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Define Activities Process

Define Activity Process

There are lots of variables and activities involved in the project, so it is difficult for project managers and teams to provide high-quality results. This has necessitated project professionals to use Define Activities Process to identify specific tasks that must be completed in order to meet project deliverables. It helps in breaking down big project activities into smaller tasks that serve as a foundation for estimating, scheduling, executing, monitoring, and controlling project work.

Define Activities Process

What Are Define Activities In Project Management?

According to PMBOK (6TH edition) 

“Define Activities is the process of identifying and documenting the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables”.

In other words, project managers determine activities that must be performed to meet the project goals and objectives. They divide a project’s large work packages into manageable sets of tasks and distribute these tasks to teams. The smaller tasks make it easier for project managers to estimate time and expenses, set timetables, implement plans, monitor project progress, and gain better project control.

Inputs Of Define Activities Process 

Scope baseline 

The scope baseline is a set of scope-related documents that define the approved scope of a project. It comprises the scope statement and the project’s stated work breakdown structure, subject to approval by the necessary stakeholders. In addition, it acts as a formal agreement of the project stakeholders’ expectations and requirements.

Schedule management plan

The schedule management plan is a document that defines how to create, manage, and monitor a project schedule. It includes the scheduling methodology for creating the timetable that helps project managers to monitor, control, and execute projects successfully.

Enterprise environmental factors

Enterprise environmental factors are internal and external variables that have an influence on the project. It is an unavoidable component that can have a positive or negative influence project and its outcome. It involves culture, weather, government laws, political situation, and market conditions.

Organizational process assets

Organizational process assets can be anything that the organization has acquired that may be used to manage the project.  It includes the organization’s standards, templates, plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. Every company has its own set of assets that can be stored and utilized in future projects.

Tools And Techniques Used In Define Activities Process 


Decomposition is the process of dividing work packages from the work breakdown structure into activities. Project managers break down the activities to the point where it appears reasonable to estimate each activity.

Rolling wave planning

The rolling wave planning approach is used to outline the process of activities. It is a type of progressive elaboration based on the concept that actions necessary in the near future will be more clearly recognized and detailed, but those required in the far future may not be as detailed or readily understood. They only use this strategy for work packages that contain the necessary information and are scheduled for early in the project.


Project managers can use structural templates available inside the company or templates from similar projects taken up previously in the organization. These templates assist them in the identification of all activities in the Define Activities Process.

Expert judgment

Expert judgment is a strategy for forming opinions based on ability, competence, or specialized knowledge in a particular field. It involves key members, operational managers, consultants, or subject matter experts. Their expertise and assistance help in breaking down job packages into a collection of activities.

Outputs Of Define Activities Process

Activity List

The project activities that must be completed in order to complete the project scope are listed in the activity list. The activity list comprises the activity identifier and a detailed scope of work description for each activity to ensure that project team members understand what work requires their attention.

Activity attributes

Activity attributes contain information such as the description of the activity and dependencies of the activity and restrictions on the activity. It also identifies the resources responsible for executing the work.

Milestones list

Milestones are significant accomplishments or checkpoints in a project. A milestone list includes all milestones and specifies whether they are mandatory, such as those required by the agreement, or voluntary.

PMBOK update 

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has updated its A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Candidates studying for the PMP Certification exam should use the PMBOK Guide, 7th Edition as reference material as it encompasses modern practices of project management. The main difference between the PMBOK Guide 7th and 6th editions is a shift in emphasis from technically driven procedures and tools to eight performance areas and twelve project management delivery principles. However, process-based approaches in PMBOK 6 are still employed by businesses and project managers for managing the projects. 

Summing up 

The Define Activities Process is all about breaking down job packages into smaller tasks and estimating each one. It greatly aids project managers in the estimating, scheduling, executing, monitoring, and control of project activity.

Posted in Project Management

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