10. Project Schedule Planning

In order to build our schedule, we first should specify the tasks, sequence them in the best order, estimate the resources needed, and also estimate the time it will certainly take to complete the work.

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Defining Activities

The activity meaning procedure is a even more breakdown of the job-related package aspects of the WBS. It docu­ments the specific tasks required to fulfill the deliverables comprehensive in the WBS. These tasks are not the deliverables themselves but the individual units of job-related that must be completed to satisfy the deliverables. Activity meaning offers everything we currently know about the project to divide the work-related right into activities that have the right to be approximated. You can desire to look at all the lessons learned from similar jobs your firm has done to gain a good principle of what you have to do on the current one.

Expert judgment in the form of job team members via prior experience developing job scope statements and also WBS can assist you specify tasks. If you are asked to control a project in a new doprimary, you can also use professionals in that certain field to assist define jobs so you deserve to understand what tasks are going to be connected. You might want to produce an task list and then have actually the skilled testimonial it and indicate changes. Additionally, you might involve the experienced from the exceptionally start and ask to have an task meaning conversation with him or her before even making your initially draft of the list.

Sometimes you start a job without discovering a lot around the occupational that you’ll be doing later. Rolling-wave planning allows you plan and schedule only the portion that you know enough about to setup well. When you don’t understand sufficient about a project, you deserve to use placeholders for the unknown sections till you understand even more. These are extra items that are put at high levels in the WBS to permit you to setup for the unknown.

A Case Study

Susan and also Steve have made a decision to tie the knot, however they don’t have a lot time to plan their wedding. They want the massive day to be unforgettable. They desire to invite many type of civilization and also provide a good time. They’ve always dreamed of a June wedding, but it’s already January. Just reasoning about every one of the details involved is overwhelming. Susan has been dreaming of the significant day considering that she was 12, yet it seems that there’s so bit time for all the tasks to be completed. When they were choosing the paper for the invitations, the couple realized that they essential aid.


Susan: Steve, we need some assist.Steve: Don’t problem. My sister’s wedding planner was good. Let me provide her a call. Wedding Planner: Hello, Susan and Steve.Steve: We want whatever to be perfect.Susan: There is so much to do! Invitations, food, guests, and also music.Steve: Oh no, we haven’t even booked a place!Susan: And it has to be done ideal. We can’t print the invitations until we have actually the food selection planned. We can’t execute the seating arrangements till we have actually the RSVPs. We aren’t sure what sort of band to obtain for the reception, or have to it be a DJ? We’re just overwhelmed.Steve: My sister shelp you really conserved her wedding. I understand she provided you over a year to plan. But I’ve constantly dreamed of a June wedding, and I’m not willing to provide that up. I understand it’s late, yet Sally, have the right to you assist us?Wedding Planner: Take it straightforward. I’ve acquired it under regulate. We’ve the majority of civilization and tasks to obtain under regulate. You really must have dubbed six months earlier, yet we’ll still make this wedding occur on time.

Much job-related has to be done before June. First, Sally numbers out what occupational needs to be done. She starts to put together a to-execute list:

InvitationsFlowersWedding cakeDinner menuBand

Because many type of different people are connected in the making of the wedding, it takes a lot planning to coordinate all the occupational in the best order by the best people at the appropriate time. Initially, Sally was worried that she didn’t have sufficient time to make certain that whatever would certainly be done correctly. However before, she kbrand-new that she had actually some powerful time administration devices on her side once she took the job, and also these devices would certainly help her to synchronize all the required jobs.

To acquire began, Sally arranged all the activities in a job-related breakdvery own structure. The following exercise presents component of the WBS Sally produced the wedding.


Arrange the complying with tasks into the WBS (Figure 10.1) to display how the job-related items dewrite into tasks.


Shop for shoesCreate guest listHave the tailoring and also fitting doneShop for dressFind catererCater the weddingWait for RSVPsMail the invitationsFinalize the menuPrint the invitationsChoose the bouquet
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Figure 10.1 Work breakdown framework (WBS) based on the job phase.

Equipment to Exercise:

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Figure 10.2 WSB Wedding Exercises Equipment.
Activity List

Now that the activity interpretations for the work packages have been completed, the following task is to finish the task list. The job activity list is a list of every little thing that requirements to be done to finish your task, consisting of all the tasks that have to be accomplished to supply each work package. Next off you desire to define the activity features. Here’s wright here the description of each activity is maintained. It consists of all the information you must figure out plus the order of the job-related. Any predecessor tasks, successor activities, or constraints should be detailed in the attributes along with descriptions and any kind of various other information around sources or time that you require for planning. The three main kinds of precursors are finish-to-begin (FS), start-to-start (SS), and finish-to-complete (FF). The a lot of prevalent sort of predecessor is the finish-to-begin. It implies that one job needs to be completed prior to another one can start. When you think of precursors, this is what you normally think of; one thing demands to end before the following have the right to begin. It’s dubbed finish-to-begin because the first activity’s finish leads into the second activity’s begin (Figure 10.3).

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Figure 10.3: An instance of a finish-to-start (FS) predecessor.

The start-to-start predecessor is a small less common, however periodically you need to coordinate tasks so they start at the same time (Figure 10.4).

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Figure 10.4: An instance of a start-to-begin (SS) predecessor.

The finish-to-end up predecessor shows tasks that end up at the same time (Figure 10.5).

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Figure 10.5: An example of a finish-to-complete (FF) predecessor.

It is feasible to have actually start-to-finish (SF) precursors. This happens once tasks need that another task be started prior to the successor task have the right to complete. An instance can be that the musicians cannot complete playing until the guests have started leaving the ceremony. In enhancement, tright here are some certain forms of predecessors that have to be considered.

External Predecessors

Sometimes your job will certainly depfinish on things exterior the occupational you’re doing. For the wedding, we are depending on the wedding party prior to us to be out of the reception hall in time for us to decorate. The decoration of the reception hall then relies on that as an outside predecessor.

Discretionary Predecessors

These are typically process- or procedure-moved or best-practice methods based on past endure. In the wedding example, Steve and Susan desire the bridesmaids to arrive at the reception prior to the couple arrives. There’s no necessity; it is simply a matter of preference.

Mandatory Predecessors

You can’t address an invitation that hasn’t been printed yet. So printing invitations is a mandatory predecessor for addressing them. Mandatory predecessors are the kinds that need to exist just because of the nature of the work.

Leads and Lags

Sometimes you must offer some additional time between activities. Lag time is as soon as you purposecompletely put a hold-up between the predecessor task and the follower. For instance, when the bride and also her father dance, the others wait awhile prior to they join them (Figure 10.6).

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Figure 10.6 A lag implies making sure that one job waits a while before it gets began.

Lead time is as soon as you give a successor job some time to gain began before the predecessor finishes (Figure 10.7). So you might desire the caterer preparing dessert an hour prior to everybody is eating dinner.

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Figure 10.7: A lead is as soon as you let a job get began prior to its predecessor is done.Milestones

All of the important checkpoints of your project are tracked as milestones. Several of them can be noted in your contract as needs of effective completion; some might just be considerable points in the job that you desire to keep track of. The milerock list demands to let everyone recognize which landmarks are required and also which are not.

Some landmarks for Susan and Steve’s wedding might be:

Invitations sentMenu finalizedLocation bookedBridesmaids’ dresses fitted

As you figure out which tasks will certainly need to be done, you might realize that the scope needs to readjust. When that happens, you have to produce a adjust repursuit and also send it with the change regulate system.

Some points that can go wrong:


Wedding Planner: We simply gained the programs earlier from the printer and also they’re all wrong.Steve: The quartet cancelled. They had actually an additional wedding that day.Susan: Aunt Jane is meant to sing at the company, however after what taken place at her uncle’s funeral, I think I want someone else to perform it.Steve: Should we really have a pan flute player? I’m beginning to think it can be overkill.Susan: Apparently! Maybe we need to hold off on printing the invitations till these things are worked out.Wedding Planner: OK, let’s think around precisely how we desire to do this. I think we should be certain about just how we desire the business to go prior to we execute any type of even more printing.
The Activity Sequencing Process

Now that we understand what we have to perform to make the wedding a success, we have to emphasis on the order of the occupational. Sally sat dvery own through every one of the activities she had characterized for the wedding and made a decision to number out precisely how they needed to take place. That’s wbelow she supplied the activity sequencing procedure.

The activity attribute list Sally created had actually a lot of of the precursors and also successors necessary composed in it. This is where she thought of what comes first, second, third, etc. Sally’s milerock list had actually major pieces of job-related composed dvery own, and also there were a couple of alters to the scope she had discovered along the method that were apverified and also all set to go.

Example milestone list: Steve and also Susan had actually asked that the invitations be printed at least 3 months in development to be certain that everyone had actually time to RSVP. That’s a milerock on Sally’s list.
Example readjust request: When Sally realized that Steve and Susan were going to require an additional limo to take the bridesmaids to the reception hall, she put that readjust with change control, consisting of running whatever by Susan’s mother, and it was apverified.
Creating the Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a kind of bar chart, emerged by Henry Gantt, that illustprices a task schedule. Gantt charts are simple to review and also are frequently used to display screen schedule tasks. These charts display screen the start and end up days of the terminal elements and summary aspects of a job. Terminal facets and also summary elements comprise the occupational breakdvery own framework of the job. Some Gantt charts also show the dependency relationships (i.e., precedence network) in between tasks.

Gantt charts present all the crucial stages of a project and also their duration as a bar chart, through the time range across the top. The essential stperiods are placed on the bar chart in sequence, beginning in the peak left edge and finishing in the bottom best corner (Figure 10.8). A Gantt chart deserve to be drawn conveniently and quickly and is frequently the initially tool a task manager supplies to administer a turbulent estimate of the moment that it will require to complete the crucial tasks. Sometimes it is valuable to begin with the targain deadline for completion of the totality job, because it is quickly noticeable if the moment range is also brief or unnecessarily lengthy. The detailed Gantt chart is typically built after the major objectives have actually been identified.

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Figure 10.8 Gantt chart for directory production

In this instance in Figure 10.8, key phase K (Organize distribution) starts at week 23 so that its end allude corresponds with key phase L (Distribute directory). However before, K can start as early on as week 17, as soon as key stage J is completed. Key phase K is therefore sassist to have “sabsence.” Key stage H (Agree print contract) has actually been inserted to end at week 12. However, it can end as late as week 22, bereason crucial stage I (Print directory) does not begin till week 23. Key stage H is therefore said to have actually “float.” Float time can be shown on the chart by adding a line ahead of the bar to the latest possible end allude. Sabsence and also float display you where there is flexibility in the schedule, and also this deserve to be beneficial when you need to gain time as soon as the job is up and also running.

You have the right to add various other indevelopment to a Gantt chart, for example:

Milestones could be indicated by making use of a symbol such as a diamond or triangle.Project meetings can be shown by an additional symbol such as a circle.Reviews of progress can be suggested by a square.

For a complex project, you might decide to produce a sepaprice Gantt chart for each of the key stages. If you carry out this quickly prior to each key phase begins, you will have the ability to take any kind of last-minute eventualities right into account. These charts administer a helpful tool for monitoring and also manage as the project progresses.

Gantt charts are fairly straightforward to attract by hand, however this doesn’t offer the exact same level of flexibility during monitoring that you would obtain from a software program package. Various programs are easily accessible to assist task supervisors in scheduling and manage. Once the information have actually been entered, a routine helps you to work-related on “what if” scenarios, showing what might take place if a crucial phase is delayed or speeded up. This is more difficult if you are functioning manually.

Creating the Netjob-related Diagram

Many kind of task supervisors use netjob-related diagrams when scheduling a project. The netjob-related diagram is a way to visualize the interrelationships of task activities. Network diagrams administer a graphical watch of the jobs and also how they relate to one another. The tasks in the network-related are the occupational packperiods of the WBS. All of the WBS jobs should be had in the netoccupational bereason they need to be accounted for in the schedule. Leaving also one job out of the network can adjust the in its entirety schedule duration, estimated prices, and also resource alplace commitments.

The first step is to ararray the jobs from your WBS right into a sequence. Some jobs deserve to be achieved at any kind of time throughout the project wbelow various other jobs depfinish on input from another job or are constrained by time or resources.

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Figure 10.9: The relationship between the occupational breakdown framework (WBS) and the netjob-related diagram.

The WBS is not a schedule, yet it is the basis for it. The network-related diagram is a schedule however is provided mostly to recognize vital scheduling indevelopment that ultimately goes right into user-friendly schedule styles, such as milestone and also Gantt charts.

The network diagram provides vital information to the task team. It provides information around how the work are related (Figure 10.9), wbelow the risk points are in the schedule, just how long it will take as presently planned to finish the job, and also once each job requirements to start and finish.

In our wedding planner instance, Sally would look for relationships in between tasks and recognize what have the right to be done in parallel and also what activities must wait for others to finish. As an instance, Figure 10.10 reflects exactly how the activities connected in developing the invitations depend on one an additional. Showing the tasks in rectangles and their relationships as arrows is called a precedence diagramming method (PDM). This type of diagram is also dubbed an activity-on-node (AON) diagram.

Anvarious other way to show just how jobs relate is with the activity-on-arrow (AOA) diagram. Although AON is more generally offered and also is supported by all task administration programs, PERT is the best-known AOA-form diagram and is the historical basis of all network-related diagramming. The main difference is the AOA diagram is traditionally drawn making use of circles as the nodes, with nodes representing the start and ending points of the arrows or work. In the AOA netjob-related, the arrows represent the activities or tasks (Figure 10.11).

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Figure 10.10: An instance of an activity on node (AON) diagram.

All netjob-related diagrams have the advantages of mirroring job interdependencies, begin and finish times, and also the critical course (the longest route via the network) yet the AOA network-related diagram has actually some disbenefits that limit the usage of the strategy.

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Figure 10.11: An example of an task arrow (AOA) netoccupational diagram.

The 3 major disbenefits of the AOA strategy are:

The AOA network-related have the right to just show finish-to-start relationships. It is not feasible to display lead and lag other than by including or subtracting time, which provides job tracking challenging.There are instances when dummy activities can happen in an AOA network-related. Dummy activities are activities that display the dependency of one job on various other jobs but for other than technological factors. For instance, one task might depend on one more because it would be more cost efficient to use the very same sources for the two; otherwise the two work might be achieved in parallel. Dummy activities carry out not have actually durations linked via them. They ssuggest present that a job has some kind of dependence on an additional job.AOA diagrams are not as commonly supplied as AON diagrams simply bereason the latter are rather simpler to use, and all job administration software programs can accommodate AON netfunctions, whereas not all can accommoday AOA netfunctions.The Critical Path

The crucial route describes the sequence of work that would allow the task to be completed in the shortest feasible time. It is based upon the idea that some work have to be completed prior to others deserve to begin. A critical path diagram is a helpful tool for scheduling dependencies and also managing a job. In order to identify the crucial path, the length of time that each task will take should be calculated.

Let’s take a look at an instance. The length of time in weeks for each key stage is estimated:

Table 10.1 Stages of the Critical PathKey stageEstimated time in weeks
A. Secure funds0
B. Negotiate with other agencies4
C. Form advisory group4
D. Establish information repertoire plan6
E. Collect data4
F. Write directory text4
G. Identify printer2
H. Agree print contract2
I. Print directory4
J. Agree circulation plan12
K. Organize distribution4
L. Distribute directory2

We have offered the vital phase “Secure funds” an estimated time of zero weeks because the project cannot begin without the availability of some capital, although approximates would administer information at a later on phase. The stages deserve to currently be lined approximately develop a netjob-related diagram that shows that tbelow are three routes from begin to end up and that the lines comprising each course have actually a minimum duration (Figure 10.12).

If we currently trace each of the feasible paths to “Distribute directory” (the finishing point), taking dependencies into account, the course that has the longest duration is well-known as the important route. This is the minimum time in which it will be feasible to complete the project.

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Figure 10.12: Critical Path Diagram

In this example, the critical course is A–B–C–D–E–F–I–L, and also the earliest completion day for the project is the sum of the estimated times for all the stages on the crucial route – 28 weeks – from the suggest of securing the resources. All the key stperiods on the instrumental path have to be completed on time if the project is to be finiburned on schedule.

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If the projected complete time is a lot much longer than the project sponsor’s expectations, you will have to renegotiate the moment range. Mapping the instrumental route helps to recognize the tasks that should be monitored most carefully.

Image Descriptions

Figure 10.2 image description:

0.0 Wedding

1.0 Invitations1.1 Create guest list1.2 Wait for RSVPs1.3 Mail the invitations1.4 Print the invitations2.0 Food2.1 Find caterer2.2 Cater the wedding2.3 Finalize the menu3.0 Bridal3.1 Shop for shoes3.2 Tailoring and also fitting3.3 Shop for dress3.4 Choose the bouquet

Text Attributions

This chapter of Project Management is a derivative of the complying with texts: