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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summary - Project Schedule & Communications Planning

I am so glad that we have successfully completed yet another big section in our preparation for the PMP certification. Let us wrap up this section by summarizing what we learnt so far in this section.

 Project schedule development is a journey that begins with decomposing the work packages in the WBS to project activities and ends with an approved schedule for performing those activities.
 Schedule planning addresses some basic questions: What are the activities that need to be performed to complete the project, who is going to perform these activities, and when?
 The Define Activities process is used to decompose the work packages in the WBS into schedule activities.
 The resulting activity list is used by the activity sequencing process to generate network diagrams, which display the dependencies among the activities.
 The commonly used method to construct network diagrams is the precedence diagramming method (PDM).
 The activity list and attributes are also used to determine the resource requirements for the project.
 Given the available resource, you can estimate the activity duration i.e., the time it will take to perform the activity.
 By using various time-management processes discussed in this chapter, you identify schedule activities, arrange them in proper sequence, determine resource requirements for them, and estimate their durations.
 All these tasks and accomplishments are a means to an end called the Develop Schedule process.
 You typically use the critical path method to develop the project schedule from a network diagram.
 After you have a schedule, you can use schedule compression methods, such as fast tracking and crashing, to accommodate hard deadlines.
 Schedule development is an iterative process that can continue well into the project execution due to approved changes and risk occurrences.
 However, the approved planned project schedule is used as a baseline to track the project progress.
 Communication, the lifeline of the project, is a common thread that runs through the whole lifecycle of the project.
 Therefore it’s crucial to plan for communication management as early as possible.
 The output of the Plan Communication process is the communication management plan that describes the communication needs and expectations of the project and how to meet them.

So, now that you have a project schedule and you have planned communication, are you ready to execute the project? Well, to be honest, the answer is “Not Really”.

You need resources, such as human resources that will do the project work and funding to get the human resources. You need to plan for these resources. This is what we will learn in the next few chapters (After we cover the important terms learnt in this section).

Prev: Planning Project Communication

Next: Important Terms

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