Project Time Management

Time management is what most people think of when they think of project managers. It’s where the deadlines are set and met. It starts with figuring out the work you need to do, what resources to be used and how long it will take. It’s about developing and controlling the schedule. It is the process required to ensure timely completion of project.

Here’s an old joke when it comes to project management time: “The first 90 percent of a project schedule takes 90 percent of the time. The last 10 percent takes the other 90 percent of the time.”

Projects, especially projects that are running behind schedule, fail at the beginning, not the end. The importance of planning a project is never as evident until the rush to completion. The final actions to complete a project are dependent on the plans and motivations set in the project planning processes. Time management is an essential element on the PMP exam. You’ll need a solid Understanding of the activities and methods to predict and account for project time

 

Processes involved in the project time management include

Time Management

Each of these processes occur at least once in every project and in one or more project phases (if the project is divided into phases)

2.1 Define activities

First you come up with the list of all the activities that needs to be completed. It involves identifying and documenting the work that is planned to be performed. In this process, work packages are planned and decomposed into schedule activities. This provides basis for estimating, scheduling, executing, and monitoring and controlling the project work.

The inputs for this process come from the processes in the Scope Management and Integration Management. The output for define activity is Sequence activity.Project time management is based predominantly on planning, and then it’s all control and execution. Planning for project schedules come from deadlines of the project, customer need and customer deadline, and some assumptions.

Define activities – Inputs, T&T and Outputs

Time Management Process flow

 

Define activities data flow

Define activities

Tools and Techniques

Decomposition – This means taking the work packages defined in scope management processes and break down into activities that can be estimated

Templates – your organization must have done similar projects so there must be template to use

Expert Judgment – We can ask someone who has done this before for the opinions on the activities

Rolling wave planning – You decompose only the activities which you plan for as they are coming first. Rest of the tasks are planned at the milestones level until you are closer to those activities. 

Outputs  

Activity List – Activity list is everything that needs to be done to complete the project. The activity list is the lower level of the WBS. 

Activity attributes – This is where the description of each activity is kept. 

Milestones list – This list is the important checkpoints of your projects.

 

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Project Scope Management

Project Scope Management includes the process required to ensure that the project includes all the work required and only the work required to complete the project successfully. It is primary concerned with defining and controlling what is or is not included in the project. Project scope management includes the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required to complete the project successfully.

Product Scope Vs. Project Scope

Product scope: The features and functions that characterize the product, service or result.

Project scope: The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service or result with specified features and functions.

Project scope management includes the following:

2

1.1 Plan Scope Management

The process of creating a scope management plan that documents how the project scope will be defined, validated and controlled.It provides guidance and direction on how scope will be managed.

Project scope management plan ensures that it includes only the work required to complete the project successfully. It defines the activities and processes which needed to be delivered as per the project scope and it should be assesses against the project scope baseline.

Project scope management plan prevent the scope creep and gold plating.

Scope creep – Additional requirement added without any proper control

Gold plating – Additional requirements initiated by team to exceed expectation

Project Scope Management plan – Inputs, T&T and Outputs

plan scope

Project Scope Management Data Flow

plan scope data flow

1.2 Collect requirements

The process of determining, documenting and managing stakeholder needs to meet project objectives. The key benefit is to provide the basis of defining and managing project scope. Collect requirement documentation is the touchstone from which the schedule, budget, quality specification, resource planning and risks emanate from.

Collect requirements – Inputs, T&T and Outputs

collect requirements

Tools and Techniques

Affinity diagram – In this technique, a large number of ideas are classified into different groups by using some criteria. This facilitates an effective and efficient review and analysis.

Brainstorming – This is a technique used in a group environment to gather ideas to a problem /issue without immediate evaluation of these ideas. The evaluation and analysis of these ideas happens later. This is one of the most widely used techniques where you let everyone come up with creative ideas and then analyze them to choose the best one.

There are two specific kinds of brainstorming,

 Mind mapping

 Nominal group technique 

Delphi technique - This refers to an information-gathering technique used for experts to reach a consensus while sharing their ideas and preferences anonymously.

Group decision-making techniques -Group decision making is a process used to collectively assess and evaluate multiple alternatives in terms of expected outcomes.

Methods of group technique

Dictatorship – One person has the authority to make the decision.

Unanimity - This is opposite of dictatorship. A decision is accepted only if everyone agrees.

Majority - A decision must be supported by more than 50 percent of the members of the group.

 Plurality - The alternative supported by largest number of members wins even if this number does not make a majority. This situation arises when there are more than two alternatives.

1.3 Define Scope

The process of developing a detailed description of the project and the product

define scope

Define scope Data flow

define scope data flow

1.4 Create WBS

As soon as the project is defined and the requirements are documented, then creating the WBS is the next step.

PMBOK calls the WBS the ‘hub of information’ for project and should be seen as the cornerstone component of the project plan, as it is used to identify the activities, costs, quality attributes, risks and procurement aspects within the plan.

It is

-       Subdividing the project deliverable and project work into smaller and more manageable component

-       The work breakdown structure is a deliverable – oriented hierarchical decomposition of project work

WBS consists of a graphical, hierarchical chart that is logically organized from the top to down. Each node on such a diagram, could be considered as a work package, and consists of a unique alphanumeric (or just numeric) code to uniquely locate and identify it.

WBS is created via decomposition, which consists of breaking down the project deliverable into progressively smaller and hence lower nodes on the WBS.

One of the most important Work Breakdown Structure design principles is called the 100% Rule. This Rule states that the WBS includes 100% of the work defined by the project scope and captures all deliverable – internal, external, interim – in terms of the work to be completed, including project management

create WBS Input create wbs

To create an accurate and complete WBS, it is important to ensure that each node is mutually exclusive with no gaps or overlap in each of the work package.

Create WBS

Inputs, Tools & Technique and Outputs

create WBS Input

Control Accounts, Work Packages and activities

work package

 1.5 Verify Scope

The verify scope process belongs to the project scope management knowledge area, and is performed during the monitoring and controlling phase of the project.

The verify scope process is performed with the customer at the end of the project to verify that the product is complete, all requirements are met, and that the product is ready to be accepted by the customer

It is important to understand the difference between validation and verification.

Verification means that the product complies with the requirements is a process to obtain customer acceptance whereas Validation means the product meets the needs of the customer.

There is lot of confusion between verify scope and quality control process. Both the process plays an important role in monitoring and controlling process group. As both the process involve some inspection, many people think that they are similar, but they are not same.

Perform quality control belongs to project quality management knowledge area and is performed throughout the monitoring and controlling phase.

Quality controls activities are performed internally by team members and during the project execution whereas verify scope process is performed by the customer and at the end of the project or end of the phase.

We should perform the scope verification process even if the project is terminated or ended before completion.

The project scope statement includes the list of deliverables, the project scope and the project acceptance criteria. WBS defines the decomposition of each deliverable into work package.

Verify scope Inputs, T&T and outputverify scope

Verify scope Data flow

verify scope data flow

 

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Project Management Knowledge Areas and Process Groups

PMBOK provides the fundamentals of project management, irrespective of any domain. It is internationally accepted standard that divides the knowledge into 9 project management knowledge areas and 5 process groups. For PMP exam, you need to know the 9 project management knowledge and 5 process group completely. Each process belongs to nine knowledge areas.

PMP_2

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Visual Guide for PMP

Here is the visual guide which describes the steps to get the PMP certification.

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PMP Study Guide Books

There are many books available for the study of exams.

For sure, the latest PMBOK guide will be the first book to refer for the preparation.

To start with, many people use “Head First PMP” and I myself found this book very interesting. This is a pictorial book and gives you the basics of Project Management cycle fundamentals.

But this is not the only book which will help you to pass the exam.

I would recommend studying “PMP Exam Prep” by Rita Mulcahy.

Tests :

  1. Rita Mulcahy’s fast track , Super PMP test
  1. Rita Mulcahy’s Fast track , ‘9 Knowledge Area’s test +5 Process groups’ Test
  1. PMStudy 200Q mock test (http://www.pmstudy.com/PMP-Exam-Resources/freeSimulatedTest.asp)
  1. PMPForSure 100Q test (http://www.pmpforsure.com/)

Best Tips to study for the PMP exam

  1. Make sure to read PMBOK Guide and Rita Mulcahy atleast twice
  2. Solve all the question from individual chapter tests in Rita Mulcahy Book and Head first PMP book and attempt all the individual chapter
  3. Follow couple of blogs
  4. Join one or two PMP forums
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PMP – Introduction

When you are planning to have a PMP certification, the first thing you need to have is contact hours requirement. You have to earn minimum of 35 PDU’s or contact hour’s requirement of formal project management education. This is a mandatory requirement set by PMI.

Once you have 35 PDU’s , to decide on which PMP resource to use is really difficult when you start preparing for the exam because you have very limited time and money and there is lot of stuff available online. So here we are giving you tips on what to read, which books to refer, how to study and which websites are useful for you to study and to prepare best for the exam.

To earn your PMP certification, you need to meet the minimum experience requirement in Project management field and pass PMP exam with a 200 multi choice questions

Some tips

  • Read the PMP handbook
  • Solve PMP sample questions
  • Review the latest edition of  “ A guide to Project Management body of knowledge”
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