Time Management - Knowledge Area

National Project Management System
Business Projects-IT-Enabled

TITLE:

Time Management Knowledge Area

1. EFFECTIVE DATE:

December 2010

2. AUTHORITY:

This policy related document is issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).

3. CONTEXT:

This Knowledge Area is to be implemented in conjunction with the PSPC National Project Management System (NPMS) Policy.

4. PURPOSE:

To describe the components and requirements of the NPMS as applied to the management of project time.

5. DETAILS:

Project time management is a subset of project management that includes the activities required to ensure the timely completion of the project. The purpose of scheduling is to provide a roadmap that represents how and when the project will deliver the products defined in the project scope.

The Time Management Plan provides guidance on developing the schedule for project activities and on implementing schedule control activities. The key output of a Time Management Plan is the project schedule, which includes the table of activities and the associated schedule dates when activities and milestones are to take place. Effective scheduling enables the Project Manager to accurately report progress to date, tasks accomplished, tasks in progress as well as percentages of tasks completed to date.

Time management considerations must be applied throughout the life of the project. This process is described below in relation to the ten phases of the NPMS. A Time Management Plan is to be prepared for every project, and associated documents such as the project schedule are to be updated throughout the project lifecycle as the project evolves.

Objectives

The main objective of the Time Management Plan is to provide a methodology for:

  • determining the amount of time and effort required for a project to complete its deliverables;
  • defining a structure to organize the project work;
  • arranging the work in a logical, traceable structure;
  • assigning resources to complete the work;
  • defining the critical path; and
  • managing the schedule and work effort so as to ensure the project completes its deliverables and hands over its product in the most optimal time period.

Time Management Process by NPMS Stage and Phase

Inception Stage

Definition Phase:

Conduct a preliminary assessment and document a business need or opportunity in the form of a Statement of Requirements (SoR) document. The document does not reference project scope, provide a preliminary schedule or suggest a solution at this point. It requests that management provide seed funding for further analysis of the problem.

Identification Stage

Initiation Phase

Provide a high-level preliminary schedule for the Identification Stage activities in the Preliminary Project Plan (PPP) along with a set of proposed milestones and deliverables.

Feasibility Phase

The Feasibility Report, the main deliverable of the Feasibility Phase, identifies all of the viable options and the potential high-level activities related to each option. These will be subject to further analysis. Potential timelines, milestones, deliverables and scheduling constraints are generated for each option as part of this preliminary analysis and included in the report. They are key criteria in the assessment of option viability.

Analysis Phase

During the Analysis Phase a detailed schedule for the Identification Stage and a preliminary schedule for the Delivery Stage are fleshed out. A single, high-level schedule, including the activity list, milestones and deliverables is produced to support the Business Case and the Project Charter. To complete this deliverable, the Project Manager and/or the Schedule Manager perform the following high-level tasks.

  • Consult SMEs for activity and schedule input;
  • Define work, time, calendar and other schedule standards;
  • Describe the work activities and deliverables that must be accomplished;
  • Sequence activities;
  • Define the required resource skill sets;
  • Create a logic structure;
  • Create unique IDs for resources, activities and logic;
  • Identify and allocate resources;
  • Overlay the project activity structure, resources and the logic structure upon the project calendar;
  • Optimize the schedule while addressing the client requirement;
  • Create the schedule baseline; and
  • Obtain approval.

Resources report their progress on completing their deliverables. The Project Manager or Schedule Manager generates performance and progress reports to the Sponsor and Governance Committee (if there is one at this stage).

Identification Close Out Phase:

The purpose of the Identification Close Out Phase is to ensure an appropriate level of assessment, reporting, evaluation, hand-over, and administrative closure has taken place that will provide enough directional detail for the (delivery organization) Project Manager to seamlessly proceed to the Delivery Stage.

In light of the Preliminary Project Approval (PPA) decision, obtained in the Analysis Phase, ensure that this phase has an updated schedule and performance reports and/or records of progress.

Delivery Stage

The Project Manager, in conjunction with the project team, elicits input from relevant Subject Matter Experts and consults Lessons Learned and historic performance records:

  • to create a schedule/time management plan; and
  • to flesh out the preliminary schedule for the delivery of the approved option.

Planning Phase

To complete the Delivery Stage Time Management Plan and a project delivery Schedule, the Project Manager or the Schedule Manager repeats the schedule development process followed during the Analysis Phase. The Time Management Plan produced during this process is normally included as a subsidiary plan within the PMP. This iterative process includes the following steps:

  • Consult SMEs for activity and schedule input;
  • Refine work, time, calendar and other schedule standards previously established;
  • Describe the work activities and deliverables that must be accomplished;
  • Sequence activities;
  • Define the required resource skill sets for the project, technical and business teams;
  • Update the logic structure;
  • Create additional unique IDs for resources, activities and logic;
  • Identify and allocate resources;
  • Overlay the updated project activity structure, resources and the logic structure upon the updated calendar;
  • Optimize the schedule, while addressing the client requirement;
  • Create the schedule baseline; and
  • Obtain approval.

As with the Identification Stage, resources report their actuals and the progress on the completion of their deliverables. The Project Manager or Schedule Manager generates performance and progress reports to the Sponsor and Governance Committees.

In the Delivery Stage, the nature of the iterative project and product design and development process demands increased control.

Schedule changes are made in accordance with the project Change Management Process. New resource and activity codes are created. Estimates are refined to reflect the approved changes. As status information is entered into the schedule and the remaining work re-analyzed to determine the project status, incomplete work is rescheduled and other scheduling adjustments are made. The newly updated schedule output is compared to the stored baseline, and, where necessary, actions are employed to manage schedule variances. The baseline is updated, in accordance with authorized schedule changes. As alterations are made in the schedule, records are updated to reflect and to explain all changes in activity durations or logic. Approved schedule changes are incorporated into an updated PMP, including an updated milestone table.

Design Phase

The time and resources required for the timely completion of project activities are continually refined and optimized. Resources input their actuals, or alternatively, Schedule Managers enter data as supplied by the resources. Work teams discuss progress and optimize their workload. The Schedule Manager or the Project Manager monitors progress. Progress and performance reports are generated. Schedule changes are made in accordance with the project Change Management Process. New resource and activity codes are created. Estimates are refined to reflect the approved changes. Status information is entered into the schedule and the remaining work re-analyzed to determine the project status, incomplete work is rescheduled and scheduling adjustments are made.

The final implementation schedule is approved at the Effective Project Approval (EPA) control point.

Implementation Phase

During Implementation Phase, the time requirements and resources required for the timely completion of project implementation activities are continually refined. Resources input their actuals or alternatively the Schedule Manager or Project Manager enters data as supplied by the resources. Work teams discuss progress and optimize work. The Schedule Manager or the Project Manager monitors progress. Progress and performance reports are generated. Testing data and stakeholder input generate data change requests which must be reviewed for their impact to scope, schedule, and cost. Schedule changes are made in accordance with the project Change Management Process. Risks and issues are addressed. New resource and activity codes are created. Estimates are refined to reflect the approved changes. Status information is entered into the schedule and the remaining work re-analyzed to determine the project status, incomplete work is rescheduled and scheduling adjustments are made.

Delivery Close-Out Phase

Once the project is complete, the project team prepares the Project Close Out Document, including lessons learned and conducts the administrative and contract close Out activities, documenting the process thoroughly. The project schedule is updated to reflect the end-state. Final actuals are input. The change log attached to the Time/Schedule Management Plan must be updated to summarize all changes affecting the schedule that was proposed, and if the change was approved, to detail the implementation activities and the consequences of the change.

6. TIME:

This Knowledge Area applies to all PSPC Business Projects-IT-Enabled.

7. DEFINITIONS:

Project Schedule
The planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned dates for meeting schedule milestones. - (Project Management Body of Knowledge)
Schedule Activity
A discrete scheduled component of work performed during the course of a project. A schedule activity normally has an estimated duration, an estimated cost and estimated resource requirements. Schedule activities are connected to other schedule activities or schedule milestones with logical relationships, and are decomposed from work packages. - PMBOK®
Schedule Milestone
A significant event, time constraint or achievement in the project schedule. Milestones may constrain future work delivery timelines or mark the completion of a deliverable. A schedule milestone has zero duration.
Schedule/Time Management Plan
The document that establishes criteria and the activities for developing and controlling the project schedule. It is contained or is a subsidiary plan of the Project Management Plan. - PMBOK®
Variance
Variance is "a quantifiable deviation, departure, or divergence away from a known baseline or expected value." - PMBOK®

8. RESPONSIBILITIES:

All parties responsible for developing Time Management Plans are strongly encouraged to consult with other project leaders/managers and senior project managers. It is also recommended that project managers and schedulers seek advice from technical experts and other SMEs within PSPC when producing/updating the Work Breakdown Structure, schedules and plans.

Project Lead (Business Side)

The Project Director/Project Lead defines the business need or opportunity, leads the identification stage activities and represents the client during delivery. The specific responsibilities include:

  • planning, controlling and providing overall management oversight of the entire project in accordance with the NPMS Framework for Business Projects-IT-Enabled;
  • setting general direction and priorities;
  • authorizing all planning documents;
  • reviewing and endorsing the Project Charter;
  • approving the Project Management Plan and other project deliverables;
  • being accountable for budgets;
  • recommending major changes that impact scope, time and cost;
  • approving changes that do not impact hard milestones and costs;
  • monitoring progress;
  • assigning/authorizing resources;
  • liaising with the project steering committee;
  • acting as primary project interface between the business and the project teams; and
  • being accountable for any project procurement activity (or delegates this to a Procurement Manager).

Project Manager

The Project Manager is responsible for:

  • Creating the Time Management Plan;
  • Providing input to the schedule development process;
  • Assigning resources to project work packages, roles and responsibilities;
  • Ensuring project resources provide time updates and work progress input to the schedule tracking and maintenance activities; and
  • Reporting on the schedule.

Schedule Manager

Note: A dedicated resource may be required to fill the Schedule Manager role in larger projects; otherwise it normally is filled by the (delivery) Project Manager.

The Schedule Manager is responsible for the following activities:

  • Analyzing the project Work Breakdown Structure, Project Scope Statement and collecting schedule development inputs from SMEs and Project Team members;
  • Defining the Project Schedule standards, work components, structure, resource associations, activity sequences, project milestones and logic;
  • Creating the schedule and associating resources to work tasks;
  • Conducting resource levelling;
  • Baselining the schedule;
  • Collecting work and time data and analyzing outputs for management reporting purposes;
  • Making changes to the schedule in accordance with approved schedule and scope changes; and
  • Maintaining the Project Schedule.

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts that directly participate in the project are responsible for providing input to project schedule analysis and definition.

Project Team

The Project Team is responsible for the following activities:

  • Reviewing and providing input to project schedule analysis and definition;
  • Performing their assigned tasks in accordance with the baselined schedule; and
  • Submitting time and work progress reports as part of schedule maintenance and work tracking.

9. REFERENCES:

10. ATTACHMENTS:

Nil

11. ENQUIRIES:

Please direct enquiries about this Knowledge Area to the Director, Centre of Excellence, ITSB Project Delivery Office.