Monday, January 28, 2008

Project Outputs: Activity List Updates

Project activity lists, which are elements of the project management process, may sometimes have to be updated after activity duration estimating is completed. In some cases, after activity duration estimating, an activity may be divided, or otherwise redefined, in order to show the correct logical relationships. Dividing or redefining an activity might cause it to take longer to complete. In other cases, the change will cause the activity to take less time than originally estimated.

The activity list must be updated to reflect these changes, since the duration of the activity will be affected. These activity list updates are important outputs of activity duration estimating.

For example, an activity list included writing code for a software project as one activity required to complete a project. Upon completion of the activity duration estimating process, it was found that the coding activity should be split up into three separate activities—developing interfaces, scripting, and testing. The activity list needed to be updated to reflect the change in the original activity.

The estimated duration for the original activity, writing code, also needed to be updated. The project manager used the tools and techniques of activity duration estimating to obtain estimates for the three new activities.

Updating the activity list is an important process for a project manager because it:
  • helps the project manager create a more accurate schedule
  • ensures that all team members are informed.
Remember, activity list updates are valuable outputs of the project activity duration estimating process, since they help project managers create more accurate schedules and keep team members informed.

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