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In my previous article, I talked about some of the facts that you need to know about milestone and milestone lists for projects. In this article, I want to talk about some of the steps to follow when you need to create activity lists for projects. Follow me as we will look at that together in this article.
Accurately defining project activities ensures that all project activities are tied to the project scope, which will mitigate the potentially damaging effects of scope creep. Scope creep happens when more features are added to the project without a proportionate increase in the cost and scope of the project.
To define activities and create an activity list, follow these guidelines:
#1 Gather inputs
There is a need for you to gather all the resources that you need to create the activity list. Some of these resources may include the WBS, activity list template, the scope statement, scope baseline, relevant historical information, as well as constraints and assumptions for the project.
You also need to analyse and decompose each work package of the WBS into activities that will be required to produce the deliverables.
You have to conduct brainstorming sessions with the project team to ensure that no required activities are overlooked.
You have to conduct the scope statement to ensure that activities will enable you to meet the project objectives.
You have to ensure that you conduct progressive elaboration for work packages that cannot be defined as the project starts. That is, create detailed activities for short term WBS work packages.
#3 Consult records
There is a need for you to consult records of similar projects to identify possible activities. Consulting such similar projects will allow you to know what you need to do in order to have a perfect project.
#4 Consult SME
There is a need for you to consult Subject Matter Experts to get their expert opinions about the project. They will have an independent assessment of the project and plan along with all other stakeholders in order to have a project that can stand the test of time.
#5 Evaluate constraints
Moreso, there is a need for you to evaluate assumptions and constraints that have been identified for the project in order to know their possible impacts on activity definition for the project.
#6 Evaluate your activity list
Once you have decomposed each work package into activities, evaluate your activity list:
You need to ensure that the description accurately reflects the action to be performed.
You also need to verify that the activity descriptions are as specific as possible. For example, if the desired outcome is a revised user manual, describe the activity as ” revise user manual” rather than ” produce new user manual”.
You need to confirm that the activities listed for each work package are necessary and sufficient for the satisfactory completion of the deliverable.
Also, you have to verify that the list is organised as an extension of the WBS.
#7 Create Activity attributes
There is a red for you to create activity attributes for each activity in the activity list by determining responsible team members and the level of effort required to achieve project objectives.
#8 Define the milestones
There is a need for you to define the milestones in the project and create a milestone list. This will allow you to know whether your project is running late or not. It will also allow you to bring your project back on track.
A project team for a web design company used the WBS and activity list from a previous, similar project to create an activity list for their initial design work package. The team used historical records of the previous project to help identify activities that may be required to complete the deliverable.
Depending on the activities they select, the length of time may be lengthened or shortened.
Additionally, an outside multimedia expert was consulted about activity identification. Finally, to make sure that the activities supported the project objectives, the team reviewed the scope statement.
The project team gathered inputs and resource materials to create the activity and milestone lists and activity attributes for the work package.
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