Develop Schedule Process

Posted on March 10, 2009 by


Develop Schedule is one of the 42 project management processes described in the fourth edition PMBOK®. It’s one of the six Time knowledge area processes, and one of the twenty Planning processes. The purpose of this particularly important process is to create the project schedule. This is the most important Time process, and there are more inputs and tools for the Develop Schedule process than any other Time process. The four Time processes that occur beforehand (Define Activities, Sequence Activities, Estimate Activity Resources, and Estimate Activity Durations) all contribute information that is needed to create the schedule, and the process that begins after the schedule is made (Control Schedule) monitors whether the project is on track with the schedule. In addition to the Project Scope Statement and Resource Calendars being inputs, the Time processes provide the inputs of Activity List and Activity Attributes (from Define Activities), Project Schedule Network Diagrams (from Sequence Activities), Activity Resource Requirements (from Estimate Activity Resources), and Activity Duration Estimates (from Estimate Activity Durations).

The Develop Schedule process takes all this information from these inputs concerning the activities, their needed durations and resources, and their dependencies among each other, and creates the Project Schedule. This is not a simple process. In fact, PMI (Project Management Institute) even offers a credential for scheduling professionals, the PMI-SP. Software is frequently used to make schedule creation easier, which is this process’s tool of Scheduling Tool. Leads and lags are determined, which is accounting for lead time before an activity and lag time after an activity. The Critical Path Method and Critical Chain method are two common methods of organizing individual project activities into a complete schedule. If the schedule must be compressed, there are the options of crashing (adding some type of resources) and fast-tracking (performing tasks in parallel). Of course, the primary output of this process is the Project Schedule.