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What is Project Activity in Project Management?

23rd Apr, 2024
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    What is Project Activity in Project Management?

    Project management involves a systematic approach to planning, executing, and monitoring tasks and activities required to achieve specific project goals and objectives. To successfully complete a project, it is essential to understand the various components and phases involved in the project lifecycle. One key aspect of project management is project activities, which refer to the specific tasks and actions that must be completed in order to achieve project objectives.

    Project activities can vary depending on the nature and scope of the project, and effective management of these activities is crucial for ensuring successful project outcomes. In this article, we will explore what project activities are, their importance in project management, and how they are planned and managed throughout the project lifecycle. Considering the best Project Management online class, defining project activities involves breaking down the project scope into smaller, manageable tasks or activities. Go for this online class and get trained by industry experts and lead project teams to success.

    What are Project Activities?

    Project activities is all about doing specific tasks, actions and processes that takes place within the project to achieve certain objectives. Project activities may include some of the action that could contribute to the successful completion of the project such as designing, development, testing, planning, monitoring and implementing.  

    Effective management of project activities is critical for the success of a project. Project managers need to plan, execute, and monitor project activities carefully to ensure that they are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. They also need to ensure that the activities are properly sequenced and coordinated to avoid delays, rework, or conflicts. 

    How to Define Project Activities?

    A network diagram project management explains that the project activities are the specific actions required to achieve project success. They are made up of tasks and subtasks, which together make up a project stage. The size of project activities can vary greatly, from something as simple as sending an email to much larger tasks such as building a prototype or conducting user testing. Regardless of their size, each activity requires careful attention and planning. 

    To define project activities, you will break them down into individual tasks and scope definitions. Once the tasks are defined, they will be sequenced and reviewed by internal and external stakeholders. Finally, the project manager will track the progress of each activity during the project kickoff and throughout the project. 

    Project Activity Examples

    1. Sections 

    Section is one of the examples of content marketing planning process. In this, the idea is created first and shown to the team. If the team likes the idea, it will move to the next step – the production section. From the production section, the action will move to the ‘in review’ process and then to the verified section of the complete activity. The section comprises four stages: ‘Idea’, ‘development’, ‘in-review’, and ‘approved’; in this order, the tasks are moved.

    2. Milestones 

    In this project there are a total of 16 tasks, which are under some specific sections and these sections are known as milestones. This also means, if you want to complete the first milestone, you have to complete all the three tasks that are in the ‘planning stage’ of the milestone. These milestones are the activity of the project. In this example, every milestone includes some tasks and once these tasks are completed, you can shift to the next stage. Also, each milestone has the end and the start date this the activity has to be completed in the defined deadline. 

    3. Subtasks 

    The program leader is a versatile tool that combines task management software, CRM software, and program planning to enhance your organizational capacity. Among its many features, the program leader allows you to add subtasks to your primary tasks, making it easier to break down complex projects into manageable steps.

    Suppose your primary objective is to develop a television ad. In that case, you'll need to complete several sub-tasks, such as finding an agency and creating a budget. Only by completing these sub-tasks can you achieve your primary objective. In other words, the sub-tasks are the necessary actions that enable you to accomplish your primary goal. 

    To ensure the successful completion of any task, it is crucial to define all the actions required to finish it. Once you have planned out all the necessary actions, it is time to organize them in a logical sequence. This way, you can ensure that each step is completed in the right order. 

    Tracking and managing your progress is also essential. You can use network diagrams or collaborative Gantt charts to monitor the progress of your project. These charts use horizontal bars to show the duration of each activity, making it easier to visualize your progress. Ultimately, the choice of tool will depend on your project's strategic vision. 

    How to Plan and Schedule Project Activities?

    1. Set the Activities 

    The first step to this is to determine the number of tasks and actions required. This is facilitated by the project deliverables statement, which provides input for this process. Once all necessary activities and actions have been identified, they can be incorporated into the project schedule.  

    To streamline this process for future projects, it is advisable to save the project schedule as a template prior to task assignment. It is recommended to conduct a meeting with stakeholders to accurately identify and place milestones. Setting achievable milestones can help the team feel they are making progress in the project. 

    2. Define Relationships 

    To create a proper project plan and establish connections between activities and actions, it is essential to refer to the activities list, milestones, and project deliverable statement. The second step involves defining the dependencies between activities and actions.  

    These dependencies can be categorized as internal or external. For instance, if the initiation of task 2 is contingent upon the completion of task 1, then task 2 is internally dependent on task 1. In contrast, if a task requires external resources or input from an external person, it is externally dependent.  

    For example, if aerial footage of a client's building is necessary, but the drone has not arrived yet, the task cannot proceed. The presence of these dependencies underscores the importance of each task and its role in the overall project. 

    3. Estimate Resources 

    In this step, the primary focus is on breaking down the resources required to complete the tasks and activities that have been finalized. Once the activities, tasks, and dependencies have been determined, the next step is to acquire the necessary resources to carry out the actions.  

    It is important to create a comprehensive list of all the internal and external resources that will be needed based on the project scope and activities. Seeking expert advice like using PRINCE2 Accredited training during the resource listing process is recommended, and alternative analysis should also be considered to keep track of the budget. 

    What are the Major Project Fundamentals?

    Planning and scheduling project activities is an essential aspect of project management. Here are some steps to help you plan and schedule project activities when doing online PMP prep effectively: 

    1. Define Project Scope and Objectives: The first step is to determine the project's scope and objectives. This will help you determine what tasks and activities are required to achieve the project's goals. 
    2. Break Down the Project into Manageable Tasks: Break the project into smaller, manageable tasks that can be accomplished in a specific time frame. Assign each task to a responsible team member. 
    3. Estimate Time and Resources Required: Estimate the amount of time and resources needed to complete each task. Use historical data, expert opinion, or industry benchmarks to estimate the duration of each task. 
    4. Establish Dependencies Between Tasks: Determine which tasks must be completed before others can begin. This will help you create a logical sequence of tasks that will minimize delays and ensure that the project is completed on time. 
    5. Develop a Project Schedule: Once you have determined the tasks, estimated the time and resources needed, and established task dependencies, you can develop a project schedule. Use a Gantt chart or project management software to create a visual representation of the project schedule. 
    6. Review and Adjust the Project Schedule: Review the project schedule regularly to ensure that it is on track. Adjust the schedule as needed to accommodate changes in the project scope, timeline, or resource availability. 
    7. Communicate the Project Schedule: Share the project schedule with all stakeholders, including team members, clients, and vendors. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them. 

    Difference Between Project and Non-project Activities


    Non-project Activities 

    Projects are temporary endeavors that are unique and have specific goals and objectives to achieve. 

    Non-project activities are ongoing, routine operations or tasks that are performed on a regular basis to sustain an organization or a system. 

    They are typically time-bound, have defined start and end dates 

    They are usually repetitive, have no specific end date, and do not have a defined output or outcome.  

    Project activities require resources to accomplish their objectives. 

    Non-project activities can include tasks such as maintenance, administrative work, and support functions. 

    They involve the use of tools such as precedence diagram, work breakdown structures, Gantt charts, and network diagram critical path. 

    They do not require the same level of planning, coordination, and monitoring that projects do. 

    Projects are temporary, unique endeavors that have specific goals and require project management activities to plan, execute, and monitor progress. 

    Non project activities are ongoing, routine operations that sustain an organization or system and do not require the same level of planning and coordination as projects. 

    There are three most popular methods for defining the scope of a project, those are as follows:  

    1. The Waterfall Method

    This method is one of the most traditional ways of project management. This method is linear and involves completing various other stages of the project. The most common stages are:  

    • Initiating the project 
    • Planning  
    • Implementing or Executing  
    • Monitoring or controlling 
    • Closure 

    This method is ideal for projects that have clear requirements and where changes are time-consuming and costly to implement.  

    2. The Scrum Method 

    This method is flexible and open to constant feedback and adaptation. This is one of the reasons why this method is perfect for projects that need changes. The scrum method depends on the sprints; sprints are the set period of time in which the team has to complete a specific task. At the end of the sprint, the team then accesses their progress to rectify the areas of improvement.  

    3. The Hybrid Method 

    The Hybrid is a combination of the waterfall and scrum method; it is designed to utilize the best of each aspect and combine them together. This method is usually used for big projects that need high level of flexibility. It starts with the waterfall planning phase and once the structure is ready, the team switches to the scrum approach to complete the task.  

    During the project planning stage, it is crucial to define all activities and associated actions clearly to ensure successful completion of the project. Once these activities and actions have been defined, they need to be sequenced appropriately.  

    This sequence allows for efficient tracking and management of the project, typically through a activity network diagram  or a collaborative Gantt chart. These visual aids represent all activities and actions using horizontal bars to indicate their length and duration. You can learn more about such examples at KnowledgeHut's best Project Management online class, where you will get to know the details of project management and various other things. 


    Project activities are the specific tasks and actions that must be completed in order to achieve project objectives. They are an essential component of project management and require effective planning, coordination, and monitoring throughout the project lifecycle. By understanding the nature and scope of project activities, project managers can develop comprehensive project plans and schedules that ensure timely completion of project objectives. Overall, a clear understanding of project activities and their management is crucial for successful project delivery and achieving project goals and objectives.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What are the 5 common project activities?

    The specific project activities that must be completed can vary depending on the nature and scope of the project. However, here are 5 common project activities that are typically involved in most projects:

    • Project Initiation
    • Project Planning
    • Project Execution
    • Project Monitoring and Control
    • Project Closure

    By performing these common project activities effectively, project managers can increase the chances of delivering projects on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders. 

    2Define briefly the characteristics of a project activities

    Project activities are specific tasks and actions that must be completed to achieve project objectives. Here are some of the characteristics of project activities:

    1. Time-bound: Project activities have specific start and end dates, and they must be completed within a certain timeframe to achieve project objectives.
    2. Interrelated: Project activities are interconnected, meaning the completion of one activity may depend on the completion of another activity.
    3. Unique: Project activities are unique, meaning they are not repetitive and require specific planning, execution, and monitoring.
    4. Measurable: Project activities must be measurable, meaning there must be a defined output or outcome associated with each activity.
    3What are project activities examples?

    Project activities can vary widely depending on the type and scope of the project, but here are some common examples:

    • Planning activities
    • Design activities
    • Development activities
    • Testing activities 

    Kevin D.Davis

    Blog Author

    Kevin D. Davis is a seasoned and results-driven Program/Project Management Professional with a Master's Certificate in Advanced Project Management. With expertise in leading multi-million dollar projects, strategic planning, and sales operations, Kevin excels in maximizing solutions and building business cases. He possesses a deep understanding of methodologies such as PMBOK, Lean Six Sigma, and TQM to achieve business/technology alignment. With over 100 instructional training sessions and extensive experience as a PMP Exam Prep Instructor at KnowledgeHut, Kevin has a proven track record in project management training and consulting. His expertise has helped in driving successful project outcomes and fostering organizational growth.

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