The time management process group is a logical mechanism for taking a project plan and creating a sequence and schedule for producing the project deliverables. The time management process group is required throughout all phases of the project lifecycle. In the initiation phase the schedule is normally derived at a high level. This provides a frame in which the project plan evolves as the project iterates between the planning, execution and monitoring phases, until a detailed schedule for project closure matures.
The time management process group consists of six processes:
These processes do not have to occur sequentially. It is most effective when all six have been determined at a high level and then refined, until the point when sufficient detail to execute the task is reached. Recognizing when this point is reached is a skill that makes the project manager worth his salt (and from which his salary is derived). In general, the level of detail needed is proportional to its level of risk and uncertainty. For this reason, time management planning should not be carried out in isolation but with the input of the project team who are going to execute the tasks. This ensures that the sequencing and activity duration estimates are as realistic as possible.
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