Define activities is part of the PMI's time management knowledge area and in the planning process group. It is described in section 6.2 of the fifth edition of the PMBOK. Once the schedule management plan has been developed, the next step is to identify and document the activities necessary to produce the project deliverables. Later processes organize and order those activities into a schedule.

The define activities process is defined in the PMBOK fifth edition, section 6.2.

According to the PMBOK, this activity has the following characteristics:

Inputs Tools and Templates Outputs
schedule management plan, scope baseline, enterprise environmental factors, organizational process assets decomposition, rolling wave planning, expert judgment activity list, activity attributes, milestone list

Related: PMI processes, activity, milestone, sequence activities

Heuristics (rules of thumb) for defining activities:

  • activities should be no shorter than 1/2 day in duration
  • activities should be no longer than two reporting cycles in duration

Some organizations may have different or additional rules for the size or level to breakdown the work packages into activities.

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