Planning

Activity attributes

Activity attributes are the details about the activity. Sometimes the information is entered directly into the schedule software. Other times the information is collected in a form that can be used later to assist in building the schedule model. Activity attributes can include:

  • Activity identifier or code
  • Activity name
  • Activity description
  • Predecessor and successor activities
  • Logical relationships
  • Leads and lags
  • Imposed dates
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • Resource requirements and skill levels
  • Location of performance
  • Type of effort

The activity attributes are progressively elaborated as the planning processes progress. Once the activity list is complete, the description of work for a particular activity may be defined but the necessary attributes, such as logical relationships and resource requirements, may not be known. Thus, the inputs for the activity attributes are more detailed than for the activity list and are added to as new information becomes available.

The activity attributes can receive information from:

  • Schedule management plan
  • Activity list
  • Network diagram
  • Scope baseline
  • Assumption log
  • Activity resource requirements

It provides information to:

  • Network diagram
  • Duration estimates
  • Project schedule
  • Resource requirements

Activity attributes are an output from process 6.2 Define Activities in the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. They are developed throughout the planning of the project. For adaptive approaches, or projects that are progressively elaborated, they are updated throughout the project.

Tailoring tips

Consider the following tips to help tailor the activity attributes to meet your needs:

  • For some projects you will enter your activities into the schedule tool rather than keep a separate set of activity attributes.
  • Only include the fields you feel necessary to effectively manage your project.
  • Constraints and assumptions can be recorded in the assumption log rather than this form.
  • For projects that use an adaptive development approach your activity list will evolve as the require- ments are added or changed in the product backlog.
  • For projects that use an adaptive development approach you may want to add a field that indicates the planned release or iteration for each activity.

Alignment

The activity attributes should be aligned and consistent with the following documents:

  • Assumption log
  • WBS
  • WBS dictionary
  • Milestone list
  • Activity list
  • Network diagram
  • Duration estimates
  • Schedule
  • Cost estimates
  • Resource requirements
Document element Description
ID Unique identifier
Activity name Document a brief statement that summarizes the activity. The activity name starts with a verb and is usually only a few words.
Description of work A description of the activity in enough detail that the person(s) performing the work understands what is required to complete it.
Predecessor and successor activities Identify any predecessor activities that must occur before the activity. Identify any successor activities that can’t occur until after the activity.
Logical relationships Describe the nature of the relationship between predecessor or successor activities, such as start-to-start, finish-to-start, or finish-to-finish.
Leads and lags Any required delays between activities (lag) or accelerations (lead) that apply to the logical relationships
Imposed dates Note any required dates for start, completion, reviews, or accomplishments.
Constraints Document any limitations associated with the activity, such as finish-no-later-than dates, approaches to work, resources, etc.
Assumptions Document any assumptions associated with the activity, such as availability of resources, skill sets, or other assumptions that impact the activity.
Team resources and skill levels Document the number and roles of people needed to complete the work along with the skill level, such as junior, senior, etc.
Required physical resources Document the materials, supplies or equipment needed to complete the activity.
Location of performance If the work is to be completed somewhere other than at the performing site, indicate the location.
Type of effort Indicate if the work is a fixed duration, fixed effort, level of effort, apportioned effort, or other type of work.