PMI-SP (Scheduling Professional) certification is aimed at schedulers, planners, planning engineers and planning engineers primarily. However, PMI-SP is equally beneficial for any engineer or a manager who involves in project scheduling and wants to improve his/her scheduling skills.

PMI-SP certification training prepares you for the PMI-SP exam as well as it makes you proficient in creating schedule strategy, schedule planning and development, schedule monitoring, reporting and closing. Hence, this is a wonderful credential to own, which is also globally recognized and demanded.

Further Benefits of PMI-SP Certification:

  • You learn how to plan and schedule small to large and complex projects.
  • You learn how to perform forensic analysis on your project schedule.
  • You acquire the ability to foresee and control the resource conflicts
  • You build your critical scheduling skills.
  • Employers can trust that you can effectively contribute in project scheduling tasks.

All Rounded Benefit

By obtaining the PMI-SP credential, you can not only work better at your current company but you can also aim higher positions where your PMI-SP credential will make you stand out as a project scheduling expert.

If you already hold PMI-PMP certification, the PMI-SP certification will surely enhance your job prospects and it will bring confidence in you that you can manage project schedule at expert level.

First, you will take PMI-SP exam preparatory training, from me or anyone else.  Second, you will fill up an online exam application form. Once approved, you can schedule the exam as per your availability. You can even sit in the exam from the comfort of your home.

What Material is Needed to Study PMI-SP

Unlike PMI-PMP, you need to learn many books, though not needed to study the entire books, only portion of the all books content make the PMI-SP exam study and preparatory material.

Here I mention the book names that are required to study for the PMI-SP exam.

1. Practice Standard for Earned Value Management
2. Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures
3. Practice Standard for Scheduling

What is performance threshold? Performance thresholds are conditions of activities. Once these conditions are met, further analysis and action is required.

Performance threshold examples:

Finish date variance threshold of -2:  It means activity can finish 2 days later than its planned finish date. If as per current status, it is finishing more than 2 days late, an action is required to prevent it from delaying further or to fast-track or crash activity to bring make it finish earlier.

Start date variance threshold of -1:   It means activity can start 1 day later than its start date.

Other thresholds could be set for SPI, CPI, Total Float, Free Float.  The schedule analyst, after discussing with stakeholders decide performance thresholds to use and their limits to set.

What is the role of a scheduler? Scheduler performs many tasks. The tasks he will do will be assigned to him by a project manager. His tasks could include:

  • Gathering schedule data (milestones, activities and their attributes e.g. dates, except risk activities)

  • Attending meetings to discuss schedule, format, reporting format.

  • Revising schedule.

  • Update plan with actual progress of activities, resources productivity rates.

  • Analysis of plan and actual progress.

  • Analyzing critical path

  • Perform resource leveling

  • Creating reports of plan, actual and forecasted schedule.

  • Creating Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

  • Creating Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)

  • Creating Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)

Many different scheduling software are available for creating schedule model but these two are widely used worldwide:

Oracle Primavera:

It is widely used throughout the continents and is made mandatory by governments of some countries such as Pakistan, for all government projects.  It includes user rights management, multiple project management, EVM, etc. Its single user license costs USD 2700.  It is driven by a database. 

You can read benefits of Primavera here. It is available for purchase online, at this Amazon link .

MS Project:

This scheduling tool is used for entering and measuring project at basic level. MS Project is not database driven, rather it creates project file to store the data. Its cost is USD 650 per license. 

You may also like to read about differences between MS Project and Primavera, here.

How to Select Scheduling Software

A few more scheduling software apps are available but only the above two are famous and widely used. The project team will analyze various factors when selecting scheduling tool like ease-of-use, demand by stakeholder, reporting requirement, monitoring requirement, cost, etc.

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