PMP Certification: Project Schedule Management Tips (based on PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition)


Project Scope Management Tips

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Schedule Management


  • Schedule Management Plan Vs. Schedule. The project’s schedule management plan describes how the project’s schedule will be developed, managed and controlled. The project’s schedule describes the planned starting and finishing dates for project activities.

pmp 2018 pmp certification project schedule management tips pmbok guide 6th edition tipsographic main

Project Scope Management Tips

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Schedule Management


  • Schedule Management Plan Vs. Schedule. The project’s schedule management plan describes how the project’s schedule will be developed, managed and controlled. The project’s schedule describes the planned starting and finishing dates for project activities.

2. Define Activities


  • Task. The terms activity and task can be used interchangeably.
  • Work Breakdown Structure Vs. Activity List. The Work Breakdown Structure is the output of Create WBS process and is made up of deliverables – nouns. The activity list is the output of Define Activities process and is made up of activities – verbs.

3. Sequence Activities


  • Discretionary Dependencies Schedule. Usually performed in sequence, discretionary dependencies can be executed in parallel – but with additional risk.
  • Sequence Vs. Duration. The Sequence Activities process does not establish how long activities will take, only the sequence in which they will occur.

4. Estimate Activity Durations


  • pmp exam 2018 study guide free online prep tipsographicBreakdown Structures. On the PMP exam, you will find the following four breakdown structures:
    • work breakdown structure (WBS)
    • organizational breakdown structure
    • resource breakdown structure
    • risk breakdown structure.
  • Contingency Reserves Vs. Management Reserves. Contingency reserves are meant for known unknowns and are included in the schedule baseline, whereas management reserves are meant for unknown unknowns – unforeseen work that is within the scope of the project – and are not included in the schedule baseline.
  • Duration Estimate Vs. Effort Estimate. The duration of an activity is the amount of time that activity takes, while the effort is the total number of person-hours expended.
  • Estimators. For small projects the estimators are those who will be doing the work; for larger projects, the estimators should be members of the project team.
  • Leads and Lags. The activity duration estimates do not include leads and lags, only the estimates for each project activity.
  • Physical Vs. Financial Resources. The activity resource requirements include only physical resources, not financial ones.

5. Develop Schedule


  • Buffer Time. On the PMP exam, any question about buffer time refers to the critical chain method.
  • Mathematical Analysis of Different Scenarios. On the PMP exam, the correct answer to a question about mathematical analysis of different scenarios is probably what-if scenario analysis or Monte Carlo analysis.
  • Project Baselines. On the PMP exam, you will find the following four baselines, all part of the project management plan:
    • scope baseline
    • schedule baseline
    • project budget
    • quality baseline.

6. Control Schedule


  • Odds of Fast-Track and Crashing. Crashing is expensive and fast-tracking is risky. They might work sometimes but they always add both risk and cost to the project.
  • Schedule Change Vs. Schedule Revision Vs. Schedule Update.
    • A schedule change must be approved via the Perform Integrated Change Control process.
    • A schedule revision, such as a change to the start and finish dates within an activity’s float, does not impact the baseline schedule.
    • A schedule update enters status into a project schedule.

Click here for a detailed analysis of each project management process group and knowledge area.

SOURCES: Project Management Institute (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). 6th ed. Newtown Square: Project Management Institute. Project Management Institute (2016)

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Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

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