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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Important Terms and Definitions - Project Schedule & Communication Management

Let us now take a look at some of the important terms and definitions we learnt as part of the preceding chapters.

activity - A component of project work.
activity definition - The process of identifying the specific schedule activities that need to be performed to produce the project deliverables.
activity duration - The time measured in calendar units between the start and finish of a schedule activity.
activity duration estimating - The process of estimating the time in work periods individually for each schedule activity required for its completion. A work period is a measurement of time when the work is in progress; it is measured in hours, days, or months depending upon the size of the activity.
activity resource estimating - The process of estimating the types and amounts of resources that will be required to perform each schedule activity.
activity sequencing - The process of identifying and documenting the dependencies among schedule activities.
analogous estimating - A technique used to estimate the duration of an activity based on the duration of a similar activity in a previous project.
communication management plan - A document that describes the communications needs and expectations of the project and how these needs and expectations will be met.
crashing - A project schedule compression technique used to decrease the project duration with minimal additional cost. A number of alternatives are analyzed, including the assignment of additional resources.
critical path - The longest path (sequence of activities) in a project schedule network diagram. Because it is the longest path, it determines the duration of the project.
critical path method (CPM) - A schedule network analysis technique used to identify the schedule flexibility and the critical path of the project schedule network diagram.
decode - To convert the received message from the media back into useful ideas and thoughts.
encode - To convert thoughts and idea into a message that could be transmitted through the media.
fast tracking - A project schedule compression technique used to decrease the project duration by performing project phases or some schedule activities within a phase simultaneously, when they would normally be performed in sequence.
float time - The positive difference between the late start date and the early start date of a schedule activity.
lag - A technique to modify a dependency relationship by delaying the successor activity. For example, a lag of five days in a finish-to-start relationship means the successor activity cannot start until five days after the predecessor activity has ended.
lead - A technique to modify a dependency relationship by accelerating the successor activity. For example, a lead of five days in a finish-to-start relationship means the successor activity can start up until five days before the finish date of the predecessor activity.
logical relationship - A dependency between two project schedule activities or between a schedule activity and a schedule milestone.
milestone - A significant point (or event) in the life of a project.
parametric estimating - A quantitative technique used to calculate the activity duration when the productivity rate of the resource performing the activity is available.
planning component - A WBS component at the bottom level of a branch of the WBS hierarchy for which some planning can be performed.
precedence diagramming method (PDM) - A technique used to construct a project schedule network diagram in which a node (a box) represents an activity and an arrow represents the dependency relationship.
project calendar - A calendar of working days or shifts used to establish when a schedule activity can be performed. A calendar typically specifies holidays and weekends when a schedule activity cannot be performed.
project schedule - A schedule that consists of planned dates for performing schedule activities and meeting schedule milestones.
project schedule network diagram - A schematic display of logical relationships among the project schedule activities. The time flow in these diagrams is from left to right.
resource breakdown structure (RBS) - A hierarchical structure of resource types required to complete the schedule activities of a project.
role - A defined function that contains a set of responsibilities to be performed by a team member, such as a programmer or a tester.
rolling wave planning - A technique used to plan the project work at various levels of detail, depending upon the availability of information. Work to be performed in the near future is planned at a low level of the WBS, whereas work to be performed far into the future is planned at a relatively high level of the WBS.
schedule activity - A scheduled task (component of work) performed during the life-cycle of a project.
schedule baseline - A specific version of the project schedule that is approved by the project management team as a baseline against which the progress of the project will be measured. This version of the schedule is developed from the schedule network analysis of the schedule model data.
schedule development - The process of creating the project schedule by analyzing schedule activity sequences, schedule activity durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints.
schedule milestone - A significant event in the project schedule, such as the completion of a major deliverable.
schedule network analysis - A technique used to generate a project schedule by identifying the early and late start and finish dates for the project.

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