Establishing Control: Outputs of Schedule Management Planning

Plan Schedule Management is a critical process within Project Schedule Management, which involves establishing the policies, procedures, and documentation for planning, developing, managing, executing, and controlling the project schedule.

This section focuses on the primary output of the plan schedule management process - the schedule management plan. This plan sets the criteria for developing, monitoring, and controlling the project schedule and includes elements like control thresholds, methodology, tools, units of measure, rules for performance measurement, and formats for schedule reports.

The schedule management plan interacts with other project management processes in several ways. For instance, the methodologies and tools outlined in this plan are used in the processes of defining activities, sequencing activities, estimating activity durations, and developing the project schedule. Similarly, the control thresholds and rules for performance measurement set in this plan guide the process of controlling the project schedule. Ultimately, the schedule management plan plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the project is completed on time, contributing to its overall success.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role, components, and flexibility of the schedule management plan in project management.
  • Recognize the role of control thresholds and time-boxing in managing project schedule and minimizing scope creep.
  • Understand how the schedule management plan defines the level of accuracy, units of measure, and rules for performance measurement.
  • Recognize the role of the work breakdown structure and the process for updating project status in the schedule management plan.
  • Understand how the schedule management plan outlines the formats and frequency for various schedule reports.

Schedule Management Plan

The schedule management plan is a crucial component of the project management plan. It sets the criteria and activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the project schedule. Depending on the project's needs, the schedule management plan can be formal or informal, highly detailed, or broadly framed.

One of the key elements of the schedule management plan is the control thresholds. These thresholds are variance limits for monitoring schedule performance and indicate when action needs to be taken due to variation.

The schedule management plan outlines the methodology and tool for developing the project schedule model. In an adaptive life cycle, it specifies time-boxed periods for releases, waves, and iterations. Time-boxing is a method that helps minimize scope creep by prioritizing essential features and processing other features when time allows.

The schedule management plan also defines the level of accuracy and units of measure for each resource. For example, it may specify staff hours for time measures or meters for quantity measures. The work breakdown structure provides the framework for the schedule management plan, ensuring consistency with estimates and resulting schedules.

The schedule management plan outlines the process for updating the status and recording progress of the project in the schedule model during project execution. It sets rules for performance measurement, such as earned value management rules or other physical measurement rules. It may also specify rules for establishing percent complete, earned value management techniques to be used, and schedule performance measurements like schedule variance and schedule performance index.

Finally, the schedule management plan defines the formats and frequency for various schedule reports. These reports provide regular updates on the project's progress and performance, enabling effective schedule control and stakeholder communication.

What is the primary purpose of a schedule management plan in project management?
  1. To provide a detailed cost estimate of the project
  2. To set the criteria and activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the schedule
  3. To list all the stakeholders involved in a project
  4. To formally authorize a project and provide the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources
B) To set the criteria and activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the schedule

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