Mar 28

Project Time Management: Part-1

[note: My articles are just a note/reminder to me. I keep them here so that I can refresh my memory whenever required. The artcles may be weak as a writing component. Thanks.]

Project Time Management
Project time management process

1. Define Activities Required
2. Sequence Activities
3. Estimate Resources for the Activities
4. Calculate Duration of the Activities
5. Develop Schedule
6. Control Schedule

Process:
Define Activities Required: List all the activities, functionalities, modules, components you want to develop. When the project scope is defined, use it to decompose the work into activity list. Work breakdown structure will be useful at this stage. List what modules, components the project will handle. List all the functionalities/activities that are required for each of the modules/components. For each activity, define properties, assumptions, quality requirements, and output requirements.

Input: Project scope statement, Work breakdown structure
Output: Project activities [activity list], Activity attributes, milestone list, requested changes

Tools:

Decomposition:Decompose work into smaller activities. Project team or the functional manager may be of good use here.
Templates: The Company may have them, other project may have them, and some standards like IEEE may define some templates
Rolling Wave Planning: Many later aspects of the project may not be understood at the beginning. Hence, initially decompose as much as possible and later with the progress, improve the decomposition
Expert Judgment: Take help of other experts in the field. Project team or the functional manager may be of good use here.

Sequence Activities: Find the order/sequence of the activities. Some activities may be dependent on the completion of another activity. Some modules may be dependent on the completion of another module. Sometimes, it may be the case; some activities/modules are not strictly dependent on another activity but may be preferable to start after another activity/module [Best Practice]. Note: module refers to a complete unit/component where each module may have many activities. In this step, you need to find the sequence and then create a project network diagram.

Input: Mostly from the first step.
Project scope statement,
Activity list,
Activity Attributes
Milestone List
Approved change requests

Tools:

Precedence Diagram Method (PDM): Activities are represented by the nodes where arrows represent the dependencies that exist between the activities.
Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM): Activities are represented using arrows where nodes represent the connection points. We can create dummy activities with dotted arrows [not possible in pdm].
Graphical Evaluative Review Technique (GERT): Like the PDM diagrams. Additionally, you can show dependencies among activities. Also, you can represent repeated processes.
Network Templates: Sub networks of another project in the organization may be useful.
Dependency Determination: like mandatory dependencies [you can not break the dependency], discretionary dependencies [best practices, the dependency is not strict], and external dependencies [out of the scope of the project].
Apply leads and lags:

Output: Project schedule network diagram.

3rd: Then you need to identify the resource requirements of each activity.

4th: Estimate duration for each activity. It may be experience based, practical examples based, another completed project based, mathematical analysis based.

5th: Develop the schedule; Project sequencing and time estimating will directly affect this. Several projects may require the same resource. Hence, the schedule should check when the resource is available and schedule accordingly.

6th: Monitor how the schedule is performing.

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