Schedule Management Knowledge Area

The main goal of project time management is making sure that all activities of a project is done on planned time and therefore project is completed on time. What we aim in this knowledge area is developing a project schedule and ensuring that project performs in coordination with the agreed schedule. 
In case of there is a need to change the project schedule the change should happen by following a proper change control procedure. This procedure is included in schedule management plan. Schedule management plan is part of the project management plan and consists of information about the planned project schedule along with schedule's management and control.
The schedule management knowledge area essentially consists of estimating the duration of project activities, designing a project schedule, and measurement, monitoring, and controlling deviations or variations in the project schedule. It is a significant aspect of project management because as a project manager it will be your responsibility to deliver the project on time.

The main activities that are part of the project time management can be listed as identifying activities, estimating durations and resources and sequencing activities. It is important to identify a list of activities that would be a part of the project. Following that, an estimation of time and resources required for completing the identified activities. Consequently, these activities need to be sequenced by taking dependencies into consideration.

Project schedule represents the time dimension of the project plan and has information like when the project would start, when each of the project activities would happen, in what order the project activities would happen, when project would be completed etc. Usually software system is used to develop the project schedule, the project team can enter the list of activities to the software as well as their dependencies and the software can produce the project schedule as the output. Microsoft Project is the most popular tool used for project schedule development. 

There is a delusion in the business as equating schedule with a project management plan. In reality, a project management plan is different from a project schedule project management plan. It has not only information about the project schedule but also other important project-related plans like risk management plan, cost management plan etc.

In PMBOK 7, the planning performance domain, project work performance domain, and measurement performance domain are directly related to this knowledge area. Characteristics of processes related to this knowledge area are determined as a result of tailoring processes carried out by the project team. This way the optimistic way to create value from schedule-related project activities is chosen better.
In order to estimate durations of project activities, following methods are used;
  • Parametric estimating
  • Bottom-up estimating
  • Analogous estimating
  • Three point estimating
Five of the six processes in this knowledge area are in the planning process group, while only the control schedule process is in the monitoring and control process group. This information is valuable while preparing for pmp exam or other project management exams.

The processes involved in this knowledge area are as follows: