The Develop Schedule process is a crucial step in project management that involves creating an optimized project schedule. A well-defined and realistic schedule is essential for successful project execution and delivery. In this article, we will explore how to effectively conduct the Develop Schedule process, including the key steps, tools, and techniques you need to know.
What is The Goal of This Process?
In the Develop Schedule process, project managers will explore resource needs, team ability, and other aspects important to the schedule process. Each of these steps works towards completing the project schedule. This schedule will include the timeline of each project, how each activity coordinates with one another, the resource of each activity, and the total time it will take to complete the project.
Understanding the Develop Schedule Process
The Develop Schedule process is part of the Project Time Management knowledge area, as defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Its primary objective is to analyze project activities, dependencies, and constraints to create a comprehensive and achievable project schedule.
Key Steps in the Develop Schedule Process
1. Define Project Activities: Break down the project scope into smaller, manageable activities. Identify the sequence and dependencies between these activities.
2. Sequence Activities: Determine the order in which project activities should be executed. Use techniques like precedence diagramming method (PDM) or dependency determination.
3. Estimate Activity Resources: Identify and allocate the resources required to complete each activity. Consider factors such as availability, skills, and cost.
4. Estimate Activity Durations: Estimate the time required to complete each activity. Consider historical data, expert judgment, and other estimation techniques.
5. Develop Schedule: Use scheduling techniques such as critical path method (CPM) or project management software to create the project schedule. Consider resource availability, constraints, and project objectives.
6. Analyze Schedule: Evaluate the project schedule for feasibility, risks, and conflicts. Make adjustments as needed to optimize the schedule.
7. Obtain Schedule Approval: Share the developed schedule with stakeholders, obtain their feedback, and seek approval.
8. Maintain the Schedule: Continuously monitor and update the project schedule as the project progresses. Make adjustments to accommodate changes and keep the schedule on track.
Tools and Techniques for Develop Schedule
During the Develop Schedule process, project managers can utilize various tools and techniques:
- Scheduling Software: Project management software, such as Microsoft Project or Primavera P6, can facilitate schedule development, analysis, and maintenance.
- Network Diagrams: Visual representations of project activities and their dependencies, including techniques like the critical path method (CPM) and the program evaluation and review technique (PERT).
- Gantt Charts: Bar charts that illustrate project activities, durations, and dependencies. Gantt charts provide a visual overview of the project schedule.
- Resource Optimization Techniques: Methods for allocating and leveling resources to optimize the project schedule, considering resource availability and constraints.
- Estimation Techniques: Various methods, such as analogous estimation, parametric estimation, and three-point estimation, to estimate activity durations and resource requirements.
- Expert Judgment: Seek input and insights from subject matter experts, stakeholders, and experienced project managers to validate the schedule and make informed decisions.
Inputs Needed to Complete The Process
In order to develop a schedule following are needed:
- Project scope statement
- Activity list
- Network diagram
- Activity duration estimate
- Activity resource requirements
- Resource calendars
- A company calendar, such as working and non-working days
Best Practices for Conducting the Develop Schedule Process
Here are some best practices to consider when conducting the Develop Schedule process:
- Collaboration: Involve key stakeholders, team members, and subject matter experts in the schedule development process. Their input and expertise can enhance the accuracy and validity of the schedule.
- Consider Dependencies: Identify and understand the dependencies between project activities. Ensure that the schedule reflects these dependencies accurately to avoid delays or disruptions.
- Contingency Planning: Account for uncertainties and risks in the project schedule by incorporating contingency buffers or applying schedule compression techniques.
- Regular Monitoring: Continuously monitor the project schedule throughout the project lifecycle. Regularly update and revise the schedule based on progress, changes, and emerging risks.
- Communication: Clearly communicate the project schedule to stakeholders, team members, and relevant parties. Ensure that everyone understands the schedule, milestones, and critical paths.
Once you have completed the Develop Schedule process, you will have a finalized model with each activity planned to a T. Once you have organized activities in a specific sequence that makes sense for your team, you can explore the relationship between activities. Then, the planned start and completion dates of the project will be finalized and communicated within the project schedule.
In the project schedule, you will find that the estimates will be based on completion time. For example, if you are working on an app development project, task completion goals will appear as:
- Completion of the database is three days
- Back-end work on the user experience is four days off
- Front-end work on the sign-out page is one day
Remember, The use of similar units must be included in the entire schedule plan. For example, every activity must be met with estimated hours, days, or minutes.
Your project schedule should be calendar-based so that activities are organized by start and end date. For example, activity a will start on June 10th and will end on June 12th. Both the activity’s start and end dates need to be clearly stated on the schedule for all project team members to view.
Sign-up for a 7-day free trial! Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Sign-up for a 7-day free trial!
Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
The Develop Schedule process is a vital component of effective project management. By following the key steps and utilizing the appropriate tools and techniques, project managers can create a realistic and achievable project schedule. A well-developed schedule allows for better project control, resource optimization, risk management, and stakeholder communication. Implementing best practices and continuous monitoring will help ensure the project stays on track and successfully delivers its objectives.
Understanding the information in this article is an essential part of project management and a vital part of the PMP exam. Improve your project management skills or prepare for the PMP Certification exam by taking a quality online PMP exam prep course.