Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
Analyse the behavioural characteristics of individual project team members. 2.1 Outline the elements of a project schedule and how these elements can be affected by the
behavioural characteristics of project team members. 2.2 Describe key processes of project schedule management in relation to each project team
member and his or her behavioural characteristics.
Discuss conflict management and negotiation strategies. 6.1 Describe the implications of the precedence diagram method regarding managing team tasks
and avoiding conflicts. 6.2 Describe the role of the critical path regarding task assignments and the negotiation of resource
allocation within the project team.
Reading Assignment Chapter 13: Time
Unit Lesson One of the primary duties of the project manager is to make sure that the project can be completed on time with the approved schedule while managing other project constraints including the amount of time each team member has to spend on his or her part of the project.
In addition, it is important for a project manager to understand the behavioural characteristics of each project member in order to assign each individual the tasks that are best suited for him or her to complete. One of the best ways to do this is to simply talk to people within your organisation.
Get to know them and what their capabilities are. Also, speak to others who work with them or have worked with them in the past, including immediate supervisors.
These are the people who will know the strengths and weaknesses of those you are considering to work with you. You cannot successfully manage a project schedule without a clear understanding of the project resources and activities. It is important to know that time is the only “triple constraint” typically owned by the project manager.
The output of time management is an element of keen interest in communications to senior management and other stakeholders.
The project schedule starts with the decomposition of the scope, which is performed by the team. The project schedule according to the Project Management Institute [PMI] (2013) is one of the primary sources of team conflicts.
In order to reduce the possibility of these conflicts, some key considerations to keep in mind regarding time management include the following:
Unit V Study Guide
MBA 6941, Managing Project Teams 2
PMI identifies seven key process that are associated with time management knowledge areas. Each of these processes must be carefully negotiated between the project manager and the project participants before a project begins and during the project’s duration.
This helps to ensure that everyone is aware of how long each activity of the project should take and how much time they should devote to each activity in order to successfully reach the project’s deadline. These processes are shown below:
Sequencing Activities Activity sequencing is the process of placing all the defined project activities in the order that these activities will be performed. Through sequencing, we identify activities that should be performed earlier within the schedule and activities that will be performed later.
Through this sequential identification, the project can then determine all the dependencies between activities so that they can be well managed and reduce potential conflicts that may occur within the schedules of the project team members. The primary tool for diagramming activity dependencies is called the precedence diagramming method (PDM).
A network diagram is like a flowchart and is beneficial for schedule management for the following reasons:
Precedence Relationships The precedence diagramming method (PDM), which details the exact method for completing a specific project, is sometimes referred to as the activity on node (AON) and is classified into four approaches:
Network Dependency Types The activity sequencing process is constrained or even determined by three types of dependencies (mandatory, discretionary, and external dependencies) in the network diagram:
This means that milestones have no duration because they only show completed activities. Milestones are good tools for reporting to management and customers.
Leads and Lags
A lead is an acceleration or a jump of the successor activity. It is kind of like getting a jump start. For example, in a finish-to-start relationship between design and coding in a software project. Coding may start five days before the design is completed. This can be shown as finish-to-start with five days lead.
A lag is a delay in starting a successor activity or a deliberate delay which is a waiting time between activities. For example, you must wait three days after pouring concrete before you can construct the frame for the house. This is represented in a finish-to-start with three day’s lags.
Duration Estimating Types
manager from management or the sponsor. This type of estimate measures the project parameters such as budget, size, complexity, and duration based on similar project and historical information.
complex nature of the activity, then this activity can be further broken down into similar pieces of work until the resources can be estimated for these pieces and later summed up from the bottom back up to an activity level.
utilises the statistical relationship that exists between a series of historical data and a particular delineated list of other variables. Measures such as time per line of code, time per installation, and time per linear meter are considered in this type of estimate (PMI, 2013).
Critical Path Method (CPM)
The critical path is the longest path through a network diagram and determines the shortest time to complete the project as well as any schedule flexibility. The critical path is not the project schedule.
Instead, the critical path indicates the time period within which an activity could be scheduled considering activity duration, logical relationships, dependencies, leads, lags, and assumptions and constraints. Elements of the critical path method (CPM) include the following:
MBA 6941, Managing Project Teams 4
Developing a Schedule Process
The development of the project schedule is a culmination of all the steps through an iterative process of analysing sequential activities and their dependencies, duration, logical relationships, resources (including materials, manpower, equipment, and supplies), requirements, constraints, and assumptions to develop the project schedule with planned dates for the completion of the project activities.
The process of developing a schedule produces the most vital and visible project schedule, which determines the planned start and finish dates for project milestones and activities.
It is helpful when a project manager and his or her project team take the time to sit down and negotiate a project’s schedule and determine all of the tasks that need to be accomplished before embarking on the project because doing this will limit potential conflicts that can delay a project and cause a project to miss its final deadline. Communication is definitely the key to completing a successful project.
Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (5th ed.). Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
Suggested Reading Please use your favourite search engine to locate the following article. This article gives you an insight to project process and how project integrated processes is helping organisations achieve success: Casinelli, M. (2005). Guidelines to mitigate schedule delay, from the owner’s viewpoint. Cost Engineering,