The concept of Lead Time and Lag Time is very important in project scheduling network diagram. As a Project Manager, you must know about the Lead Time and Lag time in order to better understand your project plan and execute it accordingly.
Although, this concept is not very difficult, a few people still find it difficult to understand. Therefore, in this blog post, I’m going to give a simple explanation about Lead Time and Lag Time with real world examples.
Okay, let us get started.
Usually, when the first activity finishes, a second activity starts. This type of activity sequence is called Finish to Start and it happens the majority of the time. However, there are many instances when other situations arise; e.g. a second activity starts while first activity is about to finish, or a second activity will start a few days after finishing the first activity.
These two situations are termed as Lead and Lag.
When the first activity is still running and second activity starts, this is called Lead, and the balance of time for the first activity is known as Lead Time. Lead Time is the overlap between the first and second activity.
For example, let us say that time duration for the first activity is 20 days, and for the second activity it is 15 days. As the first activity completes its first 15 days, you start working on the second activity. (Please note that the first activity still has 5 days to finish itself completely.)
In this case we’d say that Lead Time is 5 days, or Finish to Start activity has 5 days Lead Time.
Let us take a real world example.
You’re constructing a two-floor building, and now you have two activities in sequence; i.e. electrical work and painting.
However, as you complete the electrical work of ground floor, you start painting it, and electrical work for first floor continues.
When first activity completes, if there is then a delay or wait period before the second activity starts, this is called lag and the delay is known as the Lag Time. Lag Time is the delay between the first and second activity.
For example, the time duration for the first activity is 3 days, and for the second activity it is 2 days. After completing the first activity you wait for one day, and then you start second activity.
(Please note that, here you start second activity after one day of completing the first activity.)
In this case we say that Lag Time is one day, or Finish to Start activity with one day delay or lag.
And the real world example for lag time is as follows:
Suppose you have to paint a newly constructed room. So the first activity would be applying the primer coating and then you will go for the final painting. However, after applying the primer coating, you must give it some time to dry properly. Once the primer coating dries, you can start final painting. The time given for coating to dry itself is called the lag time.
Here, this blog post about lead and lag time finishes. I hope that you would have enjoyed reading it.
Feel free to posts your thoughts and concerns through the comments section.
image credit => digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net