14 25/06/14 0 days 0 days
B 22/06/14 23/06/14 22/06/14 24/06/14 0 days 1 days
C 28/06/14 28/06/14 30/06/14 30/06/14 2 days 2 days

We can see that Task B finished one day late and Task C was started and completed 2 days late.

What if the variance table doesn’t show you what you expected?

There are several possible reasons for unexpected values, including:


Setting multiple baselines; MS Project will only use your initial baseline values

Not actually setting a baseline at all; MS Project will calculate any difference using a
value of zero

Not updating the values for tasks that are in progress or completed or forgetting to add
new project tasks to the baseline plan; your variances might be equal to your
scheduled values

Forgetting to update the information for your summary task once adding new tasks
into your baseline; you will have accurate values for individual tasks but not for
summary tasks.

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2.3 – Analyse and forecast impact of changes to the schedule

Change management
Change management is a process in which potential changes to your project are formally introduced
and approved. The process should involve everyone that may be affected by the implementation of the
change and take everything into account; for example, the environment, the strengths and weaknesses
of the project team and the competition. Thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation is
necessary. Any change that is introduced should be achievable, realistic and measurable.

Change control system


When stakeholders submit a change request during the process of your project, they should do so using
the change control system that you decided on at the start of your project. You should have already
have planned for possible changes and should have change control systems in place. Control systems
are formal processes that are developed at the start of a project and used to ensure any changes are
introduced in a controlled manner.

Your change control system may include a sequence of six steps:


Record

Assess

Plan

Build and test

Implement

Gain acceptance.

Having change control systems in place can help keep your project on track when these changes do
occur. These change control systems will not prevent changes from occurring; they will ensure that any
change that does occur is agreed by the relevant authority before it is implemented. A change control
approach covers the identification, assessment and control of any possible changes that may arise
within your project. These control systems reduce the possibility of any unnecessary changes being
introduced to your project whilst ensuring the project work is not disrupted.

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Analysing and forecasting the impact of change
Once a change has been requested, you must assess and predict the impact that it will have on all
aspects of your project, including your schedule. In order to achieve this you may wish to discuss the
potential change with everyone that will be involved. This will allow you to gain an insight into the
impact of this change from all perspectives.

Consider the following questions:


Does the change support your overall project plan?

What will happen to the project if the change is not implemented?

If this change is implemented, what other areas of the project will be affected?

Does the change conflict with your existing project schedule?

Does the positive impact of this change outweigh the negative impact?

Is there another change that can be implemented rather than this one?

If the change is accepted and implemented, will training be necessary?

What skills will you need in order to implement the change successfully?

Will the implementation of the change introduce any possible performance issues?

Consider the roles that everyone will have, for example:


The project manager will need to formally accept a change request

The project leader will then need to assign this change request to the relevant person

The stakeholder(s) will need to be included within the assessment of a change request

Other team members may need to estimate what is needed if the change request is
accepted.

Preliminary impact evaluation


An initial impact evaluation can also help you to assess intended and unintended changes to your
project. This process is structured in a way that will determine the outcomes of not making the change
in question.

Impact evaluation can help you to answer:


What works?

What doesn’t work?

Where, why and for how much?

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Impact analysis
The analysing and forecasting process may involve an Impact Analysis (IA) which can ensure that any
requests for change are considered with the overall impact on the project in mind. You need to know
what the potential risks and consequences of implementing the change, as well as the potential risks
and consequences of not implementing it. By analysing the impact of any change that occurs within
your project, you can avoid any surprises. Analysis can also help you to avoid overlooking your project
schedule dates.

Using a structured approach, an IA can also give you the ability to identify any problems before they
occur. This means that you can have a contingency plan in place so that the problem can be handled
appropriately.

IA includes the following steps:


Preparing for the IA

Brainstorming the areas that may be affected

For each of these areas, brainstorm the


different elements that could be affected

Evaluate the impacts

Manage these consequences.

Traceability
This IA technique captures the links between requirements, specifications, design elements and tests.
These relationships can then be analysed to determine the scope of the potential change.

Dependency
This IA technique assesses the links between parts, variables, logic and modules in order to determine
the consequences of the potential change. This technique is more detailed than traceability.

Evaluation can help the project manager to decide whether to:


Accept the request to make a change

Reject the change

Defer the request to change to a different area or time.

If a change is accepted, the project manager would need to consider how the change:
Effects the current project schedule

Will impact on the project budget

Will involve the stakeholder.

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Analysing your options
Once you have analysed the possible impact the potential change may have on your schedule, you will
need to decide whether to implement the change. What are your options? Consider the positive and
negative impacts that implementing the change may have on the schedule of your project. Also,
consider the positive and negative impacts of not implementing the change. From this, you should be
able to arrive at an informed decision.

Example positive impacts Example negative impacts

Can create a range of opportunities for project Can bring a level of uncertainty to your project

Can increase the stakeholder’s satisfaction Can lead to budget overruns

Can improve the quality of a project deliverable Can create delays within your project

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2.4 – Review progress throughout project life cycle and implement agreed
schedule changes
2.5 – Develop responses to potential or actual schedule changes and implement
them to maintain project objectives

Project life cycle


There are four phases within your project’s life cycle:
Initiation

Planning

Execution

Evaluation.

Initiation phase
Within this phase, the first step is to define your project:
Scope

Purpose

Objectives

Resources

Deliverables

Timescales

Structure.

This phase also includes the development of a business case; a documented argument that is intended
to convince someone to approve your project. A business case will examine the benefits and risks of
carrying out your project, along with the benefits and risks of not carrying it out.

Planning phase
The planning phase of your project may involve developing a range of plans, for example:
Project plan to describe how you will reach your goals

Resource plan to identify the required staff, materials and equipment

Quality plan to outline quality control methods and set quality targets

Risk plan to outline possible risks and ways to minimise these risks

Financial plan to identify the required financial expenditure.

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Execution phase
Your project team will produce the project deliverables within the execution phase of your project’s life
cycle.

Whilst this is happening, the project manager will monitor and control the project delivery by
undertaking:
Cost management

Risk management

Time management

Issue management

Quality management

Change management.

Evaluation phase
After your have completed your project, you will need to assess the overall success of your project; this
is done within the evaluation phase. Were the benefits that were stated in the original business case
actually realised? This is the phase were you consider what went well and what didn’t. The lessons
learnt within one project can help you in any future projects.

You will need to review your progress throughout all of these phases.

Reviewing project progress


Throughout the life cycle of your project, you should regularly review its progress. You should review
the progress of your project against your project plan, look at the relevance of the remainder of your
plan and adjust your plan if necessary.

Ask yourself:
What progress has been made?

What work is left to do?

Are there any issues?

Before starting your project, it is important that you have defined how you will measure progress and
performance. Once you have decided what you really want to review in terms of project progress and
performance, you will need to identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPIs will tell you
whether your project is being successful and, if so, to what degree. They will enable you to assess the
progress and performance of your project in terms of the achievement of the desired objectives. When
assessing the progress of your project, you should use these pre-agreed measurements to do this.

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Typical KPIs may include:
Schedule compliance

Budget compliance

Number of scope changes

Number of issues

Stakeholder satisfaction.

Try to focus on the objectives and performance of your project against the schedule and budget
estimates.

When reviewing project performance, consider the following questions:


Was your scheduling successful?

Did you reach your intended goals?

Did you deliver what you wanted to deliver?

Did you deliver it on time?

As discussed in Chapter 2.1, the methods that can be used to measure the progress of your project
activities may include:
Reporting periods

Project status

Project phases

Highlight report

Milestone chart

Checkpoint report

Percentage complete

S-Curve

Exception report

Earned value management.

You may be required to create a report that gives details of the progress of your project.

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Your report should aim to answer:
What work has already been completed?

What activities or tasks are delayed or in advance?

How does the completion date look?

How is your expenditure going against your budget?

Have any other issues occurred?

What action is needed?

Implementing agreed schedule changes


Although it would be ideal, a project schedule can never be adhered to; there will always be changes
that are required. The biggest problem within a project is the unexpected and uncontrolled changes.
You need to ensure that these changes are managed and implemented correctly. Changes were
discussed in Chapter 2.3 and it outlined that the implementation of changes was a step within your
change control system.

Agreed schedule changes may include:


Applied constraints

Changing objectives

Changing scope

Delayed or advanced task completion

Resource availability.

It may be necessary to make schedule changes in order to maintain your project objectives. All schedule
changes should be identified and planned for before implementation; what resources will be needed in
order to implement the change? What impact will the schedule change have on the overall project?
Once implemented, your schedule changes should be thoroughly tested and evaluated.

Contingency plans
A contingency plan is a component of risk management and is a key part of the preparation of your
project. Your contingency plan can help you to prepare to be able to respond coherently to an
unplanned schedule change that may occur. Within your contingency plan you will need to consider
what is going to happen, what management are going to do about it and if anything can be prepared
ahead of time.

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Updating task status
Task status indicates what stage an individual task is at and it reflects the current point that the task is
at within their life cycle. By using task statuses, not only can you track the progress of your project as a
whole, you can also track the progress of the individual activities that are involved. You can use
numerical or narrative task statuses. For example, a numerical task status will include information such
as hours or percentage complete. On the other hand, narrative task statuses will include a description of
the state of the task.

You should update your task statuses regularly as your project progresses. As soon as a task moves to a
different status, you should update your list. To update a task status, simply revise your project task list
and choose the appropriate option.

Once a change has been agreed within your project, you will need to return to original project task list
and update the status of the affected tasks. By doing this, you can ensure that everybody knows what is
going on within the project and that the accuracy and currency of the schedule is maintained.

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3. Assess time management outcomes
3.1. Review schedule performance records to determine effectiveness of time management
activities

3.2. Identify and document time management issues and recommend improvements

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3.1 – Review schedule performance records to determine effectiveness of time
management activities

The effectiveness of time management activities


Time is a precious resource and it should be managed carefully. By successfully planning your time and
identifying your priorities, you can ensure that your project is productive.

Effective time management can help you to:


Avoid taking on more than you can handle

Work steadily towards project goals

Add contingency time for the unexpected

Make sure you have enough time for the essential tasks

Understand what you can realistically achieve with your time.

You can determine the effectiveness of your time management activities by reviewing schedule
performance records.

A review of schedule performance may occur at:


Agreed major milestones, e.g. Phases, subcontracts

Change of key personnel

Completion of major deliverables

Finalisation of project and other agreed milestones.

Schedule performance records may include:


Diaries, incident logs, occurrence reports and other such records

Evaluation of options

Gantt, pert and other scheduling charts

Lists of variances and forecasts of potential scheduled events

Project and/or organisation files and records

Recommended and approved courses of action

Records of analysis

Work breakdown structure.

Within your project, you should have your own performance checklist.

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For example:
Review any major changes

o Check the reliability of the estimate within the change

o Did you prioritise changes correctly?

o Were they implemented and evaluated well?

o Were these changes updated within your schedule?

Review risk plan

o Have the project risks been reviewed?

o Is there any new risk to the project?

Review the WBS and scope

o Did you use your WBS to estimate the


duration and effort of your project?

o Were the high level requirements broken


down into high level tasks or deliverables?

o Has the project been evaluated against the project plan?

o Has the project been evaluated against the project charter?

Have the project’s assumptions been reviewed?

Were the project activities sequenced?

Were the resources estimated accurately?

Was the CPS correctly identified?

How did you conduct your project management: manually or with a program?

Did you develop a Gantt chart? How did this help?

By reviewing your schedule performance records, you can identify any issues that occurred within your
time management. From this, you can identify any improvements that can be used within future
projects. These issues and improvements will be discussed more within Chapter 3.2.

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3.2 – Identify and document time management issues and recommend
improvements

Scheduling issues
Scheduling begins with identifying and estimating the durations of the different tasks within your
project. It is essential to avoid any issues occurring within your schedule as a small delay within one
aspect of your schedule can delay everything else within your project.

There are many issues you may come across within your project schedule, including:
Ineffective communication

Resource constraints

Team experience

Incorrect estimation of task duration

Unexpected problems

The occurrence of changes.

Ineffective communication
Ineffective communication between everyone involved with a project can often lead to issues within
your original schedule. Your schedule needs to be communicated with everyone working within the
project to ensure that everyone needs to be on the same page. This will minimise the chance of any
delays occurring.

Resource constraints
If any unexpected time lags occur within your project, it may lead to constraints in the allocation and
utilisation of resources. For example, if a task is taking longer to complete than first anticipated, in order
to push to get it finished, you will require more time, more money and possibly more team members. In
order to minimise the risk of not having the resources that you need, you should carefully consider this
at the beginning of your project.

Team experience
The experience of your project team can influence the effectiveness of the implementation of the
project schedule. If you have too many inexperienced team members working within your project, this
can result in delays of task completion. The time and effort that is required to train these people will
also use valuable schedule time. In order to keep this at a minimum, you should ensure that each team
member that will be involved with your project has the skills, knowledge and experience that is
necessary for task and project completion.

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Incorrect estimation of task duration
A common issue found within a project schedule is the underestimation of how long a task will take to
complete. If you plan for a task to take a certain amount of time and it is actually an underestimation,
this can have a ripple effect on the other tasks involved with your project. In order to prevent this, you
could add a contingency time as a separate item into your schedule. This will make your project plan
more accurate and account for inaccurate estimations of task duration. Be careful not to miss any
important project tasks out completely.

Unexpected problems
Unknown events can have an effect on your project schedule.

These events may include:


Changes to the project environment

Problems with a new technology

Customers changing their mind

Team members coming up with new ideas.

If any of these events occur, this may result in your project taking longer than originally expected. In
order to try and avoid these having a major impact on your schedule, identify any possible risks at the
beginning of project and have resources at the ready. This will allow you to manage these events better,
reducing the impact on your schedule.

The occurrence of changes


There are many changes that can occur within a project, they can all disrupt the project schedule.

These changes may occur within the:


Project scope

Project requirements

Technology used.

Other scheduling issues may include:


Team or stakeholder conflicts

Frequently changing requirements

Failure to meet time schedules

Spending too much time solving problems

No allowances for change.

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Time management issues
Effective time management has a positive effect on the productivity of a project team. Issues with time
management can leave your project taking much longer than expected.

Time management issues may include:


Overcomplicated time management systems
Taking on too much
Failure to manage distractions
Not prioritising correctly.
Overcomplicated time management systems
Initially, you may see an overcomplicated time management system as a good thing. However, chances
are; it will not work. The more complicated your time management system is, the longer it will take you
to keep it in order. To avoid this, aim for a basic system that is simple to follow.

Taking on too much


A common problem within time management it that people often take on too much. Trying to do too
much may seem like a good idea but it can lead to stress, low morale and poor performance. You may
feel the need to control the whole project; this is unrealistic. Try sharing the tasks between the whole
team and start saying no to extra work.

Failure to manage distractions


Distractions can have an effect on a project’s time management attempts. Things like emails and phone
calls can distract team members from the essential tasks that they should be doing. You should try and
have a plan in place to control and limit the amount of distractions in order to stay on track. You could
also look into how to improve your concentration.

Not prioritising correctly


It is hard to know the best way to prioritise your project tasks. Which task is the most important? Even
though it is difficult, you should aim to prioritise your tasks. This can help you to manage your time
better and gain better results.

Other time management issues may include:


Not having a to-do list
Failure to keep to agreed time frames
Infrequent communication with relevant people
Estimating activity durations inaccurately
Inadequate planning
Poor containment of the project scope
Failure to record time actually spent against the planned
amount of time
Failure to adhere to the Gantt chart
Insufficient involvement of stakeholders
Failure to adhere to status updates
Unnecessary micro management.

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Issue log example:
Issue Issue Raised Date Description Priority Assigned Target Action Description of
Name Type By Raised To Resolution Taken Final Solution

Scope creep
Beware of scope creep. Scope creep is the uncontrolled changes within a project’s scope and can often
occur when the scope of a project has not been defined and controlled properly. It involves the client or
customer making changes or adding extras to the project scope. It can be the result of poor
communication or change controls. Consider what impact scope creep would have on a project. It
should be avoided at all costs. However, if scope creep is identified, you should ensure that this is
reported and authorised by the appropriate person.

Suggested improvements
As well as the improvements discussed throughout this chapter, there are many other tips for effective
time management.

For example:
Ensure your scope is accurate, expressed clearly, monitored and redefined if necessary

Ensure that your project aligns with the scope

Be aware of current issues, developments, related projects and standards that may
impact your schedule

Ensure that your time frame and budgeting contingencies are built into the initial
stages of your project

Keep you time management documentation up to date

Keep managers involved wherever necessary

Allow your team to get on.

Keep the 80/20 rule in mind; 20% of the work you do should produce 80% of the benefit of the whole
job. Within your project, only 20% of the activities are important; that 20% will produce 80% of your
overall results.

By highlighting these issues and suggesting appropriate responses you will assist in project evaluation.

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Congratulations!

You have now finished the unit 'Manage project time.'

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