The tasks that we carry out on a day-to-day basis are according to a certain sequence which enables us to be more efficient. Similarly, the tasks of a particular project needs to be carried out sequentially by the project team to avoid unnecessary risks and wastage of resources. As Project Managers are responsible for the overall performance of the project they are necessitated to plan the project perfectly by aligning all the project objectives. Such professionals utilize project management skills, tools, and techniques to define the scope and objectives of a project. In addition, they define activities to portray the dependencies on other tasks. This has enabled Project Managers to use the Sequence Activities Process to align project activities in a sequence and then allocate it to the team.
What Is Sequence Activities Process In Project Management?
Sequence Activities is a process of completing the project task in a specific order. Project Managers identify and record relationships among the various project activities and define the best logical sequence to produce the greatest efficiency. There are three activities involved in the Sequence Activities Process in Project Management.
Inputs: Activity attributes, milestone list, project scope statement, and organizational process assets are used as input for sequence planning.
Tools and Techniques: Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM), Dependency Determination, and Leads and Lags are used as tools and techniques for the Project Management Sequence Process
Outputs: Project schedule network diagrams and project document updates are the outputs of the Sequence Activities.
Tools and techniques used in Sequence Activities Process
The following are three tools and technologies used in Sequence Activities Process:
Precedence Diagramming Method
The Precedence Diagramming Method is a technique that shows the inter dependencies among different activities in a project. It is used to create a Network Diagram in which boxes represent activities and arrows connect boxes to create a logical relationship between these activities.
Finish to start: The successor activity can begin only after the predecessor activity has been completed.
Finish to finish: The successor activity cannot be completed until the predecessor activity is completed
Start to start: The predecessor activity should start before the successor activity
Start to finish: The predecessor activity should begin before the successor activity can complete.
This technique is used to define project sequence activities according to dependencies:
Mandatory dependencies: Mandatory dependencies are either required by the law or contract and they are inherent in the nature of the work.
Discretionary dependencies: The project team defines dependencies as a certain order of operations that is more appropriate for the nature of the task.
External dependencies: Project activities that are related to non-project activities that are outside the team’s control.
Internal dependencies: They are defined between two project activities and the project team has total authority over them.
Leads and Lags
The Leads and Lags tool is utilized in the project management sequence activities process. Lead accelerates the successor activity and is only utilized during finish-to-start activities. Lag can be present in any form of activity interaction and is distinguished by the postponement of a subsequent action.
Example of Network Diagram for Sequence Activities Process
At the end of the Sequence Activities Process, project managers develop a network diagram that visualizes the project activities in boxes with activity ID and shows the interrelationship of activities with arrows.
The above picture is a sample of a network diagram for the Sequence Activities Process.
- Project managers begin a project with Task 1, Task 2 and Task 3 simultaneously.
- After completing Task 1 and 3 , they begin with Task 5.
- Task 4 begins only after completing Task 2
- Task 5 depends on Task 1 and Task 3. Project team can work on task 5 only after completing these two activities.
- Task 6 can be started only after completing Task 4.
- The project is deemed to be complete only after finishing Task 5 and Task 6.
The sequencing Activities method in project management offers a logical sequence of activities that improves project efficiency. Project managers regularly assess the performance of each activity, which aids in the production of high-quality results. They further assess the progress of each activity which helps them in identifying and resolving any issues that arise. These operations are performed in a logical order enabling project managers to complete the project on time.