Project Time Management
Time management processes plan, create and manage the project schedule.
When to use
Time management processes are used throughout most of the project lifecycle. They are part of planning, executing and control. These processes are often used in an iterative manner during the process. In most projects the schedule is frequently updated and changed.
Project Time Management
“Project Time Management includes the processes required to manage the timely completion of the project.” PMBOK® Guide
Time management processes closely interact with each other and many of the other project management processes. Project time management (schedule) is one of the three triple constraints on a project - the others being scope and budget (or resources). Although listed separately because of the different nature of the work involved, the time management processes within the planning group are often done simultaneously as sequencing, activity definition, estimating both resources and duration, and schedule creation are done iteratively.
Project Time Management Processes
There are seven Project Time Management Processes. They relate to each other as shown in the diagram below. Although shown as distinct processes, they often overlap. As can be seen by the diagram, they feedback into each other. The seven processes are:
- 6.1 Plan Schedule Management: “The process of establishing the policies, procedures, and documentation for planning, developing, managing, executing and controlling the project schedule.” PMBOK® Guide
- 6.2 Define Activities: “The process of identifying and documenting the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables.” PMBOK® Guide
- 6.3 Sequence Activities: “The process of identifying and documenting relationships among the project activities.” PMBOK® Guide
- 6.4 Estimate Activity Resources: “The process of estimating the type and quantities of material, human resources, equipment or suppliers to perform each activity.” PMBOK® Guide
- 6.5 Estimate Activity Duration: “The process of estimating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources.” PMBOK® Guide
- 6.6 Develop Schedule: “The process of analyzing activity sequences, durations, resource assignments, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule model.” PMBOK® Guide
- 6.7 Control Schedule: “The process of monitoring the status of project activities to update project progress and manage changes to the schedule baseline to achieve the plan.” PMBOK® Guide
Scheduling Terms and Definitions
There are numerous terms and definitions associated with scheduling found within the PMBOK® Guide. Understanding the meaning of these terms is helpful when answering the questions on the PMP® Exam. A list of the commonly used terms and their definitions is provided below. At times the difference between some of the terms may appear subtle, but the distinction is worth noting.
- Schedule Baseline: “The approved version of a schedule model that can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison to actual results.” PMBOK® Guide
- Schedule Management Plan: “A component of the Project Management Plan that established the criteria and the activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the schedule.” PMBOK® Guide
- Scheduling Tool: “A tool that provides schedule component names, definitions, structural relationships, and formats that support the application of a schedule method.” PMBOK® Guide
- Schedule Model: “A representation of the plan for executing the project’s activities including durations, dependencies, and other planning information, used to produce a project schedule along with other scheduling artifacts.” PMBOK® Guide
- Project Schedule: “An output of a schedule model that presents linked activities with planned dates, durations, milestones, and resources.” PMBOK® Guide
- Project Calendar: “A calendar that identifies working days and shifts that are available for scheduled activities.” PMBOK® Guide
- Schedule Data: “The collection of information for describing and controlling the schedule.” PMBOK® Guide
Definitions are taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013, Pages 534, 536, 537, 539, 550, 553, 555, 556, 561 and 562. PMBOK and PMP are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
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PMI, PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.