Every project has to be completed in an agreed time frame. Time constraint for the project is one of the most important requirements of the customer and stakeholders. In order to ensure, that the project gets completed in agreed time, we need to develop a practical and detailed schedule for the project activities and then complete the project activities as per the prepared schedule.
Hence project time management is one of the important knowledge areas of project management. Project time management will involve preparing the schedule and then controlling the schedule. Following are the processes which are followed for project time management.
- Plan Schedule Management – An overall schedule management guideline is prepared which contains detailed procedures for preparing schedule, controlling schedule and managing schedule variances.
- Define Activities – Work packages from the WBS is decomposed into corresponding detailed activities. This is done by the experts having knowledge about the work packages.
- Sequence Activities – All the activities are sequenced by identifying the dependencies between them. A project activity network diagram is created where every activity is properly connected with other activities.
- Estimate Activity Duration – Duration for each activity is estimated by the appropriate experts.
- Develop Schedule – Once all the above steps are completed, these information are taken together to prepare the final project schedule. This process will require optimizing the network until we achieve the expected project duration. Concepts such as critical path, critical chain, schedule compression etc. are used in the process. When the schedule is finalized, it is base lined for future reference.
- Control Schedule – Once the schedule baseline is prepared, then the actual project progress is measured against the schedule baseline to check for any variances in time. If variances are found, appropriate corrective actions are taken by the team to keep the project within schedule. This is an on-going process.
Project time management is one of the most important knowledge areas of project management. This ensures that the project remains on track with regards to the schedule baseline.