At this point in the TPM life cycle, you have identified the set of activities in the project as output from the WBS-building exercise and the activity duration for the project. The next task for the planning team is to determine the order in which these activities are to be performed.
Chapter Learning Objectives (continued)
♦ Understand lag variables and their uses
♦ Identify the critical path in the project
♦ Define free slack and total slack and know their significance
♦ Analyze the network for possible schedule compression
♦ Use advanced network dependency relationships for improving the project schedule
♦ Understand and apply management reserve
♦ Use the critical path for planning, implementation, and control of the project activities
The activities and the activity duration are the basic building blocks needed to construct a graphic picture of the project. This graphic picture provides you with two additional pieces of schedule information about the project:
■■ The earliest time at which work can begin on every activity that makes up the project
■■ The earliest expected completion date of the project
This is critical information for the project manager. Ideally, the required resources must be available at the times established in this plan. This is not very likely. Chapter 7 discusses how to deal with that problem. In this chapter, we focus on the first part of the problem—creating an initial project network diagram and the associated project schedule.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.