A network diagram is created and the activities of a project are sequenced during the third process of time management called the Sequence of Activities process. The Precedence Diagramming Method is one of the most common methods for creating a network diagram in the world of project management. Keep in mind when outlining your process. Some activities are dependent on each other. One of the most commonly talked about dependencies and the world of project management are leads and lags, which we will explore in this article.
You may even run into questions regarding leads and lags when preparing for the PMP exam. If you come across these questions during your preparation process, it is likely that these questions will appear again during the real PMP exam.
What are Leads and Lags?
First and foremost, we will define leads and lags, and give some examples of how they appear in the world of project management.
Definition of PMP Lead Time
Successor activities rely on the previous activity in a network diagram. Lead time activities will begin before the previous activity is completed.
Example: Coding might start 5 days before the design finishes.
For this first example, we will examine a product development project. The engineering process may begin before the product design process has completed. The engineering team will build the base foundation for the product so that the design team can then give their input on the layout. Ultimately this will allow the project to go faster as the team will not have to wait for the design to be completely finished before beginning preliminary engineering steps. This allows for the client to submit change requests more easily and get the project approved far before the deadline.
What is Lag Time?
Next up we will examine lag time. Lag time is the amount of time that needs to pass before the successor activity can begin. For example, in a design and engineering project, the design team would need to completely finish their process before the engineering team begins working directly on the product. This could allow for a stronger product design, and less work and changes needed for the engineering team.
Example: Wait for 3 days after pouring concrete to start constructing the frame of a house.
We hope this article helps you learn more about leads and lag times when referring to project management. Remember, 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.