To create a schedule, the project manager must put the tasks from the WBS into sequences. However, due to dependencies and other issues, tasks may not flow smoothly one after the other.
For each activity in the WBS, the project manager should attempt to place the activity and the tasks under the activity into logical sequences. If a task must be completed before another task, then it will be first in the sequence.
EXAMPLEYou must build the supports in a bridge before you place the roadwork down.
Not all tasks will have a logical sequence though. Some tasks are not reliant on other work, so these tasks can be done at the same time other work is happening assuming the proper resources are available.
Often, when the project manager is sequencing tasks, new tasks are defined or tasks are broken down into smaller tasks. As this occurs, the project manager will need to update the WBS with the changes.
When tasks have a logical sequence, one task becomes dependent on another.
It is critical for the project manager to identify the dependencies in a project schedule since issues with dependencies are a primary cause of schedule slippage.
Determining all dependencies might require the project manager to review the schedule several times. Once all dependencies have been found, the project manager's next responsibility is to document the dependencies along with their associated tasks and activities.
Use whole numbers (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.) for activities until all activities in a project have been numbered sequentially.
Each task under an activity is then numbered with the activities number. The value after the decimal changes based on the order in which the work will proceed.
Lag time is the time delay between two tasks and is either caused by an issue with dependencies, or an issue with the resources allocated for the task.
EXAMPLEIf one task is complete, but the next task must wait two days until a resource is done with other work, those two days are considered lag time.
Build legs 3 days 2 DAYS Build Chair Build Seat 5 Days
Lag times can lead to resources sitting on their hands while they wait on other work to be done, which is inefficient for a project.
Lead time indicates that a second task can start once a previous task is only partially complete.
EXAMPLEA new road only needs to be partially complete before other workers can start painting the traffic lines.
Once the project manager has worked out all of these details, the project schedule should reflect the overall project time. This is the time from the project’s start date to its end date (when all tasks and deliverables are complete).
|Start date||End date|
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Jeff Carroll.