10. Job Schedule Planning

In order to develop our schedule, we an initial need to specify the activities, sequence them in the best order, calculation the resources needed, and estimate the moment it will take to finish the tasks.

You are watching: A hierarchical listing of what must be done in a project is called a:

Defining Activities

The activity definition process is a further breakdown of the occupational package elements of the WBS. It docu­ments the specific activities essential to accomplish the deliverables thorough in the WBS. These activities are no the deliverables themselves yet the individual units of work-related that need to be completed to meet the deliverables. Activity definition uses everything we already know around the task to divide the work into tasks that can be estimated. You might want come look at every the great learned from comparable projects your firm has done to acquire a great idea of what you need to do on the existing one.

Expert referee in the type of job team members with prior experience arising project scope statements and also WBS can assist you define activities. If you are asked to manage a task in a new domain, you might likewise use professionals in that particular field to aid define work so you have the right to understand what activities are going to it is in involved. You might want to create an activity list and then have actually the experienced review it and suggest changes. Alternatively, you might involve the experienced from the really beginning and also ask to have an activity definition conversation with him or her prior to even making your first draft the the list.

Sometimes you begin a project without knowing a lot around the occupational that you will do it be law later. Rolling-wave planning allows you plan and schedule only the section that you know enough about to arrangement well. As soon as you don’t know enough about a project, you can use placeholders for the unknown sections until you recognize more. These room extra items that are put at high level in the WBS to enable you to arrangement for the unknown.

A situation Study

Susan and Steve have decided to tie the knot, but they don’t have actually much time to setup their wedding. They want the large day to be unforgettable. They want to invite many civilization and carry out a good time. They’ve always dreamed that a June wedding, but it’s already January. Simply thinking about all the the details connected is overwhelming. Susan has actually been dreaming the the large day since she was 12, but it seems that there’s so tiny time for every the jobs to be completed. When lock were choosing the record for the invitations, the couple realized that they required help.


Susan: Steve, we require some help.Steve: nothing worry. My sister’s wedding planner was great. Permit me offer her a call. Wedding Planner: Hello, Susan and also Steve.Steve: we want whatever to be perfect.Susan: over there is so lot to do! Invitations, food, guests, and music.Steve: oh no, us haven’t even booked a place!Susan: and it has to be done right. Us can’t print the invitations till we have the menu planned. Us can’t execute the seating arrangements till we have the RSVPs. Us aren’t certain what sort of tape to get for the reception, or must it it is in a DJ? We’re simply overwhelmed.Steve: mine sister claimed you really conserved her wedding. I understand she offered you end a year to plan. But I’ve constantly dreamed of a June wedding, and I’m no willing to offer that up. I understand it’s late, yet Sally, have the right to you aid us?Wedding Planner: take it easy. I’ve obtained it under control. We’ve a lot of human being and tasks to acquire under control. Friend really have to have called six months ago, however we’ll still make this wedding occur on time.

Much work has to be done prior to June. First, Sally numbers out what work demands to be done. She start to placed together a to-do list:

InvitationsFlowersWedding cakeDinner menuBand

Since many different world are connected in the do of the wedding, it takes lot planning come coordinate all the occupational in the best order by the right human being at the right time. Initially, Sally to be worried the she no have sufficient time to make certain that whatever would be done properly. However, she knew the she had some an effective time monitoring tools on her side when she took the job, and these devices would aid her to synchronize all the compelled tasks.

To gain started, Sally arranged every the activities in a work malfunction structure. The next exercise presents part of the WBS Sally created the wedding.


Arrange the following tasks into the WBS (Figure 10.1) to display how the work-related items decompose right into activities.


Shop because that shoesCreate guest listHave the tailoring and fitting doneShop for dressFind catererCater the weddingWait because that RSVPsMail the invitationsFinalize the menuPrint the invitationsChoose the bouquet
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Figure 10.1 Work failure structure (WBS) based upon the task phase.

Solution to Exercise:

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Figure 10.2 WSB Wedding practice Solution.
Activity List

Now that the task definitions because that the job-related packages have been completed, the following task is to complete the activity list. The project task list is a list of everything that requirements to be excellent to complete your project, consisting of all the activities that have to be achieved to deliver each work package. Following you desire to specify the task attributes. Here’s whereby the description of each activity is kept. It includes all the details you require to number out add to the bespeak of the work. Any kind of predecessor activities, successor activities, or constraints have to be provided in the attributes in addition to descriptions and also any various other information around resources or time that you need for planning. The three main kinds of predecessors are finish-to-start (FS), start-to-start (SS), and finish-to-finish (FF). The most usual kind the predecessor is the finish-to-start. It method that one task needs to be completed before an additional one deserve to start. Once you think the predecessors, this is what you normally think of; one thing requirements to end before the next can begin. It’s referred to as finish-to-start because the an initial activity’s finish leads right into the 2nd 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 tiny less common, yet sometimes you have to coordinate activities so they begin at the same time (Figure 10.4).

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

The finish-to-finish predecessor shows activities that complete at the same time (Figure 10.5).

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Figure 10.5: an instance of a finish-to-finish (FF) predecessor.

It is feasible to have actually start-to-finish (SF) predecessors. This happens when activities require that one more task it is in started prior to the follower task can finish. An instance might be that the musicians cannot end up playing until the guests have started leave the ceremony. In addition, there room some particular varieties of predecessors that should be considered.

External Predecessors

Sometimes your project will rely on things external the job-related you’re doing. Because that the wedding, we are depending upon the wedding party before us come be out of the reception hall over time for us to decorate. The decorate of the reception room then counts on that together an external predecessor.

Discretionary Predecessors

These are usually process- or procedure-driven or best-practice techniques based on past experience. In the wedding example, Steve and Susan want the bridesmaids to come at the reception before the pair arrives. Yes no necessity; it is simply a issue of preference.

Mandatory Predecessors

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

Leads and Lags

Sometimes you require to offer some extra time in between activities. Lag time is as soon as you purposefully placed a delay between the predecessor task and also the successor. For example, when the bride and her father dance, the rather wait awhile prior to they sign up with them (Figure 10.6).

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Figure 10.6 A lag means making certain that one job waits a while prior to it it s okay started.

Lead time is when you offer a follower task some time to get started prior to the predecessor finishes (Figure 10.7). For this reason you might want the caterer preparing dessert an hour prior to everybody is eat dinner.

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Figure 10.7: A lead is once you let a task obtain started before its predecessor is done.Milestones

All the the crucial checkpoints of your project are tracked together milestones. Some of them could be noted in her contract as needs of successful completion; some could just be far-reaching points in the task that you desire to store track of. The milestone list demands to permit everyone know which landmarks are required and which room not.

Some milestones for Susan and also Steve’s wedding can be:

Invitations sentMenu finalizedLocation bookedBridesmaids’ dresses fitted

As you figure out which tasks will must be done, you might realize that the scope demands to change. When that happens, you require to develop a change request and also send it with the adjust control system.

Some points that can go wrong:


Wedding Planner: we just acquired the programs earlier from the printer and they’re all wrong.Steve: The quartet cancelled. Castle had one more wedding that day.Susan: Aunt woman is an alleged to sing at the service, yet after what taken place at she uncle’s funeral, ns think I want someone else to carry out it.Steve: need to we really have actually a pan flute player? I’m beginning to think it can be overkill.Susan: Apparently! perhaps we should organize off on print the invitations till these things are operated out.Wedding Planner: OK, let’s think around exactly exactly how we want to carry out this. Ns think we have to be sure about how we want the business to go prior to we carry out any much more printing.
The activity Sequencing Process

Now that we know what we need to do to make the wedding a success, we require to focus on the stimulate of the work. Sally sat under with every one of the activities she had identified for the wedding and decided to number out specifically how they required to happen. That’s whereby she supplied the task sequencing process.

The activity attribute list Sally developed had many of the predecessors and also successors essential written in it. This is where she believed of what comes first, second, third, etc. Sally’s milestone perform had significant pieces of job-related written down, and also there to be a couple of transforms to the scope she had found along the means that were approved and ready to go.

Example milestone list: Steve and also Susan had asked that the invitations be printed at the very least three months in breakthrough to be certain that everyone had actually time come RSVP. That’s a milestone ~ above Sally’s list.
Example adjust request: when Sally realized the Steve and Susan to be going come need an additional limo to take it the bridesmaids to the reception hall, she placed that adjust through change control, including running every little thing by Susan’s mother, and it was approved.
Creating the Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a kind of bar chart, emerged by Henry Gantt, that illustrates a job schedule. Gantt charts are basic to read and also are generally used to display schedule activities. These charts display the start and also finish dates of the terminal aspects and review elements that a project. Terminal facets and review elements comprise the work failure structure the the project. Part Gantt charts likewise show the suspended relationships (i.e., precedence network) between activities.

Gantt charts show all the vital stages that a project and their duration as a bar chart, with the moment scale across the top. The vital stages are placed on the bar graph in sequence, starting in the top left corner and ending in the bottom right edge (Figure 10.8). A Gantt chart have the right to be drawn quickly and easily and also is often the an initial tool a job manager offers to carry out a rough estimate of the time that it will take to complete the key tasks. Occasionally it is valuable to begin with the target deadline for completion that the entirety project, because it is soon noticeable if the time range is too quick or unnecessarily long. The comprehensive Gantt graph is usually constructed after the key objectives have actually been determined.

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Figure 10.8 Gantt graph for catalog production

In this instance in number 10.8, key stage K (Organize distribution) starts in ~ week 23 so that its end point coincides with vital stage l (Distribute directory). However, K could start as early on as mainly 17, as soon as vital stage J is completed. An essential stage K is thus said to have “slack.” an essential stage H (Agree print contract) has actually been placed to end at mainly 12. However, it might end as late as week 22, because an essential stage ns (Print directory) go not start until main 23. An essential stage H is therefore said to have “float.” rise time deserve to be shown on the chart by including a heat ahead of the bar to the latest feasible end point. Slack and also float show you wherein there is flexibility in the schedule, and this have the right to be valuable when you require to obtain time when the job is up and also running.

You can include other info to a Gantt chart, for example:

Milestones can be indicated by making use of a symbol such together a diamond or triangle.Project meetings can be indicated by one more symbol such together a circle.Reviews that progress could be indicated by a square.

For a complex project, you might decide to create a different Gantt chart for each of the key stages. If you execute this shortly prior to each key stage begins, you will have the ability to take any kind of last-minute eventualities right into account. This charts provide a advantageous tool for monitoring and control as the project progresses.

Gantt charts are fairly easy to draw by hand, but this doesn’t offer the very same level of flexibility during monitoring the you would gain from a software application package. Various programs are available to aid project supervisors in scheduling and control. Once the data have been entered, a program helps friend to work on “what if” scenarios, mirroring what might happen if a crucial stage is delay or speeded up. This is more difficult if you room working manually.

Creating the Network Diagram

Many project managers use network diagrams when scheduling a project. The network diagram is a means to visualize the interrelationships of task activities. Network diagrams provide a graphical watch of the tasks and how they relate to one another. The jobs in the network room the job-related packages that the WBS. All of the WBS tasks must be included in the network due to the fact that they need to be accounted for in the schedule. Leaving even one task out the the network could readjust the all at once schedule duration, approximated costs, and resource allocation commitments.

The an initial step is to arrange the jobs from her WBS right into a sequence. Some tasks have the right to be completed at any kind of time throughout the project where other jobs depend on intake from another task or are constrained by time or resources.

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Figure 10.9: The relationship between the work failure structure (WBS) and also the network diagram.

The WBS is not a schedule, however it is the basis because that it. The network chart is a schedule but is used primarily to identify crucial scheduling info that eventually goes into user-friendly schedule formats, such together milestone and also Gantt charts.

The network diagram provides necessary information to the job team. It gives information around how the tasks are connected (Figure 10.9), wherein the threat points space in the schedule, just how long it will certainly take as at this time planned to complete the project, and also when each task demands to begin and end.

In our wedding planner example, Sally would certainly look for relationships in between tasks and determine what can be done in parallel and also what tasks need to wait because that others to complete. Together an example, figure 10.10 shows just how the tasks involved in developing the invitations count on one another. Mirroring the tasks in rectangles and also their relationships as arrows is referred to as a precedence diagramming method (PDM). This sort of diagram is also called one activity-on-node (AON) diagram.

Another way to display how jobs relate is v the activity-on-arrow (AOA) diagram. Although AON is much more commonly used and also is sustained by every project administration programs, PERT is the best-known AOA-type diagram and also is the historical basis of all network diagramming. The main distinction is the AOA diagram is traditionally drawn using circles as the nodes, v nodes representing the beginning and also ending clues of the arrows or tasks. In the AOA network, the arrows stand for the tasks or jobs (Figure 10.11).

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

All network diagrams have actually the benefits of showing task interdependencies, start and end times, and also the crucial path (the longest route through the network) but the AOA network diagram has actually some disadvantages the limit the usage of the method.

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Figure 10.11: an instance of an task arrow (AOA) network diagram.

The three major disadvantages that the AOA an approach are:

The AOA network have the right to only present finish-to-start relationships. The is not possible to present lead and also lag other than by including or individually time, which makes project tracking difficult.There are instances once dummy activities can take place in one AOA network. Dummy activities are activities that display the suspended of one job on various other tasks yet for various other than technical reasons. For example, one task might depend on one more because it would be an ext cost effective to use the same sources for the two; otherwise the 2 tasks could be achieved in parallel. Dummy tasks do not have actually durations linked with them. Lock simply show that a task has some type of dependence on one more task.AOA diagrams are not together widely provided as AON diagrams simply since the last are somewhat less complicated to use, and all project management software programs have the right to accommodate AON networks, whereas not all deserve to accommodate AOA networks.The critical Path

The critical path describes the sequence of tasks that would permit the project to be perfect in the shortest feasible time. That is based upon the idea that some tasks must it is in completed before others have the right to begin. A an essential path diagram is a useful tool because that scheduling dependencies and also controlling a project. In bespeak to determine the critical path, the size of time that each task will take have to be calculated.

Let’s take it a look at an example. The length of time in weeks because that each crucial stage is estimated:

Table 10.1 step of the crucial PathKey stageEstimated time in weeks
A. Secure funds0
B. Negotiate with other agencies4
C. Form advisory group4
D. Create data collection plan6
E. Collection data4
F. Write directory text4
G. Recognize printer2
H. Agree print contract2
I. Print directory4
J. Agree distribution plan12
K. To organize distribution4
L. Distribution directory2

We have offered the an essential stage “Secure funds” an approximated time that zero weeks due to the fact that the project cannot begin without the accessibility of some funding, although approximates would provide detail at a later on stage. The stages have the right to now be inside wall up to create a network diagram that reflects that there room three courses from start to finish and that the lines making up each path have actually a minimum duration (Figure 10.12).

If we currently trace every of the feasible paths come “Distribute directory” (the finishing point), taking dependencies into account, the course that has actually the longest term is well-known as the an essential path. This is the minimum time in which it will be possible to finish the project.

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Figure 10.12: crucial Path Diagram

In this example, the vital path is A–B–C–D–E–F–I–L, and the faster completion day for the project is the sum of the estimated times for every the step on the an important path – 28 mainly – indigenous the allude of securing the funding. Every the key stages on the critical path should be completed on time if the project is to be finished on schedule.

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If the projected full time is much longer than the project sponsor’s expectations, girlfriend will have to renegotiate the moment scale. Mapping the crucial path help to identify the tasks that have to be monitored most closely.

Image Descriptions

Figure 10.2 image description:

0.0 Wedding

1.0 Invitations1.1 produce guest list1.2 Wait because that RSVPs1.3 mail the invitations1.4 print the invitations2.0 Food2.1 uncover caterer2.2 Cater the wedding2.3 Finalize the menu3.0 Bridal3.1 Shop for shoes3.2 Tailoring and also fitting3.3 Shop because that dress3.4 select the bouquet

Text Attributions

This chapter of Project Management is a derivative that the adhering to texts: