PMP Certification: Develop Schedule (based on PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition)


  • WHAT Develop Schedule Is. Develop Schedule implies taking all the information gathered in the previous time management processes – Define Activities, Sequence Activities, and Estimate Activity Durations – and combining them into one final schedule for the whole project. It is the core of Project Schedule Management.
  • WHY Develop Schedule Is Important. Once the project schedule is approved in the schedule baseline for the project, a project manager can track against the latter in later processes and measure the project success against it.
  • WHEN Develop Schedule Is Executed. The Develop Schedule process is performed after Sequence Activities and Estimate Activity Durations.
  • HOW Develop Schedule Operates.
pmp 2018 pmp certification develop schedule pmbok guide 6th edition tipsographic main

Develop Schedule 101

What Does Develop Schedule Involve and When Do You Perform It in a Project Life Cycle?


  • WHAT Develop Schedule Is. Develop Schedule implies taking all the information gathered in the previous schedule management processes – Define Activities, Sequence Activities, and Estimate Activity Durations – and combining them into one final schedule for the whole project. It is the core of Project Schedule Management.
  • WHY Develop Schedule Is Important. Once the project schedule is approved in the schedule baseline for the project, a project manager can track against the latter in later processes and measure the project success against it.
  • WHEN Develop Schedule Is Executed. The Develop Schedule process is performed after Sequence Activities and Estimate Activity Durations.
  • HOW Develop Schedule Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Project management plan
    • Schedule management plan
    • Scope baseline
  2. Project documents
    • Activity attributes
    • Activity list
    • Assumption log
    • Basis of estimates
    • Duration estimates
    • Lessons learned register
    • Milestone list
    • Project schedule network diagrams
    • Project team assignments
    • Resource calendars
    • Resource requirements
    • Risk register
  3. Agreements
  4. Enterprise environmental factors
  5. Organizational process assets
  1. Schedule network analysis
  2. Critical path method
  3. Resource optimization
  4. Data analysis
    • What-if scenario analysis
    • Simulation
  5. Leads and lags
  6. Schedule compression
  7. Project management information system
  8. Agile release planning
  1. Schedule baseline
  2. Project schedule
  3. Schedule data
  4. Project calendars
  5. Change requests
  6. Project management plan updates
    • Schedule management plan
    • Cost baseline
  7. Project documents updates
    • Activity attributes
    • Assumption log
    • Duration estimates
    • Lessons learned register
    • Resource requirements
    • Risk register

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 6th ed., Chapter 6, section 6.5, p. 205.

Develop Schedule Key Terms

What Are the Key Terms to Fully Understand the Process of  Developing Schedule?


  • Backward Pass. A project network diagramming technique for determining each schedule activity’s late start and late finish dates.
  • Crashing. A schedule compression technique that adds more resources to the critical path activities, from either inside or outside the organization.
  • Critical Chain Method. A critical path that accounts for limited or restricted resources, where a project manager places buffers to any schedule path.
  • Critical Path Method. A schedule network analysis method that calculates the theoretical early start, early finish, late start, and late finish for each activity on the project schedule. These theoretical numbers tell us how much flexibility we have on the schedule and also the minimum project duration.
  • pmp certification 2018 study guide free online prep tipsographicFast Tracking. A schedule compression technique that overlaps activities or phases that a project manager would prefer to complete in sequence.
  • Float-or-Slack. The amount of time an activity may be delayed without delaying the project finish date.
  • Forward Pass. A project network diagramming technique for determining early start and early finish dates of each schedule activity.
  • Project Schedule. The working time frame the project will take, living document. Changeable by the project manager with no formal change control.
  • Resource Leveling. A technique for optimizing resource assignments that adjusts the starting and finishing dates of schedule activities, based on the availability of resources. Critical path usually gets longer.
  • Resource Smoothing. A technique for optimizing resources that ensures demand for resources does not exceed certain limits. Critical path is not allowed to change.
  • Schedule Baseline. The developed and approved schedule, result of several iterations. Changeable only through formal change control process.
  • Schedule Network Analysis. A group of techniques for developing the project schedule, such as critical path and critical chain method, what-if analysis, and resource leveling.

Develop Schedule Tips

What Are the Best Tips to Answer Correctly the PMP Certification Exam Questions on Develop Schedule Process?


  • 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.

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.

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