Hammock activity

« Back to Glossary Index

In project management, a hammock activity is a grouping mechanism that summarizes or aggregates multiple related activities under a single, high-level task. 

Unlike regular activities, this aggregate activity does not represent physical work but acts as a way to monitor and control specific aspects of a project

Project managers can gain a holistic view of the project’s progress, dependencies, and critical milestones by creating a hammock activity.

Key features and benefits of hammock activities

Understanding the features and benefits of hammock activities can help project managers simplify project tracking, manage dependencies, and track critical milestones effectively.

  • Simplified project tracking: these aggregate activities provide a condensed representation of complex project structures, making tracking and analyzing progress at a higher level easier.
  • Dependency management: with these aggregate activities, project managers can identify and manage interdependencies between different phases or work packages, ensuring smooth coordination and avoiding potential bottlenecks.
  • Milestone tracking: project managers can track progress against key project deliverables by defining milestones within this aggregate activity, facilitating timely decision-making and course corrections.

By understanding the key features and benefits of hammock activities, project managers can effectively leverage this tool to streamline project planning and execution, which we will now explore in the next section: how to create and use these aggregate activities.

How to create and use hammock activities

To leverage hammock activities effectively, it is essential to understand the process of creating them, including defining scope, determining duration, identifying milestones, and establishing dependencies.

  • Define the scope: identify a set of related activities you want to summarize under a single aggregate activity. Ensure that these activities share a common objective or deliverable.
  • Determine the duration: estimate the course of this aggregate activity based on the overall time required for completing the underlying actions. This duration acts as a benchmark for monitoring progress.
  • Identify milestones: identify and prioritize significant milestones within this aggregate activity to gauge progress and determine critical decision points during the project lifecycle.
  • Establish dependencies: determine the dependencies between this aggregate activity and other tasks or milestones within the project. This allows for effective resource allocation and sequencing of activities.

Once you have mastered creating and using this aggregate activity, it is crucial to implement best practices to maximize their effectiveness in project management, which we will explore in the following section: best practices for utilizing hammock activities.

Best practices for utilizing hammock activities

Implementing best practices such as maintaining clarity, regular updates, and effective communication can maximize the benefits of hammock activities in project management.

  • Maintain clarity: clearly define the purpose and objectives of each of these aggregate activities to ensure transparency and clarity among project stakeholders.
  • Regular updates: continuously monitor and update the progress of underlying activities within the hammock to ensure accurate tracking and facilitate timely adjustments.
  • Effective communication: communicate the significance of these aggregate activities to the project team, enabling a shared understanding of their role and importance in achieving project objectives.

Hammock activities are valuable tools in project management, offering a high-level overview and control mechanism for complex projects. 

By utilizing hammock activities effectively, project managers can streamline planning, track dependencies, and monitor critical milestones, ultimately leading to successful project outcomes. Incorporating these aggregate activities into your project management toolkit will enhance your ability to manage projects efficiently and keep them on track.

Hammock activity
Scroll to top