When developing a project schedule, those learning PMI PDU credits should understand the below concepts. These concepts are integral to any good set of PMI PDU courses related to schedule development.
Schedule Network Analysis: This is the development of the project schedule, using various analysis tools. Courses for PMI PDU credits should contain information on network analysis. This activity determines the earliest and latest dates the project can start and finish. Below are the tools schedule network analysis exploys:
Critical Path Method
This tool helps the project manager to calculate the early and late start and end times. The method requires the activities to be mapped on a precedent diagram or PDM. Once the activities are listed by their relationship and precedence, input the duration of each activity. Sequence the activities by the number of work units planned to be used. For example, a particular path may start with an activity that lasts three days. The next activity in this path will start on the third day, and in this example lasts eight days. The next activity in this path will be set to begin on the eleventh day. This continues until this network path and all network paths are connected to the end node. The critical path is the path that is the one with the most days to complete. PMI PDU courses should contain an example of the critical path.
Critical Chain Method
This tool takes into account the effects of limited resources to a project schedule. The initial steps in determining the critical chain require that the critical path be determined as stated before. Once the critical path is determined, the resource availability for each activity is entered. Then the resource-constrained schedule is analyzed. This typically changes the critical path. The change is not incorporated into the chain because it does not accurately represent the amount of time it takes to complete the activity. Instead, cushions or buffers for any uncertainty are incorporated at both the end of the project, and also where other chains (that are not a part of the critical chain) feed into the critical chain.
This is a tool used to deal with resources that are limited, over-allocated, or to keep the resources in constant use. This is determined after the critical path is determined. Resource level usually alters the original path. For example, if resource A is scheduled on two different chains in a project, with one of them the critical path, the start of the second activity for resource A is moved to the end of the first activity. This move creates a new longer path, which now becomes the new critical path. PMI PDU courses should contain examples of resource leveling.