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6.4 Schedule Development

Introduction

Schedule development means determing start and finish dates for project activities. It must often be iterated (along with the processes that provide inputs, especially duration estimating) prior to determination of the project schedule.

6.4.1 Inputs

  1. Project network diagram
  2. Activity duration estimates
  3. Resource requirements
  4. Resource pool description
  5. Calendars
  6. Constraints
  7. Assumptions
  8. Leads and lags

6.4.2 Tools & Techniques

  1. Mathematical analysis
  2. Duration compression
  3. Simulation
  4. Resource leveling heuristics
  5. Project management software

6.4.3 Outputs

  1. Project schedule
  2. Supporting detail
  3. Schedule management plan
  4. Resource requirement updates

 

 

 

 

 


6.4.1 Schedule Development - Inputs

6.4.1.4 Resource pool description

Knowledge of what resources will be available at what times and in what patterns is necessary for schedule development. The amount of detail and the level of specificity in the resource pool description will vary (depending on the stage of development).

 

6.4.1.5 Calendars

Project and resource calendars identify periods when work is allowed. Project calendars affect all resources. Resource calendars affect a specific resoucre or category of resources.

 

6.4.1.6 Constraints

Refer to Constraints. The two main constraints that must be considered in schedule development are:

 

6.4.1.7 Leads and lags

Any of the dependencies may require specification of a lead or a lag in order to accurately define a relationship.

The following inputs are covered elsewhere:

6.4.1.1 Project network diagram

6.4.1.2 Activity duration estimates

6.4.1.3 Resource requirements

6.4.1.7 Assumptions

 

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6.4.2 Schedule Development - Tools and Techniques

6.4.2.1 Mathematical analysis

Mathematical analysis involves calculating theoretical early and late start finish dates for all project activities without regard for any resource pool limitations. The resulting dates are not the schedule, but rather indicate the time periods within which the activity should be scheduled given resource limitations.

 

6.4.2.2 Duration compression

Duration compression is a special case of mathematical analysis that looks for ways to shorten the project schedule without changing project scope by using techniques such as:

 

6.4.2.3 Simulation

Refer to simulation.

 

6.4.2.4 Resource leveling heuristics

Mathematical analysis often produces a preliminary schedule that requires more resources during certain time periods than are available. Heuristics such as "allocate scarce resources to critical path activities first" can be applied to develop a schedule that reflects such constraints. This may result in a longer proejct duration and is sometimes called Resource-based Method.

Resource constrained scheduling is a special case where the heuristic involved limits the quantity of resource available.

 

6.4.2.5 Project management software

Project management software is widely used to assist with schedule development.

 

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6.4.3 Schedule Development - Outputs

6.4.3.1 Project schedule

The project schedule includes at least planned start and expected finish dates for each detail activity. It may be presented in tabular or graphic form. Graphical representations include:

 

6.4.3.2 Supporting detail

Assumptions and constraints used in developing the project schedule must be documented. Other information included in supporting detail:

 

6.4.3.3 Schedule management plan

This defines how changes to the schedule will be managed. It may be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed based on the needs of the project.

 

6.4.3.4 Resource requirement updates

Resource leveling and activity list updates may have a significant effect on the preliminary estimates of resource requirements.

 

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