What is Schedule Management?

Time management according to PMBOK is one of the nine (9) subject matters in project management. The project execution plan (PEP) has a designated chapter describing in detail how the time and phases of a project will be managed. Organising time properly is essential in the success of any project. There are 6 processes that are involved in PMBOK time management.

  1. Definition of activities. The project management team (PMT) needs to list the activities and tasks that need to be done during the project life cycle so that they can be used for scheduling. Along with the tasks, activities and action items, the methods to be used during the processes should also be outlined such as breaking down of milestones into action items, constraints, risks.
  2. Sequencing of activities. During this time, project managers need to precede documents and map task dependencies. The team may use some tools such as precedence diagramming method and other techniques for diagramming dependencies and in the end, produce a network diagram. A scheduling expert can greatly use his experience when sequencing activities.
  3. Estimating resources. Resources include people, materials, equipment and machines that are needed to execute various project activities to produce the deliverables. The PMO with its experts and contractors needs to determine the type of resources required and the quantity needed. Each activity resource needs to be estimated and for this, an expert judgment is required.
  4. Estimating activity durations. The PD/PM together with the PMO team estimates the time needed to complete an activity in accordance to the scope and resource availability. To estimate time, experts use formulas such as the PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique). Accuracy is important to develop an exact schedule.
  5. Developing project schedule. A tool such as Primavera 6 or Merlin can help to develop the schedule. There may be a need for resource levelling to prevent over or under allocation of resources. During this stage, the project team plots the start and end dates for each activity as well as the entire project’s start and completion dates. The team may use activity sequences, duration and resource estimation as well as project schedule constraints to achieve an accurate schedule. Knowledge of PMBOK time management is essential in developing a project schedule.
  6. Controlling the project schedule. Since processes change, so does the schedule. There is a need to create effective scheduling processes so that it becomes manageable so that when there is a need to change, it can be modified easily. The schedule control process explains and monitors the project status so that it is easy to identify change requirements in the schedule