Control Schedule Inputs You Should Know for the PMP Certification Exam

As with most control processes you will encounter on the PMP Certification Exam, you start with the project management plan, work performance data, and organizational process assets (OPAs). For the Control Schedule process, you will also have specific schedule information, such as the project schedule, schedule data, and resource calendars. Here is how each input contributes to the process:

  • Project management plan: This has two components you will use in this process:

    • Schedule baseline: Compare your planned progress with your actual progress.

    • Schedule management plan: The schedule management plan should identify the acceptable variances for schedule performance. For example, if you’re behind on work that’s not on the critical path, is that considered a variance? If you’re ahead on the critical path, is that considered a variance? Under what circumstances can you use schedule reserves, and what process do you use to update the plan to show that?

  • Work performance data: This tells you which activities have started, which have finished, and how far along you are for those activities that are in progress.

  • Project schedule: This is the day-to-day schedule used to track and monitor project work.

  • Schedule data: This refers to any and all project specific schedule information. For example, a resource histogram that shows the hours of work by team member per week, schedule reserve or schedule buffer utilization, network diagrams, milestone charts, and so forth.

  • Resource calendars: If you have resources that work to different calendars, you will need information on individual calendars. You might have some resources that work 80 hours in 9 days, or resources in other countries that have different work hours and different holidays.

  • Organizational process assets: These include the organizational policies, templates, and procedures you need to manage the project schedule.

You should be aware of a few scheduling nuances, such as the difference between a schedule change, a schedule revision, and a schedule update.

  • A schedule change is based on a change request that’s approved via the Perform Integrated Change Control process.

  • A schedule revision may change the sequencing of activities, the resources on activities, the start and finish dates within an activity’s float, or some other revision that doesn’t impact the baseline schedule.

  • A schedule update is when you enter status into your project schedule. For instance, you note that an activity started on a specific date and that it’s now 50 percent complete.

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