Time Management

Time Management consists of the following processes. See also Knowledge Areas - Time.

Process Project Phase
  Plan Schedule Management       Planning
  Define activities       Planning
  Sequence activities       Planning
  Estimate resources       Planning  
  Estimate duration of activities       Planning  
  Develop schedule       Planning  
  Control schedule       Monitoring & Controlling  

This knowledge area is concerned with estimating the duration of the project plan activities, devising a project schedule, and monitoring and controlling deviations from the schedule.


"Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste... Time waits for no one, no favours has he... Time waits for no one, and he won't wait for me"   Jagger/Richards

Define & Plan Activities

Activity definition consists of decomposing or breaking down the work to reach a level that can be easily estimated and managed.

Sequence Activities

Activity sequencing involves structuring the activities according to the order in which they will be performed. Network diagrams are used in this process.

Network Diagrams

Network diagrams are used to display activities and their dependencies. There are two type of network diagrams:

Dependencies may exist for activities which will impact when they can be scheduled. Types of dependencies between activities can be Mandatory, External, or Discretionary.

Leads & Lags are also important concepts to understand for scheduling activities to account for dependencies.

Estimate Resources

This process involves estimating internal / external human resources (including vendors), as well as equipment and materials. It takes into account the skill sets and number of resources required for the work effort.

Estimate Duration of Activities

PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Techniques)

PERT is a network model that allows for randomness in activity completion. From PMBOK, PERT uses a weighted average duration estimate to calculate activity durations. PERT Formulas

Develop Schedule

Critical Path - longest duration path through a network diagram. The Critical Path is the shortest possible time it will take to complete the project.

CPM (Critical Path Method) - From PMBOK, CPM "calculates a single, deterministic early start and finish date for each activity based on specified sequential network logic and a single duration estimate."

Float - amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying the project. Also known as slack. Note that tasks on the critical path have zero float.

      Float = LF - EF = LS - ES


      LF = Late Finish

      EF = Early Finish

      LS = Late Start

      ES = Early Start

Schedule Techniques


Below are some techniques to overcome the madness and regain control of your project:


"Let's Do the Time Warp Again!"   Rocky Horror Picture Show

Control Schedule

This process involves monitoring project status and controlling changes to the project schedule. Progress reporting is used to communicate the overall project schedule to stakeholders.

Study Break

For those who cannot remember how to do the Time Warp dance, instructions are provided. Although this won't be on the PMP exam, this may come in handy for an upcoming showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Or maybe you could just use a break from all the studying!


Additional Information

   Visit the Time Management Bookshelf to search for books available for purchase.

   Time Management on Wikipedia

   PERT on Wikipedia

   Network Diagrams on Wikipedia

   Time Management Sample Questions