Search results for: Schedule Activity

Near-Critical Activity

The project management term near-critical activity refers specifically to a project work schedule activity that is designated by the project team and or the project team leader as one that has been assigned the label of having a low total float. This idea, that being one of a near-critical activity, can be applied with equal weight and equal occurrence to any particular work schedule activity and can also be applied to any particular work schedule network path depending on how the project team and or the project team leader see fit to designate. Total float is considered among the project team to represent the limit below the near-critical activity, and the determination as to whether any particular work schedule activity fits into either category is to be determined by the project team and pro the project team leader through use of expert judgment. Additionally, the designation of work schedule activities as such can vary from project to project.

This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.

All new terms of the PMBOK 5th edition

It took a bit longer to go through this, but here they are, all the terms that have been added to the 5th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 5th edition. There are some interesting terms in it, terms that we would have thought were already part of the project management world but that had not been added officially. And who would have thought that Emotional Intelligence finally made it into the PMBOK? 238 new terms while some terms also had to leave our beloved PMBOK. Schedule Activity had to leave the PMBOK already in the 4th edition, but what has S-Curve done to the project world that it did not make it into the 5th edition?Continue reading

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Predecessor Activity

When the project management team and or the project management team leader is trying to take a good overall look at the entirety of a project, it is helpful to put the project in some sort of a graphical mechanism in which it can easily be determined when each phase or activity of the project is to take place and how long its duration should be. In the process of doing that, it is imperative that a reliable and consistent means of determining exactly when each particular activity is scheduled to begin, how long it is estimated or expected to take to continue, and when the particular activity is expected to conclude. As part of this organizational technique, this is where the concept of the predecessor activity comes to play. A predecessor activity refers specifically to the work schedule activity that is part of the project that determines or establishes when the activity that is determined by the project management team and or project management team leader to be the logical successor activity can begin or end.

This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.

Develop Schedule

In project management, developing an efficient schedule is very important. A good schedule will let the stakeholders of the project to use their time wisely to deliver results. Moreover, it also ensures that the project life cycle will be able to meet the necessary deadline.

To develop a schedule, project managers need to analyze activity sequences, resource requirements, durations and schedule constraints to create the project schedule. The advantage of this process is that by using different inputs and resources like schedule activities, duration, logical relationship and resource ability with the scheduling tool, it creates a schedule model with the planned dates for completing the project activities.

There are different  project management tools and techniques involved in developing a schedule and these include the schedule network analysis, critical path method, critical chain method, resource optimization techniques, modeling techniques, leads and lags, schedule compression and scheduling tool.

Once project managers are able to develop a schedule for their projects, it will lead to different yet critically important outputs which include generation of schedule baseline, project schedule, schedule data, project calendars, project document updates and project management plan updates. All of these outputs are necessary for schedule plan management.

Developing a project schedule is an iterative activity. This means that one activity cannot proceed without completing it. However, you can also assign tasks to schedules that are not constrained by time. Doing projects without following a schedule is like driving without having any idea on how you are going to get to your destination. The thing is that no matter the size of the project, having a good schedule is important in project management. An adequately planned schedule tells you when an activity should be done or when it should have been finished.

This term is defined in the 5th edition of the PMBOK.

Project Time Management – Watch The Clock

In the world of project management, it could be argued that no other resource is as valuable as time. This commodity, unlike money or materials, really is irreplaceable. Once a project falls behind schedule, it is extremely difficult to close the gap and get things back on track. One activity or event that is delayed affects the next like a line of falling dominoes. This means wise time administration must be a top priority. Here are several areas where accurate planning and management make a big difference.

Don’t Make Activity Sequencing Too Rigid

When you are creating a WBS, it can be tempting to construct a tidy timeline with one schedule activity flowing neatly into the next in chronological order. However, smart project management planning often means scheduling many activities concurrently even if they will be incorporated during different phases of the actual project. There is no reason to have Team B sitting around with nothing to do when they could be preparing for the role they will play when Team A is done with the first stage of a project.

Unless there is an actual dependency that prevents a schedule activity from a future project phase from being performed in advance, consider staying ahead of the curve by having work done on as many critical aspects of the project as possible simultaneously. This approach can buy you time if your project hits an unexpected snag later on.

Learn Project Duration Shortening Tricks

The old phrase “It takes as long as it takes” doesn’t always apply in project management. When you are estimating the time needed for each scheduled project activity, fully explore your options. Often, there are creative ways you can reduce the time resource required for one or more phases. Here are some questions to ask when planning time commitments:

  • Will adding more human resources to this activity shorten the project duration?
  • Will having employees work overtime get this done task faster or will quality be degraded due to fatigue?
  • Is there an individual on the team who needs to be reassigned because he/she tends to slow things down creating a bottleneck?
  • Would delaying the start of this activity until I have all the right resources in place actually lead to a quicker turnaround time?
  • Is there a tool or training option I can provide (within budget) that will reduce labor for this activity?

Shaving off a few days here or a week there creates a buffer that may help keep your project on schedule in the event of unavoidable delays.

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