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Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
Project management primer.doc
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Project management primer.doc

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  • 1. A PROJECT MANAGEMENT PRIMER Before you can master the art project management, you’ll have to learn its lingua franca, concepts, and techniques. Here’s a short course that will get you started. Project management is a project flow. Logic will this method. In a way of imposing dictate which activities precedence diagram, structure on a complex must follow each other tasks are represented by intertwining of time, and which ones can boxes, which are resources, and activities. occur simultaneously. connected by arrows It requires a panoramic Outlining, which showing the project eye, logical thinking, a has recently become part flow. PDM is the more measure of statistical of the best low-end popular of the two dexterity, a feel for programs, is a very good methods and is used by detail, and a willingness way to do the list- all the other packages. to bow to circumstance. making part of planning. While network Using a PC will help, You can also use other, diagrams illustrate the but only if you more-traditional project general movement of a understand the management techniques project, they are missing methodology of project in conjunction with a crucial element: time. management. outlining; each will yield The Gantt chart takes Planning is the additional understanding this element into first phase of project of your project. account. The Gantt is a management, yet it starts One of these horizontal bar chart laid with the project’s end-its traditional approaches is down under a date line objective. You have to the network diagram. It scaled in minutes, hours, know what you want to is something like a days, and so on. achieve before you can graphic representation of Activities are listed figure out how to do it an outline turned on its down the rows on the and what it will cost. side so that its left side of the chart, and With the objective is to progression is the bars representing move your company to horizontal. There are them are sized to show another location, you actually two ways of their expected duration. might have jotted down drawing it: the arrow The order of the bars “site selection,” diagramming method from top to bottom gives “renovation,” and (ADM) and the you some of the same “move,” As you add precedence sequential information activities to the list, you diagramming method as the network diagram. also add detail, so site (PDM). In an arrow The Gantt chart shows selection may be diagram, activities are you the start and end composed of “conduct represented by arrows dates for every activity needs analysis” and placed between a start and for the project as a “survey buildings”, and circle and an end circle. whole. these tasks will in turn The circles are points in The Gantt chart be composed of others. time. Micro Planner is is often used as the Before long you start to the only program central view of project have a sense of the reviewed here that uses because it can display a
  • 2. lot of information at put the the mulch down some other visual cue. once. In addition to time until you’ve started to Noncritical tasks are and sequence, you can put in the shrubs. This displayed differently and see which tasks are illustrates another type can also be distinguished crucial to the on-time of dependency: lead and by a trailing or leading completion of the lag time. Mulching line. This line represents project. These linch pin should start only after float, which is the tasks are determined by planting is under way, amount of time a task a process known as the because mulching takes can slip without critical path method less time. If you were affecting the end date of (CPM). The algorithm charting these activities, the project. All of the used to determine the you would assign a lead programs reviewed here critical path revolves time to the task of use CPM as the basis for around task durations, mulching. If a task must planning. their sequence, and begin some time after Another planning constraints. another one has finished, technique, the Program you would use lag time. Evaluation and Review DEPENDENCY Each task can Technique (PERT), is CONSTRAINTS have a number of often used as a synonym Constraints ordain the dependencies at once, for CPM or for network relationships between making the relationships diagramming. But it is a tasks. For example, in a project schedule very distinct and some tasks can’t begin very complex. To figure specialized technique for until others are out the critical path, a dealing with uncertainty completed, as a function PC based project- in task duration. When of physical or logical management program one used PERT, laws. If you’re erecting determines the earliest (although they may call new walls in an office and latest possible start their network diagrams space, then the framing and finish dates of tasks, PERT charts), but Super must be done before the factoring in their Project Expert, the more wallboard can be put up. dependencies, durations, fully featured sister of This is a physical and the start date of the Super Project Plus, does constraint. Task project. The critical path offer it. relationships with this tasks are those whose pattern are said to have a early and late dates are COMMITTING finish-to-start exactly the same-in RESOURCES dependency. There are other words, they must After the critical several other start and finish precisely path has been dependency types: on time, because a delay determined, you are finish-to-finish, start-to- in any one of them will ready to assign people, start, and start-to-finish. delay the whole project. equipment, and An example of a The critical path materials to each start-to-start dependency is displayed on the Gantt activity. These are the would be planting chart by coloring the project resources. shrubs and spreading bars red, by making Information about their bark mulch. You can’t them solid, or by using quantity, daily
  • 3. availability, and cost are probably, the project. management: tracking. entered on task and/or Most programs will Now you will be resource screens. automatically reschedule entering actual start Resources can have a tasks with conflicts dates, resource time tremendous impact on through an approach spent, percentage of task the schedule. If, for known as automatic completion, and costs. example, a task would resource leveling. In This data might be normally take 3 days to one type of resource entered weekly, or, for complete, but your leveling, only available critical or very short resources can be applied float time is used to projects, daily. for only 4 hours a day, change task dates. But The tools for this the task will take 6 days. this is often an part of a project are the Resources may also insufficient answer to actual-versus-baseline control the start date of a the problem. The other Gantt chart and a battery task. If a task could kind of resource leveling of progress reports. One begin on October 1, but will delay even critical of the most important the needed materials tasks, thereby delaying reports is called earned won’t arrive until the whole project. But value. It can actually be October 15 or a key neither of the automatic calculated in a variety of person isn’t available techniques may give you ways, but it is essentially until that date, then an optimum schedule. a measure of the impact that’s the real start date You may have to of cost on a task in for the task. manually readjust progress when it is Typically, once resource availability, compared with the you’ve assigned move tasks around, or baseline. For example, if resources to specific even rethink the way an you have achieved 50 tasks, you will discover activity is accomplished. percent of task’s that some are But when the objectives halfway overallocated. You can resources are finally through it, and the see this most clearly by assigned, the critical baseline cost estimate looking at resource path set, and the costs for the task was histograms. A histogram entered, you have a $25,000, then you have is a vertical bar chart of complete project plan. an earned value of resource capacity. If a This plan is often $12,500. Earned-value resource is assigned full referred to as the reporting is required in time to two tasks during baseline. It is saved and government-contracted the same period, the bar used as a standard projects. will top the maximum against which to The other reports line on the chart, and it measure the progress of you generate during the may be shown in red or the project as it unfolds. tracking phase will serve flash at you. as summaries of There are two TRACKING progress for upper approaches to correcting PROGRESS management or detailed resource conflicts-adjust After the baseline is blueprints of tasks and the resource availability created, you enter the resources for line or delay tasks and second phase of project managers. The reports
  • 4. will also indicate problems that are the results of unforeseen circumstances. This will send you back to planning activities like resource leveling. Project management is difficult and time-consuming. It forces you to think through a complex process and then record detailed, actual data. But if you follow through on the method and use a PC based project manager for all the computational, graphic, and reporting support it can supply, your skill at project management will continue to grow. And this will most certainly have a payoff on the bottom line. Henry Fersko-Weiss
  • 5. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: AN IMPERFECT SCIENCE Resource distribution histograms are carefully analyzed so that necessary measuring tools that graphically indicate changes are made before the actual no only where resource overloads and project implementation begins. The fine- underloads occur in project planning, but tuning and analysis of the schedules also what their magnitudes are. require more time and effort than most Unfortunately, most histograms are users are willing to invest. restricted to displaying no more than two It’s disappointing that 30 years’ or three resources at a time. experience with the critical-path method- With tabular resource- and continued development efforts distribution reports, resource spurred by the microcomputer requirements over time periods are revolution-have not brought us better presented numerically. This provides resource-planning tools. Is there any way accurate information for a greater to automate resources planning fully and number of resources at once, but the produce schedules that need no further results may be more difficult to analyze, adjustments? since resources fluctuations and their The resource-planning process magnitudes are not that easy to catch requires specific judgments, many of with the eye. them relevant only to individual As planning tools, resource situations. Only a few situations can be distribution histograms and tables anticipated in advance, so very few rules provide users with the best mechanism have been developed that successfully for manual adjustments of resource resolve planning problems. You could allocations, especially if they can be developed that successfully resolve changed interactively on-screen. Manual planning problems. You could develop changes made this way are equivalent to specific rules for a large number of desktop publishing’s WYSIWYG idea: anticipated situations, but it wouldn’t any change made to the project’s pay to develop then if they could not be resources is reflected immediately and used repeatedly. Programming accurately, not only on the screen but algorithms can be effective only if one throughout the entire on the screen but rule applies to all problems of the same throughout the entire project. Activity sort. It may be impossible to find rules and assignment changes are made on a that will completely refine the automatic Gantt chart ( or any activity-oriented resource-leveling procedure. chart or table) and reflected on a Rather than attempting to resource distribution histogram (or develop more rules, several software table). developers have provided users with Only a few users take full additional tools for manual adjustments advantage of resource management. of resource allocations after leveling has Why? The fact is that even with the been processed. A resource distribution most-sophisticated resource-planning histogram or table, integrated and techniques, the results of automatic synchronized with a Gantt chart, may be planning are far from satisfying. the most powerful tool for this job. But Schedules must always be revised and if a program is not extremely quick (and
  • 6. high-end programs are generally slow), calculations involving hundreds or thousands of tasks can take too long to warrant developing interactive Gantt charts. Still, such charts can be useful if you want to resolve planning problems with high-end programs, because you can you move an activity within a margin of slack time without rescheduling the whole project. This sort of live, interactive “what if” planning should be the software developer’s goal. -Daniel Yahdav Daniel Yahdav is the president of San Rafael, California-based 1 Soft Decision. The company publishes PM Solutions, an analytical report on project management software.
  • 7. RESOURCE ALLOCATION Resource allocation or leveling (l.e., the distribution of resources over a given time span) attracted attention beginning in the early 1960s. By using positives float available on non critical paths through the project, the project planner can arrange a schedule of work that accomplishes the same result in the same time while smoothing or leveling the peaks and valleys in the resources to be consumed. This process is not new, but it is much more easily accomplished from a framework of a PERT or CPM project network.
  • 8. RESOURCE ALLOCATION Resource allocation focuses on the allocation of physical resources. (P249) Relative to the individual, multiple & simultaneous uses. The altering of schedule can also alter the need for resources. A system may have a fixed level on resources at any given point. (man-hours, technical services, machine hours, computing time other scarce resources. If a need for some resource varies from 60 to 130 percent of resource capacity, that resource will be wasted at one point & insufficient at another point. Resource allocation problem if the project schedule can be ironed out relative to resource use, it is possible to avoid project delay & avoid high cost for excess resources. (P. 249) Meredith Extreme points of the Relationships Between Time use and Resource use Time Limited Resource Limited Project must be finished by a specific The project must be finished as soon as time, using as few resources as possible. possible but without exceeding some It’s time not resource usage, that is specific level of resource usage or some crucial. general resource limit.
  • 9. (Requirements) Resource Loading: Describes the amounts of individual resources are required for an exiting schedule during specific time intervals. The loads (requirements) of each resource type are listed as a function of time periods. Resource loading gives a general understanding of the demands a product will make on a firm’s resources. Resource loading is an excellent guide for early project planning. Because it’s the first step in working to reduce excessive demands on certain resources. The PERT/CPM technical is suited for the job of: -generation time phased resource requirements (loading) A Gantt chart could be adopted for the same purpose but it’s not as efficient. Again, resource loading is the process of: (1) calculating the total load (requirement) (2) from project tasks on each resource (3) for each time period (4) of a projects duration
  • 10. Resource Leveling: Large changes in the required loads for various resources as normal. It is between, a bad phenomena for PMS. Resource leveling aims to minimize the period-by-period variations in resource loading by shifting tasks within their slack allowances. The objective, then, is to create a smoother distribution of resource usage. The advantages of smooth resource usage: (1) less hands on management is needed (2) PM’s may be able to use a just-in-time inventory policy without worry of error in delivery. (a) People resource leveling improves morale & reduces problems in payroll & personnel
  • 11. Again resource leveling is concerned with (1) evening out the demand (2) for various required resources in a product (3) by shifting tasks (4) within slack allowances. The use of a computer is required here.
  • 12. Correcting Resource Conflicts Approaches
  • 13. IV Committing Resources A. Once the critical path has been identified the user can assign personnel (2)⇐assign equipmentto each activity (3)⇐assign materials (4)Information about the (a) quantity (b) daily availability (c) cost’s are entered on task and a resource screens (5) Resources: can have excellent a far reaching impact upon a schedule. (6) One resources are allocated for specific tasks some of the tasks are overallocated. (see resource histograms for example. (7) Resource Histogram: (RH) (1) RH is a vertical bar chart of resource capacity (2) Over allocation can be adjusted by: (3) Adjusting the resource availabity (4) Delay tasks and project (C) Automatic Resource leveling: this procedure automictically reschedules tasks with that are in conflict (1) Types of resource leveling -available float time (used to change task dates) It’s not sufficient. -delay of critical tasks (this delays the entire project) (2) Neither automatic technique, however with create an optimum Schedule you may need to manually -readjust resource availability -move tasks around -rethink the way an activity is achieved (D) Baseline (standard) When resource are; 1. permanently assigned 2. critical path set 3. costs entered you will have a complete project plan called a baseline. It is saved on the PC and used as a is the name given to a project plan that has its resources allocated its critical path set and costs assigned to its specified program/project. Standard The baseline can also be used as a standard from which to determine a program’s/project’s level of achievement at various stages.
  • 14. 3 The Operating Values of PERT The planning and PERT looks at the total project or operating values of PERT may be program and its progress. inseparable in reality since they are mutually dependent and both have the common objective of improved project management. However, many executives point to the specific values of PERT for managing a project in process. Three major operating yields stand out-improved management control, improved management of resources, and improved management action or decision making. • Improved Management Control. One of the more useful management yields of PERT is its progress reporting. Most progress reporting techniques provide management with historical information. The better are separated from the poorer by having less information lag. PERT lays the basis for anticipatory management action against trouble spots likely to appear. It thus is clearly differentiated from more conventional control techniques. The mode of accomplishing this is PERT’s dynamic reporting process. As speedily as activities are completed, the actual time and costs are substituted for the previous estimates. The system is then processed to determine the effects of these performances on the total project (Chart 7). It should be accented here that
  • 15. Operating Values of PERT {managing a program/project in process} There major operating values 1) Improved Management control of Resources ACTON or decision-making 2) Improved Management Control Dynamic Progress Reporting provide management with historical data & information. A program/project & success is based on the degree of its Information leg.
  • 16. Practical Operations Improved Improved Management Improved Management Management of Resources Action Control Continues refocusing of Simulation of decision (Dynamic management’s attention before they are Progress to the greatest action pay implemented Reporting off points Anticipating Management action -Quality -Timelines -Frequency -Relationships -Anticipatory -Character
  • 17. With a history of information from which to select, PERT is able to identify likely problem areas, This is indeed management by anticipation. It’s concept is clearly different from conventional management by control. The key to this difference is PERT’s Dynamic Reporting process. -activities are completed -actual time & costs are substituted for previous estimates. -determination of effects of time & cost acturing combinations on the total program/project and its progress are established.
  • 18. Dynamic Progress Reporting Progress to Date Future Status -By Event -By Event -By Activity -By Activity -Total System -Total System Progress Corrective To Date Action Anticipatory Action Future Status
  • 19. As accomplishments occur, they are assessed in terms of the total project. This also makes possible evaluation of the effect upon the critical path. The process or lack of progress of the project can thus be analyzed. This will indicate certain corrective actions which should be taken to avoid delay or minimize costs. Network processing to provide a basis for action can be done as frequently as management desires, in accord with the characteristics of the project and the performance being accrued. This sets up a cyclic problem definition and solution which follows the best attributes of “management by exception.” The point of accent that distinguishes PERT is the elimination of “lag” reporting and the institution of “anticipatory” reporting. Management can move against possible trouble spots without waiting for their actual effects to show –thus conserving both time and money. This attribute of PERT has brought a distinct change in traditional management thinking about control. The static quality of other reporting systems, contrasted with the dynamics of the PERT approach (the historical decision base versus the “looking ahead” decision base, the “lag” versus “no lag” information), changes the pattern of both management thought and control action. Another improved management yield from PERT is progress control by management level. PERT reporting can be tailored to the requirements of the management level involved. Lower operating management, for example, might receive a detailed report showing all events and activities-both accomplished and forecast-as well as a picture of the total project. This kind of information is required to formulate recommended actions. On the other hand, top management might be provided only over- all summary report – briefly analyzed with the proposed changes recommended. While providing information tailored to the management level has been an accepted approach for years, the quality, timeliness, frequency, relationships, and anticipatory characteristic of PERT distinguish it from conventional reporting practices. In addition to written reports, graphic presentations may, of course, be used to summarize program status. Again, the graphic reporting techniques can be tailored to accommodate the management requirements involved. While the graphic arts may appear in a form identical to that usually employed, new reliance can be placed on their meaning due to the integrity of PERT’s progress reporting. PERT thus significantly improves managements information and thereby assists in improved decision making and management action.
  • 20. •Improved Management of Resources. Business efficiency is largely measured by how well company resources are utilized. PERT can be a major contribution to improved resource management. This is largely accomplished through trade-offs. Paths through the network are made up of accumulations of resources of the activities on each path. Paths shorter in time than the critical path – surplus paths – may have resources which can possibly be applied to the critical path to shorten it. This is termed “trade-off of resources” and is depicted in Chart 8. Resources are shown being transferred from surplus paths to both the critical and semi critical paths. This depiction is oversimplified in two primary respects. First, resources are not so simply transferred from a surplus to a critical path. Rather, a transfer of resources is proposed and its effects noted; then, in response, another transfer is proposed and its effect noted; and so on until management comes to an optimum move of resources. Chart 8 pictures only the end result. Second, to determine the feasibility of transfer, the proposed trade-off is thoroughly studied and analyzed in terms of the resources available and the activities to be accomplished on the critical path. Some resources may not be flexible, hence are non- transferrable, while others which may be available and transferable do not fit the needs present. The example, of course, does not indicate the study and analysis necessary to effect an advised trade-off of resources. Carefully planned and carefully rationalized resource trade-offs can substantially affect the end results of the project. This type of approach, on such a planned basis, is unique with PERT. If trade-off of resources does not bring desired results, then management may have to resort to crash action. It should be stressed that this move is undertaken only after management has exhausted the use of trade-offs for performance improvement. In a crash approach, management may decide to go on an overtime or extra shift basis, to use substitute materials, to add resources beyond those allocated, or to spend additional funds on expediting. Again, a study would be conducted to determine whether crash action was feasible and what type would produce maximum effect with minimum costs. A decision would be reached in the final analysis on the time saved versus the cost added. The management value of PERT is again emphasized in its approach to improved management of resources. Under either resource trade-off or crash action, the management intention is to shorten the critical path. Once this is done, however, a semi- critical path may become critical, and then this path would be the target for management action. The PERT approach keeps the attention of management constantly focused on the path where action will be most effective in terms of the end results expected. This is illustrated in Chart 9. The upper left-hand portion shows the critical path before management action is taken; the right-hand portion shows the shift in the critical path after decision. The critical path thus moves back and forth in response to management action. This movement calls management action. This movement calls management’s attention to the need for a continuing refocus of attention. This primary management value is unique with PERT.
  • 21. • Improved Management Action. Being able to test decision on paper or in a computer instead of tampering with expensive operations is also a major PERT value. When management determines that a need for improved performance exists, certain alternative management actions will be proposed (Chart 10 ). These alternatives can be fed into the PERT system and the effects noted. These effects will suggest other actions which can again be simulated to determine their effects on the project. By repeating this process of trial decision making, management can arrive at the best balance of decisions to be instituted. This simulation can be accomplished rapidly and inexpensively. The payout in improved management decision making is significant. In the chapter, the operating values of PERT- improved management control, improved management of resources, and improved management action or decisions – have been discussed. The central core of these values lies in the dynamics of PERT contrasted with the static of historical approach of other planning and control techniques. This dynamic quality permits anticipatory management action, a continuing refocusing of management attention to the greatest action payout points, and simulation of decisions before their institution. No other existing management control system has this combination of operating values.

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