Properly defining and sequencing project activities allows a project manager to answer two basic scheduling questions – What activities are required to develop the end product? And how should the activities be sequenced for optimal results? The first step in developing a reliable project schedule is identifying project activities and their interrelationships which are planned as per plan schedule management (refer plan schedule management). As of now let’s concentrate on defining activities.
The activity definition processes will identify the deliverables at the lowest level in the work breakdown structure (WBS) which is called the work package. Project work packages are planned into smaller components called schedule activities to provide a basis for estimation, scheduling, executing and monitoring and controlling the project tasks. Implicit in the process is defining and planning the schedule activities such that the project objectivities will be met.
To keep it simple, this step requires you to define the tasks, milestones, and other activities needed to complete the project. Start with a basic definition of each task and fill in the details as the project gets fleshed out.
A Gantt chart is a simple and quick way to outline the entire project. Use the Gantt chart to add tasks and their estimated timeframes. Don’t worry about dates at this point, but rather focus on the time it will take to complete each individual task?
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