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Chapter 5: Project Time Management

adopted from PMIs PMBOK 2000 and Textbook : Information Technology Project Management (author : Dr. Kathy Schwalbe)

Contents of time management

definition: charter and scope statement sequence: mandatory dependencies, discretionary dependencies, external dependencies schedule: ADM, PDM estimation: actual time + elapsed time. An art require experience. schedule development: Gantt chart, CPM and PERT schedule control and change control: perform checks, allow contingencies, communicate with stakeholders regularlyChapter 5 2

Project Time Management

Developing the schedule involves
define the scope of the work define the activities estimate how long the activities will take define sequence the activities based on its relationships estimate associate costs with the activities.

Project Time Management Processes

Project time management involves the processes required to ensure timely completion of a project. 5 Processes include:
Activity definition Activity sequencing Activity duration estimating Schedule development Schedule control
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Activity Definition process

4th planning phase process It involves identifying and documenting the specific activities that must be performed in order to produce the deliverables and sub-deliverables identified in the WBS.

Inputs to Activity Definition process

The primary input to Activity Definition. It is scope definition tool that organizes the work and provides a basis for project estimates.

Scope statement
must be considered explicitly during Activity Definition. Project justification and objectives are especially important.

Historical information
activities required on similar projects should be considered in defining project activities.

Factors that limit the teams options

factors that, for planning purposes, will be considered to be true, real, or certain.

Expert judgment
guided by historical information should be used whenever possible. subject-matter experts can help.

Tools & techniques for Activity Definition process

Project schedules grow out of the basic document that initiate a project
Project charter includes start and end dates and budget information Scope statement and WBS help define what will be done

Activity definition involves developing a more detailed WBS and supporting explanations to understand all the work to be done
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Tools & techniques for Activity Definition process (2)

dividing project elements into smaller, more manageable components. Decomposition in Activity Definition and in Scope Definition differ; the final outputs in Activity Definition are activities (action steps) and deliverables (tangible items)

previous project templates help project team to jumpstart the process.

Outputs from Activity Definition process

Activity list
includes all activities that will be performed on the project. Descriptions of each activity should ensure that stakeholders understand how the work will be done.

Supporting details
includes assumptions, constraints, and anything else that is relevant.

WBS update
Missing deliverables, clarifications, or corrections. This output creates a feedback loop by which you get to tie up loose ends. Update the WBS and related documents, such as cost estimates. These updates are often called refinements.

Activity Sequencing
5th planning phase process Involves reviewing activities and determining dependencies
Mandatory dependencies: inherent in the nature of the work; hard logic Discretionary dependencies: defined by the project team; soft logic External dependencies: involve relationships between project and non-project activities

You must determine dependencies in order to use critical path analysis

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Inputs to Activity Sequencing

Activities list
includes all activities that will be performed on the project.

Product description
product characteristics. These often affect Activity Sequencing.

Mandatory dependencies
inherent in the nature of the work being done. They often involve physical limitations. Constraints caused by mandatory dependencies are call hard-logic.

Discretionary dependencies
defined by the project management team. Constraints caused by discretionary dependencies are called soft logic.

External dependencies
involve a relationship between project and non-project activities.

part of activity sequencing to ensure that requirement for the milestone events are being met.

Tools & techniques

Project network diagrams
a schematic display of the logical relationships among, or sequencing of, project activities preferred technique for showing activity sequencing

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)

constructing a project network diagram to president the activities and connecting them with arrows to show the dependencies between tasks.
Activities are represented by boxes, arrows show relationships between activities

This charting method is also called activities-on-node (AON)

More popular than ADM method and used by project management software such as MS-project. better at showing different types of dependencies

There are 4 types of dependencies:

finish-to-start; finish-to-finish; start-to-start; start-to-finish.

Tools & techniques (2)

Arrow diagramming method (ADM)
constructing a project network diagram by using arrows to represent the activities and connecting them at nodes to show the dependencies. Nodes or circles are the starting and ending points of activities It is known as activities-on-arrow (AOA). This method uses only finish-to-start activities.

Conditional diagramming methods

allow for non-sequential activities such as loops or conditional branches, neither of which is possible in the PDM or ADM.

Network templates
Can expedite the preparation of project network diagrams


PDM fundamentals


Task Dependency Types in PDM

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Sample Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) Network Diagram for Project X

Project 98 file


AOA fundamentals


Sample Activity-on-Arrow (AOA) Network Diagram for Project X

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Steps for Creating AOA Diagrams

1. Find all of the activities that start at node 1. Draw their finish nodes

and draw arrows between node 1 and those finish nodes. Put the activity letter or name and duration estimate on the associated arrow 2. Continuing drawing the network diagram, working from left to right. Look for bursts and merges. Bursts occur when a single node is followed by two or more activities. A merge occurs when two or more nodes precede a single node 3. Continue drawing the project network diagram until all activities are included on the diagram that have dependencies 4. As a rule of thumb, all arrowheads should face toward the right, and no arrows should cross on an AOA network diagram

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Outputs from Activity Sequencing

Project network diagram
a schematic delay of the projects activities and the logical relationships (dependencies) among them. (note: it is not called a PERT chart)

Activity list update

allow a feedback loop if a network diagram reveals instances where an activity must be redefined in order to diagram the correct logical relationships


Activity Duration Estimating

6th of 21 planning phase process After defining activities and determining their sequence, the next step in time management is duration estimating Duration includes the actual amount of time worked on an activity plus elapsed time People doing the work should help create estimates, and an expert should review them
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Inputs to Activity Duration Estimation

Activity list
includes all activities that will be performed on the project.

Factors that limit the performance of the project. When constraint are involved, special considerations are often required for communications.

Factors that for planning purposes are considered to be true, real, or certain.

Resource requirements
controlling factors on activities duration. The duration of most activities will be significantly influenced by the resources assigned to them.

Resource capabilities
staff and material resources assigned to them will affect the duration of most activities.

Historical information
may be available for review from project records, commercial durationestimating databases, and team knowledge. 22

Tools & techniques

Expert judgment
Judgment guided by historical information should be used whenever possible.
An example is the Delphi Technique, which is a forecasting technique that relies on gathering expert opinions. After several iterations, the experts reach consensus of opinions.

Analogous estimating
uses the duration of a previous, similar activity as the basis for estimating the duration of a future activity. It is also called top-down estimating.

calculates multiple durations with different sets of assumptions. The most common is the Monte Carlo Analysis.

Outputs from Activity Duration Estimation

Activities duration estimation
Quantitative assessments of the likely number of work periods such as hours, days, weeks, or months that will be required to complete an activities.

Basis of estimates
includes the assumptions made in developing your estimates, which must be documented.

Activities list updates

this feedback loop ensures completeness.


Gantt Charts
Gantt charts provide a standard format for displaying project schedule information by listing project activities and their corresponding start and finish dates in a calendar format Symbols include:
A black diamond: milestones or significant events on a project with zero duration Thick black bars: summary tasks Lighter horizontal bars: tasks Arrows: dependencies between tasks
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Schedule development
7th of 21 planning phase process It is the process of determining the start and finish dates for all project activities The activity sequences, activity duration, and resource requirement are analyzed together to create the project schedule.


Schedule Development
7th of 21 planning phase process Schedule development uses results of the other time management processes to determine the start and end date of the project and its activities Ultimate goal is to create a realistic project schedule that provides a basis for monitoring project progress for the time dimension of the project Important tools and techniques include Gantt charts, PERT analysis, critical path analysis, and critical chain scheduling
Chapter 5 27

Inputs to Schedule development

Project network diagram: A schematic display of the projects activities and the logical relationships (dependencies) among them. Activities duration estimation: Quantitative assessments of the likely number of work periods such as hours, days, weeks, or months that will be required to complete an activities. Resource requirements: define what physical resources (people, equipment, and materials) and what quantities of each are needed to perform project activities. Resource pool descriptions: identify the required resources, listing who will be available, when, and in what patterns, as necessary for schedule development.

Inputs to Schedule development (2)

Calendars: identify the time when work is allowed. Project calendars affect all resource. Resource calendars affect a specific resource or category of resource. Constraints: constraints to consider during schedule development include: a) imposed dates; b) key events or major milestones. Assumptions: factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain. Leads and lags: the lead is the minimum necessary lapse of time between the start of one activity and the start of an overlapping activity. The lag is the waiting time between two tasks (negative lead) such as waiting for concrete to harden or paint to dry.

Inputs to Schedule development (3)

Risk management plan: A subsidiary part of the project plan. It documents the procedures to manage risk throughput the project. Activity attributes: describes various characteristics of the activities scheduled responsibilities, WBS order, the location where the work will be performed, the level.


Tools & techniques

Mathematical analysis
Calculating theoretical early and late start and finish dates for all project activities without any resource pool limitations. The most common analysis techniques are
Critical path method (CPM); Graphical evaluation and review technique (GERT); PERT.

Duration compression methods

ways to shorten the project schedule without changing the project scope. Two techniques are used:
crashing; fast-tracking.

Tools & techniques (2)

calculates multiple durations with different sets of assumptions. The most common is Monte Carlo analysis, in which a distribution of probable results is defined for each activity and used to calculate a distribution of probable results for the total project.

Resource level heuristics

use mathematical analysis to produce a preliminary schedule. Resource leveling heuristics are used when the schedule requires more resources during certain time periods than are available, or requires changes in resource level that are not manageable.

Project management software

widely used to assist with schedule development

Outputs from Schedule development

Project schedule
includes at a minimum the planned start and expected finish dates for each detailed activity. displayed graphically in one of the following formats
project network diagrams (e.g. Gantt Chart) bar charts milestone charts

Support details
include at least documentation of all identified assumptions and constrains. Some examples are resource histograms, alternative schedules, and cash-flow schedules.

Schedule management plan

defines how changes to the schedules will be managed.

Resource requirement updates

a result of resource leveling and activity list updates.

Gantt Chart for Project X

Project 98 file
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Gantt Chart for Software Launch Project

Project 98 file


Sample Tracking Gantt Chart

Project 98 file

white diamond: slipped milestone two bars: planned and actual times
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Critical Path Method (CPM)

CPM is a project network analysis technique used to predict total project duration A critical path for a project is the series of activities that determines the earliest time by which the project can be completed The critical path is the longest path through the network diagram and has the least amount of slack or float
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Finding the Critical Path

First develop a good project network diagram Add the durations for all activities on each path through the project network diagram The longest path is the critical path

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Simple Example of Determining the Critical Path

Consider the following project network diagram. Assume all times are in days.

4 5




D=7 F=2


1. How many paths are on this network diagram? 2. How long is each path?

3. Which is the critical path?

4. What is the shortest amount of time needed to complete this project? Chapter 5

Determining the Critical Path for Project X


More on the Critical Path

If one of more activities on the critical path takes longer than planned, the whole project schedule will slip unless corrective action is taken Misconceptions:
The critical path is not the one with all the critical activities; it only accounts for time There can be more than one critical path if the lengths of two or more paths are the same The critical path can change as the project progresses
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Using Critical Path Analysis to Make Schedule Trade-offs

Knowing the critical path helps you make schedule trade-offs Free slack or free float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the early start of any immediately following activities Total slack or total float is the amount of time an activity may be delayed from its early start without delaying the planned project finish date

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Free and Total Float or Slack for Project X


Techniques for Shortening a Project Schedule

Shortening durations of critical tasks for adding more resources or changing their scope
Crashing tasks by obtaining the greatest amount of schedule compression for the least incremental cost Fast tracking tasks by doing them in parallel or overlapping them

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Importance of Updating Critical Path Data

It is important to update project schedule information The critical path may change as you enter actual start and finish dates If you know the project completion date will slip, negotiate with the project sponsor

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Multitasking Example


Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

PERT is a network analysis technique
to estimate project duration when there is a high degree of uncertainty about the individual activity duration estimates

PERT uses probabilistic time estimates based on different estimates of activity durations
optimistic estimates (weighting 1) most likely estimates (weighting 4) pessimistic estimates (weighting 1)
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PERT Formula and Example

PERT weighted average formula:
optimistic time + 4x most likely time + pessimistic time 6

Example: PERT weighted average =

8 workdays + 4 X 10 workdays + 24 workdays = 12 days 6 where 8 = optimistic time, 10 = most likely time, and 24 = pessimistic time

Controlling Changes to the Project Schedule

4th of 8 Controlling phase process It involves managing changes to the schedule. The major activities include
monitor the schedule performance of project activities detect variances from the original schedule baseline. general steps:
Perform reality checks on schedules

Allow for contingencies Dont plan for everyone to work at 100% capacity all the time Hold progress meetings with stakeholders and be clear Chapter 5 and honest in communicating schedule issues


Inputs to Schedule control

Project schedule
As a part of the integrated project plan, the approved schedule is called schedule baseline. Project team/manager re-baseline when the schedule becomes unrealistic. Re-baselining occurs when project team/manager do any major update in order to have a better control the schedule.

Performance reports
provide information on schedule execution showing if planned dates have been met. These reports also alert project team on issues that may cause problem in future.

Change requests
any update of schedule, that may require extending or accelerating the schedule.

Scope management plan

describes how changes will be integrated into the project. It is part of the 50 project plan.

Tools & techniques for Schedule control process

Schedule change control system:
defines the procedures for changing the project schedule. It includes the paperwork, tracking systems, and approval levels necessary for authorizing changes.

Performance measurement techniques:

assess the magnitude of any variations that occur in project performance. An important part of Schedule Control is to decide if the schedule variation requires corrective action.

Additional planning:
prospective changes may require new or revised activity duration estimates, modified activity sequences, or analysis of alternative schedules.

Project management software:

widely used to assist with schedule development and control. In the context of controlling, it is schedule tracking, and reporting. It helps levels resources, for schedule alternatives.

Using Software to Assist in Time Management

Software for facilitating communications helps people exchange schedule-related information Decision support models help analyze trade-offs that can be made Project management software can help in various time management areas
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Outputs from schedule control process

Schedule updates:
include any modification to the schedule used to manage the project. A special category of schedule updates, revisions, describes changes to start and finish dates in the approval project schedule.

Corrective action:
encompasses anything that brings your expected future schedule back in line with the project plan. These actions are outputs from the other knowledge areas.

Lessons learned:
document causes of variances, the reasoning behind corrective actions, and other lessons learned from schedule change.


Working with People Issues

Strong leadership helps projects succeed more than good PERT charts Project managers should use
empowerment incentives discipline negotiation
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importance of project schedules: IT project always over-run Time management process
definition (planning) sequence (planning) schedule estimation (planning) schedule development (planning) schedule control (control)
Chapter 5 55

Summary (2)
definition: charter and scope statement sequence: mandatory dependencies, discretionary dependencies, external dependencies schedule: ADM, PDM estimation: actual time + elapsed time. An art require experience. schedule development: Gantt chart, CPM and PERT schedule control and change control: perform checks, allow contingencies, communicate with stakeholders regularly 56