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Project Management (140 point):

Module 12

Project Management (140 points)

Instructions

Consider a recent project that you have worked on. This could be for a company or organization with which you are familiar, or even a personal project such as purchasing a home or planning a family gathering.

After your opening paragraph, which includes your thesis statement, identify your selected company or organization in no more than three paragraphs. Then, complete the following:

*Note: for the charts/diagrams, use MS Word, Excel, Google Docs or Google Sheets. You may also use any other suitable project-based software. A free Project management software called Libre is also available for download here https://sourceforge.net/projects/projectlibre/

1. Create either a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the project or Gantt Chart for planning and scheduling the project. Discuss why you used the type of chart you did.

2. Determine and document both probabilistic (t0, tp, and tm) and deterministic time estimates. Discuss how you arrived at these time estimates.

3. Using MS Word, Google Docs, or similar software, create a PERT network diagram with the Critical Path (CP) identified.

4. Calculate the slack time for each activity. Discuss the ramifications of slack in the CP for the activities and the project as a whole.

5. Develop the network diagram from the probability estimates. Discuss which path you would take and why.

6. For each activity, determine hypothetical costs in a table. Include budgeted costs, percent complete, actual/projected cost, and over/under budget (and total). Discuss the rationale for how you derived these costs.

7. Crash an activity on the Critical Path. Discuss the ramifications of crashing the activity you crashed.

MGT530
Critical Thinking Writing Rubric – Module 12

Exceeds
Expectation

Meets Expectation Below Expectation Limited Evidence

Content, Research, and Analysis

25-30 Points 19-24 Points 13-18 Points 7-12 Points

Requirements Includes all of the
required
components, as
specified in the
assignment.

Includes most of
the required
components, as
specified in the
assignment.

Includes some of
the required
components, as
specified in the
assignment.

Includes few of the
required
components, as
specified in the
assignment.

37-45 Points 28-36 Points 19-27 Points 6-18 Points

Content Demonstrates
substantial and
extensive
knowledge of the
materials, with no
errors or major
omissions.

Demonstrates
knowledge of the
materials; may
include some
minor errors or
omissions.

Demonstrates fair
knowledge of the
materials and/or
includes some
major errors or
omissions.

Fails to
demonstrate
knowledge of the
materials and/or
includes many
major errors or
omissions.

37-45 Points 28-36 Points 19-27 Points 10-18 Points

Analysis Provides strong
thought, insight,
and analysis of
concepts and
applications.

thought, insight,
and analysis of
concepts and
applications.

Provides poor
though, insight,
and analysis of
concepts and
applications.

Provides little or no
thought, insight,
and analysis of
concepts and
applications.

13-15 Points 10-12 Points 7-9 Points 4-6 Points

Sources Sources go above
and beyond
required criteria
and are well
chosen to provide
effective
substance and
perspectives on
the issue under
examination.

Sources meet
required criteria
chosen to provide
substance and
perspectives on the
issue under
examination.

Sources meet
required criteria
but are poorly
chosen to provide
substance and
perspectives on the
issue under
examination.

Source selection
and integration of
knowledge from
the course is
clearly deficient.

MGT530
Critical Thinking Writing Rubric – Module 12

Mechanics and Writing

5 Points 4 Points 3 Points 1-2 Points

Demonstrates
college-level
proficiency in
organization,
grammar and
style.

Project is clearly
organized, well
written, and in
proper format as
outlined in the
assignment. Strong
sentence and
paragraph
structure, contains
no errors in
grammar, spelling,
APA style, or APA
citations and
references.

Project is fairly well
organized and
written and is in
proper format as
outlined in the
assignment.
Reasonably good
sentence and
paragraph
structure, may
include a few
minor errors in
grammar, spelling,
APA style, or APA
citations and
references.

Project is poorly
organized and
written and may
format as outlined
in the assignment.
Inconsistent to
sentence and
paragraph
development,
and/or includes
numerous or major
errors in grammar,
spelling, APA style,
or APA citations
and references.

Project is not
organized or well
written and is not
in proper format as
outlined in the
assignment. Poor
quality work;
unacceptable in
terms of grammar,
spelling, APA style,
and APA citations
and references.

Total points possible = 140

Project Management

Chapter 17

17-‹#›

1

You should be able to:

LO 17.1 Describe the project life cycle

LO 17.2 Discuss the behavioral aspects of projects in terms of project personnel and the project manager

LO 17.3 Explain the nature and importance of a work breakdown structure in project management

LO 17.4 Name the six key decisions in project management

LO 17.5 Give a general description of PERT/CPM techniques

LO 17.6 Construct simple network diagrams

LO 17.7 Analyze networks with deterministic times

LO 17.8 Analyze networks with probabilistic times

LO 17.9 Describe activity ‘crashing’ and solve typical problems

LO 17.10 Discuss the advantages of using PERT and potential sources

of error

LO 17.11 Discuss the key steps in risk management

Chapter 17: Learning Objectives

17-‹#›

2

Projects

Unique, one-time operations designed to accomplish a specific set of objectives in a limited time frame

Examples:

The Olympic Games

Producing a movie

Software development

Product development

ERP implementation

Projects

LO 17.1

17-‹#›

Projects go through a series of stages – a life cycle

Projects bring together people with a diversity of knowledge and skills, most of whom remain associated with the project for less than its full life

Organizational structure affects how projects are managed

The Nature of Projects

LO 17.1

17-‹#›

Initiating

Planning

Executing

Monitoring and Controlling

Closing

Project Life Cycle

LO 17.1

17-‹#›

The project manager is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the project

The project manager must effectively manage:

The work

The human resources

Communications

Quality

Time

Costs

Project Manager

LO 17.2

17-‹#›

The Project Management Triangle

Quality

Performance Objectives

Schedule

Cost

LO 17.2

17-‹#›

Behavioral problems can be created or exacerbated by

Decentralized decision making

Stress of achieving project milestones on time and within budget

Surprises

The team must be able to function as a unit

Interpersonal and coping skills are very important

Conflict resolution and negotiation can be an important part of a project manager’s job

Behavioral Issues

LO 17.2

17-‹#›

Many problems can be avoided or mitigated by:

Effective team selection

Motivation

Maintaining an environment of

Integrity

Trust

Professionalism

Being supportive of team efforts

Avoiding Problems

LO 17.2

17-‹#›

Project champion

A person who promotes and supports a project

Usually resides within the organization

Facilitate the work of the project by ‘talking up’ the project to other managers who might be asked to share resources with the project team as well as employees who might be asked to work on parts of the project

The project champion can be critical to the success of a project

Project Champion

LO 17.2

17-‹#›

WBS

A hierarchical listing of what must be done during a project

Establishes a logical framework for identifying the required activities for the project

Identify the major elements of the project

Identify the major supporting activities for each of the major elements

Break down each major supporting activity into a list of the activities that will be needed to accomplish it

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

LO 17.3

17-‹#›

WBS

LO 17.3

17-‹#›

Project success depends upon making key managerial decisions over a sequence of steps:

Deciding which projects to implement

Selecting the project manager

Selecting the project team

Planning and designing the project

Managing and controlling project resources

Deciding if and when a project should be terminated

Project Management Decisions

LO 17.4

17-‹#›

PERT (program evaluation and review technique) and CPM (critical path method) are two techniques used to manage large-scale projects

By using PERT or CPM Managers can obtain:

A graphical display of project activities

An estimate of how long the project will take

An indication of which activities are most critical to timely project completion

An indication of how long any activity can be delayed without delaying the project

PERT and CPM

LO 17.5

17-‹#›

Network diagram

Diagram of project activities that shows sequential relationships by use of arrows and nodes

Activity on arrow (AOA)

Network diagram convention in which arrows designate activities

Activity on node (AON)

Network convention in which nodes designate activities

Activities

Project steps that consume resources and/or time

Events

The starting and finishing of activities

Network Diagram

LO 17.6

17-‹#›

Network Conventions

LO 17.6

17-‹#›

Deterministic Time Estimates

Deterministic

Time estimates that are fairly certain

Probabilistic

Time estimates that allow for variation

LO 17.7

17-‹#›

Finding ES and EF involves a forward pass through the network diagram

Early start (ES)

The earliest time an activity can start

Assumes all preceding activities start as early as possible

For nodes with one entering arrow

ES = EF of the entering arrow

For activities leaving nodes with multiple entering arrows

ES = the largest of the largest entering EF

Early finish (EF)

The earliest time an activity can finish

EF = ES + t

Early Start, Early Finish

LO 17.7

17-‹#›

Finding LS and LF involves a backward pass through the network diagram

Late Start (LS)

The latest time the activity can start and not delay the project

The latest starting time for each activity is equal to its latest finishing time minus its expected duration:

LS = LF – t

Late Finish (LF)

The latest time the activity can finish and not delay the project

For nodes with one leaving arrow, LF for nodes entering that node equals the LS of the leaving arrow

For nodes with multiple leaving arrows, LF for arrows entering node equals the smallest of the leaving arrows

Late Start, Late Finish

LO 17.7

17-‹#›

Slack can be computed one of two ways:

Slack = LS – ES

Slack = LF – EF

Critical path

The critical path is indicated by the activities with zero slack

Slack and the Critical Path

LO 17.7

17-‹#›

Knowledge of slack times provides managers with information for planning allocation of scarce resources

Control efforts will be directed toward those activities that might be most susceptible to delaying the project

Activity slack times are based on the assumption that all of the activities on the same path will be started as early as possible and not exceed their expected time

If two activities are on the same path and have the same slack, this will be the total slack available to both

Using Slack Times

LO 17.7

17-‹#›

Probabilistic Time Estimates

The beta distribution is generally used to describe the inherent variability in time estimates

The probabilistic approach involves three time estimates:

Optimistic time, (to)

The length of time required under optimal conditions

Pessimistic time, (tp)

The length of time required under the worst conditions

Most likely time, ™

The most probable length of time required

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

The Beta Distribution

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

The expected time, te ,for an activity is a weighted average of the three time estimates:

The expected duration of a path is equal to the sum of the expected times of the activities on that path:

Probabilistic Time Estimates

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

The standard deviation of each activity’s time is estimated as one-sixth of the difference between the pessimistic and optimistic time estimates. The variance is the square of the standard deviation:

Standard deviation of the expected time for the path

Probabilistic Time Estimates (cont.)

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

Knowledge of expected path times and their standard deviations enables managers to compute probabilistic estimates about project completion such as:

The probability that the project will be completed by a certain time

The probability that the project will take longer than its expected completion time

Knowledge of Path Statistics

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

Path Probabilities

Calculating path probabilities involves the use of the normal distribution

Although path activities are represented by the beta distribution, the path distribution can be represented by a normal distribution

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

Determining Path Probabilities

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

A project is not complete until all project activities are complete

It is risky to only consider the critical path when assessing the probability of completing a project within a specified time

To determine the probability of completing the project within a particular time frame

Calculate the probability that each path in the project will be completed within the specified time

Multiply these probabilities

The result is the probability that the project will be completed within the specified time

Project Completion Time

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

Independence

Assumption that path duration times are independent of each other

Requires that

Activity times are independent

Each activity is on only one path

The assumption of independence is usually considered to be met if only a few activities in a large project are on multiple paths

Assumption: Independence

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

When activity times cannot be assumed to be independent, simulation is often used

Repeated sampling is used

Many passes are made through the project network

In each pass, a random value for each activity time is selected based on the activity time’s probability distribution

After each pass, the project’s duration is determined

After a large number of passes, there are enough data points to prepare a frequency distribution of the project duration

Probabilistic estimates of completion times are made based on this frequency distribution

Simulation

LO 17.8

17-‹#›

Activity time estimates are made for some given level of resources

It may be possible to reduce the duration of a project by injecting additional resources

Motivations:

To avoid late penalties

Monetary incentives

Free resources for use on other projects

LO 17.9

17-‹#›

Crashing

Shortening activity durations

Typically, involves the use of additional funds to support additional personnel or more efficient equipment, and the relaxing of some work specifications

The project duration may be shortened by increasing direct expenses, thereby realizing savings in indirect project costs

LO 17.9

17-‹#›

To make decisions concerning crashing requires information about:

Regular time and crash time estimates for each activity

Regular cost and crash cost estimates for each activity

A list of activities that are on the critical path

Critical path activities are potential candidates for crashing

Crashing non-critical path activities would not have an impact on overall project duration

Crashing Decisions

LO 17.9

17-‹#›

General procedure:

Crash the project one period at a time

Crash the least expensive activity that is on the critical path

When there are multiple critical paths, find the sum of crashing the least expensive activity on each critical path

If two or more critical paths share common activities, compare the least expensive cost of crashing a common activity shared by critical paths with the sum for the separate critical paths

Crashing: Procedure

LO 17.9

17-‹#›

Crashing Activities

LO 17.9

17-‹#›

Among the most useful features of PERT:

It forces the manager to organize and quantify available information and to identify where additional information is needed

It provides the a graphic display of the project and its major activities

It identifies

Activities that should be closely watched

Activities that have slack time

LO 17.10

17-‹#›

Sources of Error

Potential sources of error:

The project network may be incomplete

Precedence relationships may not be correctly expressed

Time estimates may be inaccurate

There may be a tendency to focus on critical path activities to the exclusion of other important project activities

Major risk events may not be on the critical path

LO 17.10

17-‹#›

Risks are an inherent part of project management

Risks relate to occurrence of events that have undesirable consequences such as

Delays

Increased costs

Inability to meet technical specifications

Risk Management

LO 17.11

17-‹#›

Good risk management involves

Identifying as many risks as possible

Analyzing and assessing those risks

Working to minimize the probability of their occurrence

Establishing contingency plans and budgets for dealing with any that do occur

Risk Management (cont.)

LO 17.11

17-‹#›

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