PMP Exam Prep - Time

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Activity Attributes

(Output/Input) Information that provides schedule-related information about each activity, such as predecessors, successors, logical relationships, leads and lags, resource requirements, constraints, imposed dates, and assumptions related to the activity.

Crashing

(Technique) A project schedule compression technique used to decrease the project duration with minimum additional cost. A number of alternatives are analyzed, including the assignment of additional resources.

Critical Path

The path with the longest duration within the project. It is sometimes defined as the path with the least float (usually zero float). The delay of a tast on the critical path will delay the completion of the project.

Fast Tracking

(Technique) A scheduling compression technique where you do activities in parallel that you would normally do in sequence. May increase rework and project risk.

Float

The amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed without delaying the end of the project and can be calculated using a Forward Pass (to determine early start and early finish dates of activities. It is calculated as the difference bewteen late finish date and early finish date. Also referred to as slack.

Hammock

Summary activities used in a high-level project network diagram.

Lag

(Technique) The amount of time a successor's start or finish is delayed from the prececessor's start or finish. In a finish-to-start example, activity A (the predecessor) must finish before activity B (the successor) can start. *Making sure that one task waits awhile before it gets started. Ex. When the bride and father dance, everybody wates a while before they join them.

Lead

(Technique) The amount of time a successor's start or finish can occur before the prececessor's start or finish. In a finish-to-start example, activity A (the predecessor) must finish before activity B (the successor) can start. *When you let a task get started before it's predecessor is done. Ex. You might want th caterer preparing dessert an hour before everyone is eating dinn.er

Logical Relationships

Dependency between two project schedule activities or between project schedule activity and schedule milestone.

Finish-to-Start Relationship (FS)

A logical relationship in which the predecessor must finish before the successor can start. This is the most common relationship and the default for most software packages. *One task must be completed before the other can start. The first activity's finish leads into the second activity's start.

Finish-to-Finish Relationship (FF)

A logical relationship in which the predecessor must finish before the successor can finish. *When you need to coordinate activities so they finish at the same time.

Start-to-Start Relationship (SS)

A logical relationship in which the successor can start as soon as the predecessor starts. *When you need to coordinate activities so they begin at the same time.

Start-to-Finish Relationship (SF)

A logical relationship in which the predecessor must start before the successor can finish. (This is the least used and some software packages do not even allow it.)

Predecessor

The schedule activity that must happen first when defining dependencies between activites in a network.

Schedule Activity

An element of work performed during the course of a project. It is a smaller unit of work than a work package and the result of decomposition in the Define Activities process of project time management. Activities can be further subdivided into tasks.

Gantt Chart

(Tool) A bar chart that shows activities against time; although the traditional early charts did not show task dependencies and relationships, modern charts often show dependencies and precendence relationships; these popular charts are useful for understanding proejct schedules and for determining the critical path, time requirements, resource assessments and projected completion dates.

Milestone Chart or Milestone Schedule

(Tool) A bar chart used to identify major milestones in project and the start and finish. Usually set out in the form of a chart. Identifies major sections of a project. Similar to Gantt chart. It consumes NO resources and has NO duration.

Project Schedule Network Diagram

(Output/Input) Any schematic display of the logical relationships among or sequencing of project activities. Always drawn from left to right to reflect project work chronology.

Time-Scale Network Diagram

(Tool) Any project schedule network diagram drawn in such a way that the positioning and length of the schedule activity represents its duration. Essentially, it is a bar chart that includes schedule network logic.

Standard Deviation (Statistical Term)

The measurement of the variability of the quantity measured, such as time or costs, from the average.

Project Mean (Statistical Term)

Sum of the means of the individual tasks.

Project Variance (Statistical Term)

Sum of the variances of the individual tasks.

Successor

The schedule activity that happens second or subsequently to a previous activity when defining dependencies between activites in a network.

Triangular Distribution (Three-Point Estimating)

A technique to reflect risk in the estimates that are provided for both time and cost. Takes the average of three estimated durations - the optimistic value, the most likely value and the pessimistic value. By using the average of three values rather than a single estimate, a more accurate duration estimate for the activity is obtained.

Beta/PERT (Weighted Three-Point Estimate)

A program evaluation and review technique (PERT) used the three estimated durations of three-point estimating but weight the most likely estimate by a factor of four. This weight average places more emphasis on the most likely outcome in calculating the duration of an activity. Therefor, it produces a curve that is skewed to one side when possible durations are plotted against their probability of occurrence.

What-If Scenario Analysis

(Tool/Technique) A technique used to assess the feasibility of the project schedule should unexpected events occur. This analysis is useful for preparing contingency and response plans to mitigate the impact of identified risk events and could involve simulations of varoius project durations using different sets of project assumptions. The most common simulation is the Monte Carlo Analysis technique.

Resource Leveling

(Tool/Technique) A schedule network analysis techique that is performed after the critical path has been determined to address specific delivery dates and take into account resource availability or to keep resource usage at a constant level during specified time periods of the project. The resulting schedule often has an altered critical path and could result in the project taking longer to complete.

Critical Chain Method

(Tool/Technique) A schedule network analysis technique that modifies the project schedule to account for limited resources. In this method, resource dependencies are used to determine the critical path. Then, buffers are added working backwards from delivery data into the schedule at strategic points, and the project is managed so that each milestone is hit on time.

Earned Value (EV) or Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)

A technique where you figure out how much of your project's value has been delivered to the customer so far. You can do this by comparing the value of what your schedule says you should have delivered against the value of what you actually delivered. It's about how much work you have been able to accomplish with the money you have been given.

Schedule Variance (SV)

The difference bewtween what was accomplished and what was scheduled. A negative number means the project is behind schedule. A positive number means the project is ahead of schedule.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

The ratio of what was actually completed to what was scheduled to be completed in a given period. Values less than 1.0 mean the project is receiving less than a dolar's worth of work for each dollar we were scheduled to spend. Measures schedule efficiency.

Control Schedule

(Process) The process of monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and managing changes to the schedule baseline.

Define Activities

(Process) The process of identifying the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables.

Develop Schedule

(Process) The process of analyzing activity sequences, durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints to create the project schedule.

Milestone

A significant point or event in the project.

Project Time Management

(Knowledge Area) Includes the processes required to manage the timely completion of a project.

Schedule Management Plan

(Output/Input) The document that establishes criteria and the activities for developing and controlling the project schedule. It is contained in, or is a subsidiary plan of, the project management plan.

1. Scope Baseline
2. Enterprise Environmental Factors
3. Organizational Process Assets

What are the inputs into the Define Activities Process?

Template

(Tool/Technique) A partially complete document in a predefined format that provides a defined structure for collecting, organizing, and presenting information and data.

Decomposition

(Tool/Technique) Taking the work packages defined in the scope management process and breaking them down even further into activites that can be estimated.

1. Decomposition
2. Templates
3. Expert Judgment
4. Rolling Wave Planning

What are the tools and techniques of the Define Activities Process?

1. Activity List
2. Activity Attributes
3. Milestone List

What are the outputs of the Define Activities Process?

Activity List

(Output/Input) A documented tabulation of schedule activites that shows th activity description, activity identifier, and a sufficiently detailed scope of work description so project team members understand what work is to be performed.
*List of everything that needs to be done to complete your project. This list is lower-level than the WBS. It's all the activities that must be accomplished to deliver the work packages.

Milestone List

(Output/Input) All the important checkpoints of your project. These checkpoints could be listed in your contract as requirements of successful completion; some could just be significant points in the project that you want to keep track of.

Sequence Activities

(Process) The process of identifying and documenting relationships among the activities.

Activity Identifier

A short unique numeric or text identification assigned to each schedule activity to differentiate that project activity from other activities. Typically unique within any one project schedule network diagram.

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)

(Tool/Technique) A schedule network diagramming technique in which schedule activities are represented by boxes (or nodes). Schedule activities are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show how the sequence in which the activities are to be performed. Also called Activity on Node (AON).

1. External Predecessors
2. Discretionary Predecessors
3. Mandatory Predecessors

What are the three types of predecessors?

External Predecessors

Predecessors outside the work you are doing.

Discretionary Predecessor

Predecessors that aren't a necessity, just a matter of preference based on your knowledge of the best practices for getting the job done.

Mandatory Predecessor

Predecessors that have to exist just because of the nature of the work.

1. Activity List
2. Activity Attributes
3. Milestone List
4. Project Scope Statement
5. Organizational Process Assets

What are the inputs into the Sequence Activities Process?

1. Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)
2. Dependency Determination
3. Applying Leads and Lags
4. Schedule Network Templates

What are the tools and techniques of the Sequence Activities Process?

1. Project Schedule Network Diagrams
2. Project Document Updates (Activity Attibutes Updates, Activity List Updates, Risk Register Updates)

What are the outputs of the Sequence Activities Process?

1. Activity List
2. Activity Attributes
3. Resource Calendar
4. Enterprise Environmental Factors
5. Organizational Process Assets

What are the inputs into the Estimate Activity Resources Process?

1. Expert Judgment
2. Alternatives Analysis
3. Published Estimating Data
4. Project Management Software
5. Bottom-Up Estimating

What are the tools and techniques of the Estimate Activity Resources Process?

Published Estimating Data

(Tool/Technique) Something that project managers in a lot of industries use to help them figure out how many resources they need. They rely on articles, books, journals, and periodicals that collect, analyze, and publish data from other people's projects.

Bottom-Up Estimating

(Tool/Technique) A method of estimating a component of work. The work is decomposed into more detail. An estimate is prepared of what is needed to meet the requirements of each of the lower, more detailed pieces of work, and these estimates are then aggregated into a toal quantity for the component of work. *Breaking down complex activities into pieces, and working out the resource assignments fo reach of those simpler pieces using the other fout tools and techniques.

Project Management Software

(Tool/Technique) Software that has features designed to help project managers play around with resources and contraints and find the best combination of assignments for the project.

Estimate Activity Durations

(Process) The process of approximating the number of work periods needed to complete individual activities with estimated resources.

Estimate Activity Resources

(Process) The process of estimating the type and quantities of material, people, equipment or supplies required to perform each activity.

1. Activity List
2. Activity Attributes
3. Activity Resource Requirements
4. Resource Calendars
5. Project Scope Statement (lists constraints and assumptions for each activity)
6. Enterprise Environmental Factors
7. Organizational Process Assets

What are the inputs into the Estimate Activity Durations Process?

1. Expert Judgment
2. Analogous Estimating
3. Parametric Estimating
4. Three-point Estimates
5. Reserve Analysis

What are the tools and techniques of the Estimate Activity Durations Process?

Analogous Estimating

(Tool/Technique) An estimating technique that uses the values of parameters, such as scope, budget, and duration or measures of scale such as size, weight, and complexity from a previous, similar activity as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future activity.Takes less time and costs less than other types of estimates. Also called top-down estimating.

Parametric Estimating

(Tool/Technique) An estimating technique that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables to calculate an estimate for activity parameters, such as scope, cost, budget, and duration. An example used in home construction is cost per square foot. This number remains about the same no matter how big the house. *Means plugging data about your project into a formula, spreadsheet, database, or computer program that comes up with an estimate.

Three-Point Estimates

(Tool/Technique) An analytical technique that uses three cost or duration estimates to represent optimistic (O), pessimistic (P) and most likely (ML) scenarios. This technique is applied to improve the accuracy of the estimates of cost or duration when the underlying activity or cost component is uncertain.

Reserve Analysis

(Tool/Technique) An analytical technique to determine the essential features and relationships of components in the project management plan to establish a reserve for the schedule duration, budget, estimated cost, or funds for a project. *Means adding extra time to the schedule (called a contigency reserve or buffer) to account for extra risk.

1. Activity Duration Estimates
2. Project Document Updates (updates to the Activity Attributes)

What are the outputs of the Estimate Activity Durations Process?

Activity Duration Estimates

(Output/Input) Estimates of how long each activity in the activity list will take. The estimate can be in hours, days, or weeks.

Duration (DU or DUR)

The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other nonworking periods) required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as workdays or workweeks. Sometimes incorrectly equated with elapsed time. Contrast with effort. *The amount of time that an activity takes. Ex. If it takes 2 people 6 hrs. to carve an ice sculpture for the centerpiece of a wedding, the duration is 6 hrs.

Effort

The number of labor units required to complete a schedule activity or work breakdown structure component. Usually expressed as staff hours, staff days, or staff weeks. Contrast with duration. Total number of person-hours that are expended. Ex. If it takes 2 people 6 hrs. to carve an ice sculpture for the centerpiece of a wedding, the effort to create is 12 person-hrs.

1. Activity List
2. Activity Attributes
3. Project Schedule Network Diagrams
4. Activity Resource Requirements
5. Resource Calendars
6. Activity Duration Estimates
7. Project Scope Statement (constraints, and drop-dead dates you have to meet)
8. Enterprise Environmental Factors
9. Organizational Process Assets

What are the inputs into the Develop Schedule Process?

Critical Path Methodology (CPM)

(Tool/Technique) A schedule network analysis technique used to determine the amount of scheduling flexibility (the amount of total float) on varoius logical network paths in the project schedule network, and to determine the minimum total project duration. Early start and finish dates are calculated by means of a forward pass, using a specified start date. Late start and finish dates are calculated by means of a backward pass, starting from a specified completion date, which sometimes is the project early finish date determined during the forward pass calculation.

Early Start Date (ES)

In the critical path method, the earliest possible point in time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can start, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and and any schedule constraints.

Early Finish Date (EF)

In the critical path method, the earliest possible point if time on which the uncompleted portions of a schedule activity (or the project) can finish, based on the schedule network logic, the data date, and any schedule constraints.

Late Finish Date (LF)

In the critical path method, the latest possible point if time that a schedule activity may be completed based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. Calculated during the backward pass calculation of the project schedule network.

Late Start Date (LS)

In the critical path method, the latest possible point if time that a schedule activity may begin based upon the schedule network logic, the project completion date, and any constraints assigned to the schedule activities without violating a schedule constraint or delaying the project completion date. Calculated during the backward pass calculation of the project schedule network.

Forward Pass

The calculation of the early start and early finish dates for the uncompleted portions of all network activities.

Backward Pass

The calculation of late finish dates and late start dates for the uncompleted portions of all schedule activities. Determined by working backwards through the schedule network logic from the project's end date.

Monte Carlo Analysis

A technique that computes or iterates, the project cost or project schedule many times using input values selected at random from probability distributions of possible costs or durations, to calculate a distribution of possible total project cost or completion data.

1. Schedule Network Analysis
2. Critical Path Method
3. Critical Chain Method
4. Resource Leveling
5. What-If Scenario Analysis
6. Adjusting Leads and Lags
7. Schedule Compression
8. Scheduling Tool

What are the tools and techniques of the Develop Schedule Process?

Schedule Compression

(Tool/Technique) Shortening the project schedule duration without reducing the project scope.

Schedule Network Analysis

(Tool/Technique) The technique of identifying early and late start dates, as well as early and late finish dates, for the uncompleted portions of project schedule activities.

1. Project Schedule
2. Schedule Baseline
3. Schedule Data
4. Project Document Updates

What are the outputs of the Develop Schedule Process?

Schedule Baseline

(Output/Input) A specific verion of the schedule model used to compare actual results to the plan to determine if preventative or corrective action is needed to meet the project objectives. Created after schedule is developed.

Schedule Data

(Output/Input) A collection of information about your schedule. It will include things that you'll need to analyze your schedule later on in the project: alternative schedules, specific requirements for resources, milestone charts, bar charts, project schedule network diagrams, and other data and metrics about your schedule.

1. Project Management Plan
2. Project Schedule
3. Work Performance Information
4. Organizational Process Assets

What are the inputs into the Control Schedule Process?

1. Work Performance Measurements
2. Organizational Process Assets Updates
3. Change Requests
4. Project Management Plan Updates
5. Project Document Updates

What are the outputs of the Control Schedule Process?

1. Performance Analysis
2. Variance Analysis
3. Project Management Software
4. Resource Leveling
5. What-If Scenario Analysis
6. Applying Leads and Lags
7. Schedule Compression
8. Schedule Tool

What are the tools and techniques of the Control Schedule Process?

Variance Analysis

(Tool/Technique) A method for resolving the total variance in the set of scope, cost and schedule variables into specific component variances that are associated with defined factors affecting the scope, cost, and schedule variables. *How you are doing as compared to your plan. Helps head off problems before they make your project go over budget.

Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

A measure of schedule efficiency on a project. It is the ratio of earned value (EV) to planned value (PV). *Use when you want to know whether you are ahead or behind schedule. If less than one, then you're behind schedule because the amount you've actually worked (EV) is less than what you'd planned (PV).

Schedule Variance (SV)

A measure of schedule performance on a project. It is the difference between the earned value (EV) and the planned value (PV). *Use when you want to know how much ahead of or behind schedule you are.

1. Schedule Variance (SV)
2. Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

What are the two types of performance reviews used in the Control Schedule Process?

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