Sequence Activities - PMBOK 6 Process

In PMBOK 7 the sequence activities are still an integral part of projects planned with a predictive approach. In order to develop a project schedule, the second step is defined as sequencing activities that are decomposed by using the project scope.

In the process of defining the activities, we determined the project activities by taking into account the rolling wave planning. The process of sequencing activities is the project management process in which we analyze the order in which activities should be implemented while moving forward with the goal of creating a schedule.

What is the sequence of processes in PMBOK 6?

Some project activities include priority completion relationships. If this is a priority relationship, it can be caused by dependence between activities or efficiency considerations. Therefore there should be a sequence of activities related to internal and external dependencies, constraints, and assumptions. 

What is the main purpose of the sequence activities process?

The main purpose of sequencing is to bring logical and feasible order of conducting activities during the execution phase by taking into consideration internal and external dependencies, assumptions, and constraints a feasible sorting with maximum efficiency is the goal. Therefore, by sequencing, it will ease the whole process of developing a schedule later. Being aware of at which step you will take the action will contribute to better planning of all activities.

Why is the sequence activities process important?

It is an important process because the essential step of developing a project schedule is to know priority completion dependencies between activities and we can only determine a definite time period by defining the sequence of them. For example, if you are carrying out a project about painting a house lining the wall should come before painting the wall. If this sequence is neglected, there would be rework or extra usage of resources and mandatory changes on the schedule.

When to perform sequence activities process?

In the process of sequencing activities, all factors are examined and the activities in the activity list are sorted and this ranking is reflected in the document. The process of sequence project activities is implemented immediately after the process of defining the activities during Project Management and immediately before the process of creating a schedule. Knowing what to do when and during project management allows us to better plan when managing project constraints.

The sequence activities process is in the planning process group and schedule management knowledge area. The main output that we have at the end of the process is schedule network diagrams. This diagram will be of very much value while we prepare the final schedule.

The main output of the sequence activities process is project schedule network diagrams. In the schedule network diagram, the exact sequence and logical relationships between the activities are depicted. It is usually created by using scheduling software.

Inputs of sequence activities process

Activity lists: As it consists of the names of activities to be sequenced it is the main input of the process.

Activity attributes: This document may consist of useful information which will affect the sequence of activities. 

Milestone list: In our project reaching the predefined milestones is one of our objectives. Therefore we have to take them into consideration while sequencing the activities.

Schedule Management Plan: It is the guide for us to the necessary work of sequencing. The techniques used, the software to use, the roles and responsibilities about deciding the final logic of dependencies are included in the plan.

Assumptions log: Assumptions and constraints are among the main factors to decide the dependencies and priority relationships.

Organizational Process Assets: Project dependencies mentioned in the portfolio and program plans, existing planning procedures, templates, and lessons learned repository are useful inputs.

Enterprise Environmental Factors: Existing standards of the industry, Project management information system, scheduling softwares in the market are examples of EEF to use.

Tools and techniques used in sequence activities process

Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM): It is a form of data representation that visually reveals the logical relationships between activities and activities, the priority relationship. It was developed manually before, today most people use scheduling softwares instead.

Dependency Determination and Integration: Three different types of dependencies exist in projects. These are mandatory dependencies which may be also mentioned as hard logic or essential in project management exams, the second is discretionary dependencies also called soft logic or preferred dependencies and the third is external dependencies which are caused by parties outside of the project. These first two dependencies may coexist with external and internal dependencies.

Leads and Lags: Lag can be defined as the total amount of time when a successor activity is delayed after the predecessor activity. And lead is exactly the reverse of a lag. In network diagrams, it is an acceleration in a successor activity.

Project management information system (PMIS): This system is very useful in almost all scheduling processes.

See Also: 

How to Define Activities in Project Management,

How to Create a Project Charter