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**Chapter 5 Scheduling the Project
**

This chapter covers the topic of scheduling, probably the most extensively covered subject dealing with project management. In addition to the usual PERT and CPM networks, Gantt charts, etc., the subject of project uncertainty and risk management is also discussed. The use of computer simulation to generate the approximate distribution of project completion times is also discussed. Appendix C illustrates how Crystal Ball can facilitate this analysis and be used to help better understand the implications of schedule uncertainty.

**Cases and Readings
**

A case appropriate to the subject of this chapter is: Harvard: 9-613-021 Arrow Diagramming Exercise This 3-page case describes the marketing campaign for a newly developed industrial hardware item. Over two-dozen activities are noted and described. The case asks for the network diagram and critical path. A reading appropriate to the subject of this chapter is: L.P. Leach. Critical Chain Project Management Improves Project Performance (Project Management Journal, June 1999, p. 39-51). This article explains the procedures developed by E. Goldratt in his Critical Chain approach to project management. Includes a discussion of project and feeder buffers. Projects using the critical chain often report significantly improved schedule, cost, and scope performance.

**Answers to Review Questions
**

1. By definition, critical tasks are those tasks that if delayed will delay the completion of the entire project. Therefore, these tasks should be managed more closely than noncritical tasks. (In cases where the activity times are not known with certainty, the tasks assumed to be critical at the beginning of the project may turn out not to be so critical. Therefore, when task times are uncertain, all tasks that may reasonably delay project completion must be carefully managed.) 2. Slack for a particular task is calculated by subtracting the earliest time the task can start from the latest time the task can start or by subtracting the earliest time the task can finish from the latest time the task can finish. Both calculations result in the same slack and indicate a window in which the task can be started and finished without delaying the entire project. The slack for a particular path is calculated by subtracting

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5/Scheduling the Project

the path’s duration from the critical path’s duration and provides an indication of how much the path can be delayed without delaying the completion of the project. 3. The earliest start time for an activity with two predecessors is equal to the later earliest finish time of the two predecessors since both predecessors must be completed for the task to begin. The latest finish time for an activity with two successors is equal to the smaller latest start time of the two successors. If the larger were used, then the preceding task would be permitted to finish after the latest start time of the other successor. 4. No, all activities on the same non-critical path will not necessarily have the same slack. This is because a particular activity may be on multiple paths. When an activity is on more than one path, its slack is determined by the path with the least amount of slack. 5. (As noted in Section 3.3, p.64, only immediate predecessors should be listed.) a. Task 4 is the only immediate predecessor of task 5. b. b) Task 2 and 3 are both immediate predecessors of task 4. c. Task 5 is the immediate predecessor of the network finish (F). 6. When two activities have the same beginning and ending nodes they do not have a unique identity in the project network. To solve this problem a new ending or starting node is created for one of the activities to provide them with a unique identity. Then a dummy activity or an activity with no duration is added to preserve the precedence relationship. 7. Activities a and b are common to both paths and so do not need to be considered. They must take the same impact on both paths. We did consider the partial paths d-gh and c-f. 8. If the promised delivery date for a project is greater than the time required to complete the project, the project is said to have “project slack.” The amount of the project slack is equal to the delivery time minus the project completion time. 9. A milestone could be added as a node to the AON network with zero duration. 10. False. Only the path claimed to be critical has a 95 percent chance of being completed within 24 days. However, there may be one or more other paths that also have a chance of taking longer than 24 days. If we are comfortable making the assumption that the paths are independent of one another, then the probability the project will be completed in 24 days or less can be calculated as the product of the probabilities that each path is finished on or before day 24. 11. Because the Gantt chart is so easy to construct and read, people may use this tool with little project management training and no technical knowledge about the project. One

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53 . However. In this case the other paths would have virtually no chance of delaying the entire project. No. statistical independence is achieved for large network diagrams with only a few violations. A path that is determined to be critical at the beginning of the project based on expected activity durations may turn out not to be critical when the project is half completed. and developing a cash flow schedule. it is not possible to determine the critical path a priori. This latter point is particularly noteworthy as the network diagram only shows technological precedence relationships and most often does not include information about how the resources will be allocated. In many textbooks it is common to argue that while true independence across the paths is rarely met. simulation must be used. One way to use the network approach to prepare cost estimates would be to simply estimate the cost of each task in the diagram and then sum these costs up. it is common for the status of various paths to alternate between being critical and not being critical as the project is completed. 14. the probability would not be more accurate if only the critical path was considered unless this one path was much longer than all the other paths. It would be accurate to multiply the probabilities together when the paths are independent of one another. The implication is that all paths that have the potential to delay the project should be appropriately managed. 15. 12. the paths are not likely to be truly independent because the paths have activities in common and common resources are shared across paths. That is why simulation is the recommended approach in this text. If the assumption of path independence is reasonable then the product of the probability of each path completing by the specified time can be calculated. the typical homework-type problems assigned are not large enough to justify the independence assumption and the calculations required for realistically-sized network diagrams would be far too tedious for most managers. In cases where the activity times are not known with certainty. Indeed. In reality. One danger is that what is thought to be the critical path at the beginning of the project consumes all of management’s attention only to have other paths fall behind and actually end up delaying the project. it is not possible to determine the actual duration of each path. Suggested Answers to Discussion Questions 13. it is important to note that understanding the statistical approach facilitates understanding the simulation approach. properly calculating the probability that the project is completed by a certain date requires considering the probability that all paths are completed by the specified date. perhaps as a result of the extra management attention this path received. Of course. The time estimates for the activities would likely be of significant help in estimating some of the costs (particularly when human labor is required).5/Scheduling the Project danger is drawing conclusions and making decisions based on the relatively simple information displayed in the chart. When activity times are uncertain. Therefore. Otherwise.

It is much more intuitive. and performance. and may contain much more information relevant to the project. i. an estimate for a such that the actual duration will be a or less some specified percent of the time and an estimate for b such that the actual duration will be b or larger less than some percent of the time. there is often another set of trade-offs the project manager must deal with. If the discussion on page 122 is used the percent refers to the probability of the project being completed within the range of the optimistic and pessimistic time estimates. we will not know for certain which path actually took the longest to complete until the project is complete. it is possible that students will interpret these probabilities in two different ways. 20.29 standard deviations encompass 90 percent of the area under the standard normal curve. Doubling this yields the 3. From this perspective the ensuing discussion on page 122 is misleading since the probabilities are now defined in terms of the areas between a and b. Most commonly. When activity times are uncertain.92 standard deviations) encompasses 95 percent of the area under the standard normal curve. Thus.6 corresponding to 90 percent is based on a z-value of 1. the finish-to-start is the most commonly used linkage because typically certain activities must be completed before other activities can start. Given this. There are actually two sets of trade-offs project managers must make.. Doubling 1. Since these are only estimates. we can only estimate how long they will actually take. As noted in the chapter.28 yields the 2. based on the discussion in the text.3 given in the text. Likewise 3.96 standard deviations (or 3. In the case of 95 percent estimates the appropriate value would provide 0. that the 3.6 is appropriately used when management specifies an optimistic time estimate that has a 90 percent chance of being achieved and a pessimistic time estimate that has only a 10 percent chance of being exceeded. easier to read. 18. schedule.025 percent of the area in each tail. The 2. Again.e.28 which has 10 percent of the area in the upper tail.96. 54 .3 corresponding to 95 percent is based on a z-value of 1. the 3. 19. we provide solutions for the end-of-chapter problems based on both interpretations.3 is appropriately used when management specifies an optimistic time estimate that has a 95 percent chance of being achieved and a pessimistic time estimate that has only a 5 percent chance of being exceeded (consistent with the discussion on page 121). On page 121 we begin this discussion the way project managers traditionally think about these probabilities. However. the 2. Therefore. The start-to-start and finish-to-finish linkages are occasionally applicable. In other words. In these cases certain activities must either be started or finished at the same time. The start-tofinish linkage is probably used the least frequently. + 1.645 which has 5 percent of the area in the upper tail. 17. we talk about making trade-offs between cost.6 given in the book.5/Scheduling the Project 16. For the standard normal distribution this corresponds to a z-value of 1. This means that we can only estimate the duration of the paths also. Note.

If we assume that by 95% we mean that there is a 95% probability that the task will be completed within the range defined by the optimistic and pessimistic range then (b-a) should be divided by 3. The probability that both paths finish by time 50 (assuming the paths are reasonably independent of one another) is . This means there is a 98.47 From Appendix A.92 and 3. Refer to Discussion Question 18 for a discussion of two possible interpretations for the probabilities associated with these types of problems). Using this factor.92. the area in the upper tail for a z-value of 2.17 6. rather than 3.71%. 55 . as well as the 95% estimates using both the 3. Solutions to Problems 21. project managers must often make trade-offs between achieving the project goals and the project team viability.5%. (Note to instructor.5% chance that this path will not interfere with the project being completed in 50 weeks.92 more intuitive. respectively. 22. The spreadsheet below provides the solutions for the 99+ percent probability estimates.985 × .5 and 6.47.5 = 2.5%. The expected duration and variance of path a-b-c-f are 44. Students may find the use of 3. The probability that this path will take longer than 50 weeks and therefore interfere with the project completion can be calculated as follows: z= 50 − 44 .17 can be easily calculated as 1.3.5/Scheduling the Project Namely. the probability that path a-b-d-g-h finishes on or before time 50 is 76. Managing this second set of trade-offs is what is meant by managing the project team while the first set of goals refers to managing the project.86 = 84.

00 1.16 76. Please refer to answer to Discussion Question 18.3)2 4.57 4.7%.25 4.00 14.91 9.33 9.33 6. Students may find the use of 3.43 4.18 1. Var.96 72.30 21.30 0.6.47 9.5% G H Var. ((b-a)/3.78 0. a 8 11 7 6 10 6 5 4 C Norm.37 13.51 9.92)2 ((b-a)/3.25 4.22 3.50 17. rather than 2.TRUE) {copy to cells G14:H14} 23.F13.7% 39.6.27 68.33 6. m 10 12 12 6 14 10 10 8 D Pess.44 4.25 24.8% Key Formulas Cell E12 =E3+E4+E6+E9+E10 {copy to cells F12:H12} Cell F13 =SQRT(F12) {copy to cells G13:H13} Cell F 14 =NORMDIST(50.78 0. The spreadsheet below provides the solutions for the 99+ percent probability estimates.29.00 1.00 0. as well as the 90% estimates using both the 3.48 2.88 0. A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Activity a b c d e f g h a-b-d-g-h Std Dev Prob B Opt.67 12.37 13.17 12.33 9.35 6. b 16 14 19 6 20 10 17 11 E TE 10.00 F Var.16 5.83 47.00 0.31 4.72 86. a 8 11 7 6 10 6 5 4 C Norm.6)2 5.22 0.17 12.47.33 10.30 21.00 6. Using this factor.33 10.33 13.TRUE) {copy to cells G14:H14} 56 .00 0.47.19 4.00 2.29 and 2.94 72.5% 24.5% G H Var.00 14.78 0. ((b-a)/6)2 1.47 0. b 16 14 19 6 20 10 17 11 E TE 10.30 4.F13.39 2.29 more intuitive. Var. ((b-a)/3.53 7.44 4.33 7.5/Scheduling the Project A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Activity a b c d e f g h a-b-d-g-h Std Dev Prob B Opt.36 7.59 0.04 1.37 13.00 0.72 86.78 0.29)2 ((b-a)/2.00 F Var.83 9.) If we assume that by 90% we mean that there is a 90% probability that the task will be completed with the range defined by the optimistic and pessimistic range then (b-a) should be divided by 3.36 7.39 2.00 2.79 1. m 10 12 12 6 14 10 10 8 D Pess.00 9.33 7.4% Key Formulas Cell E12 =E3+E4+E6+E9+E10 {copy to cells F12:H12} Cell F13 =SQRT(F12) {copy to cells G13:H13} Cell F 14 =NORMDIST(50. ((b-a)/6)2 1. the probability that path a-b-d-g-h finishes on or before time 50 is 72.24 14. (Note to instructor.83 1.83 47.67 12.

” and then click “Change working time.” and then “Schedule. i. we have not given precise instructions in the text for changing MSP’s project calendars.” On the calendar you will note that Saturdays and Sundays for June and July are shaded. (For these instructions to take effect. this project has six paths and path b-e-h-j-l is the critical path with a duration of 40.” Activity slack will be shown on the Gantt chart.” and “Apply. As shown below. click “Tools. and for using MSP to find slack. Path a-d-i-k a-d-h-j-k b-e-i-k b-e-h-j-l b-f-j-l c-g-j-l Duration 29 35 35 35 35 35 Critical? No No No Yes No No The slack for each task is calculated as follows: 57 . If you wish to make these available. Then click on “View. you may highlight the entire months of June and July and then click on “Working time.5/Scheduling the Project 24. nonworking time.” Drag the divider bar to the right.” then on “More views. and you will find “Total slack” and “Free slack” listed in the MSP table..” Alternatively. click on “View.” on “Detail Gantt.” To show slack or float in MSP. they follow: The MSP calendar must be reset to a 7-day work week from its usual default of a 5day work week. Note to instructor.e. In order to familiarize student with MSP’s “Help” facilities. Click on each of these days and then click on “Working time. To reset the MSP calendar.” “Table.) d a 1 2 5 i h f g 7 6 8 k l j 9 e 3 b c 4 One way to find the critical path is to identify all paths and calculate their duration. project activity data must have been entered into MSP.

it may not be the path with the longest actual duration. b. 58 . (Note: although this path has the longest expected duration. Path a-c-e-g has the longest expected duration of 19. The spreadsheet below was used to calculate the expected time and variance for each activity. we see the probability of completing path a-c-e-g in 23 weeks or less is 96. The precedence diagram may be drawn as follows: d a f c g b e c. given the uncertainty associated with the activity times.5 weeks.) Referring to column G in the spreadsheet below.3%. a.5/Scheduling the Project Activity a b c d e f g h I j k l ES 0 0 0 5 7 7 4 16 16 22 24 31 EF 5 7 4 11 16 13 8 22 24 31 34 40 LS 5 0 14 10 7 16 18 16 22 22 30 31 LF 10 7 18 16 16 22 22 22 30 31 40 40 Slack 5 0 14 5 0 9 14 0 6 0 6 0 25.

5/Scheduling the Project Spreadsheet for Problem 25 A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Activity a b c d e f g B Opt.00 5. As shown in the spreadsheet. 26.50 1.4% 99. a 2 3 4 4 4 3 3 C Norm.0% 96.33 5.44 1. d e f i j k 59 .17 4.64 3.25 0. e.83 2.TRUE) {copy to cells D18:E18 and C19:E20} =PRODUCT(C18:C20) {copy to cells D22:E22} d. a.83 2.83 1.43 100.14 5.30 1.31 0.00 0.69 0.$B13.7% 100.8% 93. Both of the other two paths have virtually a 100% chance of being completed by week 23.17 F Var.50 5.3% 100.34 3. ((b-a)/6)2 0.9% 93.07 19.33 5.00 0.94 4.01 7.59 0. a b c g h b.7% 100.34 3.SQRT(C13).56 6.31 0.3% 99.63 2.1% =E3+E6+E8 {copy to cells C13:E13} =E3+E5+E7+E9 {copy to cels C14:E14} =E4+E7+E9 {copy to cells C15:E15} =NORMDIST(23. there is a 96. m 4 5 5 6 5 4 5 D Pess.0% 99. Var.47 2.0% 99.42 15.17 6.59 0.0% 96.04 1.3) 2 1.63 2.92) 2 ((b-a)/3.69 G H Var.67 1. b 6 9 7 10 7 8 8 E TE 4.84 5. ((b-a)/3.3% probability of completing the project by week 23.30 Paths a-d-f a-c-e-g b-e-g Prob Path Fin by 23 a-d-f a-c-e-g b-e-g Prob Project Fin by 23 Key Formulas: Cell B13 Cell B14 Cell B15 Cell C18 Cell C22 Expected Variance Variance Variance Duration Column F Column G Column H 14. The expected time and variance for each activity are calculated in the spreadsheet below.25 1.

11 1.33 4.92 Variance 11.0 and with associated probabilities almost 1.667 (see Q.22 5.33 2.44 0.78 0.33 9.00 0. f.00 5.00 12. e. paths a.00 2. d. .00 F Var. Assuming the paths are independent.9.$E20. Path c-g-i has the longest expected duration of 34.39 33.28 59.70 =NORMDIST(38.37 0.67 6.44 1.48 11.67 days although this path may turn out not to be the critical path given the uncertainty associated with the activity times.30 7.50 Expected Duration 26.25 Paths a-d-i b-e-i b-f-j c-g-j c-h-k Prob of Fin Path c-g-j < 38 Variance 2.29)2 ((b-a)/2. The difference in probabilities is caused by the fact that the estimation of a and b at the 99+ c.99 4.17 15. b 9 6 15 6 7 17 20 16 18 20 14 E TE 6.25 0.25 1.36 G H Var.47 18.53 7.37 0.0 42.47 0.30 21. As is calculated in the above spreadsheet.39 7.SQRT(F20)) copy to cells G29:H29 of Fin path c-g-j 39.91 9.7% 66. h. a 5 4 7 6 4 12 8 7 10 6 7 C Norm. there is an 84% chance that the project will be completed in 38 days or less.22 2. d.55.83 1.78 5.48 2.95 respectively. f.67 9. According to the calculations shown.00 0.0.7% 90% Chance =NORMINV(0.TRUE) copy to cells G25:H25 84.7% assuming that the 90% refers to the probability that of each activity’s duration occurring between the optimistic and pessimistic time estimate (see answer to Discussion Question 18) e. for a 38 day delivery.79 37. 25d).50 32.33 23. the probability that path c-g-i will be completed in 38 days or less is 70.33 9. this project has five paths.25 11.00 0. k are . ((b-a)/3.17 34.98 5.59 5. the chance that all three paths will be completed in 38 days is the product of their individual probabilities. The probabilities for paths b.31 3.5/Scheduling the Project A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Activity a b c d e f g h i j k B Opt.67 29.6 As shown in the spreadsheet above.SQRT(F20).6)2 1.14 6. i values greater than 3. ((b-a)/6)2 0.83 14.11 20.83 11.5 44.70 13.91 9. they can be ignored. i and b.$E20. 84 and . m 6 4 9 6 5 16 12 9 14 12 9 D Pess.69 4.11 28.50 12.0% 70.76 28.32 17. 60 . Var. i and c. Column F in the spreadsheet above corresponds to the 99+ percent level.39 Variance 7. Given the probability that the nominal critical path is .

42 17.04 5.3% of the replications) the project was completed in 23 weeks or less.30 6.52 17.39 19.44 5.69 20.10 19.76 6.00 2.28 5.5 days.93 13.72 11. A portion of the spreadsheet developed to simulate this project 150 times is shown below.72 0 1 0 1 3.92 4.50 12 2.35 18.3% of the replications.3% of the simulation replications.30 17.73 4.38 6.85 4.27 8.00 18.17 7. if the estimates were made at the 99+ percent level.23 4.77 0.97 weeks.3% and 15. Based on the assumptions that the distribution of project completion times follows a normal distribution.10 6. a.93 16.14 12.58 4.76 7.30 5.73 6.30 3.) E Activity e 3.05 6.99 4.30 5.84 11.52 16.99 23.04 6.20 6.07.3%.17 0 1 0 1 4. a mean project completion time of 19.47 3. More formally.42 16 3.76 5.98 21.67 22.52 16.78 6.17 14.83 19.17 0 1 0 1 7.88 16.76 6.90 12. 27.57 15. The histogram appears to be approximately normally distributed and in fact almost always passes the chi-squared goodness of fit test confirming that the normal distribution provides a reasonable fit.41 21.81 15.55 7.20 1 0 0 1 3.20 4 2.63 23.48 6 5.10 6.53 17. paths a-c-e-g and b-e-g had the longest durations in 81.38 5. the project would have a 90 percent chance of being completed within 42.29 4.93 0 1 0 1 5.61 14 2. On the other hand.89 16.77 13.71 7 5.11 7.25 5.51 1 0 0 1 3.02 5.42 23.22 4.5/Scheduling the Project percent level produces a distribution of activity times (and thus of path lengths) that is much smaller than the range produced by estimations at the 90 percent level.28 15.92 5.49 12.28 7.89 5.01 12.97 0 1 0 1 A B C D 1 Activity Activity Activity Activity a b c d 2 3 3.70 5.27 F G H I J K L M N O Activity Activity Path Path Path Project a-d-f a-c-e-g b-e-g Less than f g a-d-f a-c-e-g b-e-g Duration Crirical? Crirical? Crirical? 23 Weeks? 6.51 4.22 5.91 18.05 21. As shown in the spreadsheet.11 5. g.05 6.13 13 3.67 22.82 21.87 22.36 15. and standard deviation of 2.15 3. (Note: the variance was based on the interpretation that there was a 95% chance that the task times would fall between a and b.01 16.56 17.77 3.97 13.97 0 1 0 1 4.03 5.12 4.61 15 2.36 0 1 0 0 3.90 0 1 0 1 4.49 5.79 6.51 20.20 15.86 6.23 5 4.62 17.92 5.17 6.72 23.42 0 0 1 1 4.70 13.84 18.28 13.16 10 3.08 12.22 6. In 140 of the 150 replications (or in 93.68 15.41 17.93 3. the project would have a 90 percent chance of being completed by day 39.45 16.15 Path a-d-f had the longest duration in 3.30 0 1 0 1 3.82 5. 61 .06 5.17 5. if the estimates were made at the 90 percent level (and assuming that 90% refers to the area between a and b).36 9.40 16.51 16.55 4.70 6.97 19.84 4.19 5.01 17 3.54 18 1.70 5.69 4.90 8 5.12 9 1. This clearly demonstrates the difficulty in determining which path will be the critical path when activity times are uncertain.09 4.42 0 0 1 0 5.74 4.86% which is quite close to the empirical estimate of 93.81 7.60 7.21 5.89 13.21 5.93 19. it can be easily calculated that the probability of completing the project in 23 weeks or less is 92.51 5.80 16.53 5.27 11 5.45 4.22 6.40 17.89 0 1 0 1 2. b.86 6.39 5.60 5.40 0 1 0 1 2. a histogram of the project completion times could be easily developed as shown below.28 0 1 0 1 6. The greater uncertainty reduces that chance that any path will be completed in a specific time. respectively. Similarly.79 19.82 19.12 8.84 3.

28. With the updated information. The difference could be due to a sampling error. and design the package. Note: If students use MSP to generate the AON network.3% calculated here is slightly smaller than the 96. Furthermore.” This will increase by one all the task numbers used in the problem statement. After entering these known times in columns A – D. and select advertising agency. it is clear that path b-e-g will be the critical path. order stock from the manufacturer. updating the simulation model simply requires replacing the randomly generated activity times for these tasks with the known times. Since the times for activities are now known for activities a . the revised probability of the project being completed by week 23 drops to 40%. Suggested Solution to Discussion Problem 29. Organize the office has three logical successors: select distributors.3% calculated in Problem 25.5/Scheduling the Project Distribution of Project Completion Times 30 25 Frequency 20 15 10 5 0 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 M or e Weeks c. task B’s actual duration was equal to its pessimistic time estimate.d. and if they use a “Start” node to begin the project. or related to the assumption that the activity times are normally distributed. This is a common source of confusion in reality as well as in the classroom. If resources could be made available to 62 . The 93. There appear to be three activities that have no logical predecessors: Organize the sales office. This and the fact that tasks E and G are skewed to the right helps explain the decrease in the probability of completing this project by week 23. there are only two managerial problems or opportunities readily apparent. the Start node will be numbered “1. not replicating the project enough times. hire sales personnel. Besides the need to manage the critical path carefully. Given these relationships. the other predecessor-successor relationships are obvious.

project slack would result. the 13 week duration is mostly waiting for delivery and there are no resource commitments involved.5/Scheduling the Project speed up organization of the sales office. 2 weeks. agency Package initial stocks Sell to distributors Train sales personnel Plan adv. campaign C ES 0 0 0 2 6 6 6 13 17 10 8 23 12 D EF 2 13 6 12 15 10 8 19 23 17 12 29 22 E LS 5 4 0 7 8 6 13 17 17 10 15 23 19 F LF 7 17 6 17 17 10 15 23 23 17 19 29 29 G Slack 5 4 0 5 2 0 7 4 0 0 7 0 7 Incident for Discussion Suggested Answer 63 . campaign Ship stock to distributors Conduct adv. Second. A D Start B H L E C F I Finish J M G K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 A Task A B C D E F G H I J K L M B Description Design package Order stock from manf. sales office Set up packing facility Select distributors Hire sales personnel Select adv. but once the purchase order has been made out and sent. It bears watching. selecting distributors is the only activity with low slack. Org. Students may advise shifting resources from ordering stock from the manufacturer.

The new ending date is May 18. If only one technique must be used. What is the completion date if construction starts in March? What is the completion date of the project if construction is started in November? The following is the Gantt chart using MSP with a March 1. A Gantt chart would provide the ease of use. (Please note: Start and finish milestones were added to the action plan for ease in identifying the project’s start and finish dates. Days of work need to be added to the duration of each of the steps where work takes place outside if it will happen during the winter months. Elections are usually held the first Tuesday in the month of November. PERT/CPM serves well for planning and control. step #6 will not start until the month of April. The project completion date is 7/30/01. they are complementary and could be used together. By adding 30 days of working time to 64 . 01. It might also be noted that CPM has traditionally been favored by the construction industry. The case stated that one to two months was estimated as needing to be added to the project schedule to allow for bad weather conditions during the outside construction phases of the project (30 – 60 working days).5/Scheduling the Project Springville Fire Department: The scheduling techniques mentioned are not mutually exclusive. Dismas case provides students with an opportunity to further develop their skills in creating and using Gantt charts. Dismas Assisted Living Facility Project Action Plan -. but with the changes made to #4 and #5. 2000 start date. The project will take a total of 30 additional days to complete. This start date was chosen because one of the constraints placed on the project was that it does not begin until after the elections in November. Students may also change the calendars to let the workers off for the holidays of 1999 in addition to those allowed for in 2000.3 Teaching Purpose: This installment of the St. showing durations. monitoring and on-going analysis. the modified PERT/CPM method. Step #6 is also work done outside. Suggested Case Analyses and Solutions St. 1999 start date.) The following is the Gantt chart using MSP with a November 9. 1. would probably be the best choice. This was entered using the standard calendar defaults used by MSP of a Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm workday with an hour off for lunch. Draw a Gantt chart for the construction phase of the project. plotted on a time scale. The authors chose to add 30 days to each of the steps affected. step # 4 and #5.

we only ended up adding 30 days total to the project. 45 units would be available for occupancy as early as June 25. The constraint of the building opening by July of the year following construction beginning can not be met. When will the project be completed based on your recommendation? 65 . The second constraint is that the building be ready for occupancy by July of the following year. as recommended by the construction manager it will be completed by July 30. If the project begins immediately after the November 1999 elections it will be completed by May 18. 2001. Why is it not possible to meet the scheduling constraints set by the Board? What is your recommendation to handle the scheduling problem? The case outlined two specific constraints that the Board placed on the project. It would also make the first units available in April. 2001 (see step #9 of Gantt chart with 3/1/00 start date). the student’s must keep in mind resource availability and the increased cost of the project extension. However. The constraint of construction beginning after the November elections can be met with out any affect on the project. 2000. The board wanted to target occupancy for the summer months. 2.5/Scheduling the Project each of the steps possibly affected by the weather. Recall that the case stated that research showed that most people shopped for assisted living facilities during the summer months. Meeting the July complete occupancy constraint is possible only if the project is started in the winter months. this would add cost and time to the project. without additional time or cost added to the original estimated project action plan. A summer occupancy could be met by starting the project March 1. 2001. 3. No matter when the project begins it takes longer than one year to complete. which is before the targeted “summer” occupancy. This is a good discussion point of how the tasks affected by the increased durations were not both on the critical path – only Step #4 extended the length of the project. if the project begins in March of 2000. The first is that the project should not start until after the elections in November.

If students chose to start the project February 1. 2001. The marketing plan must be implemented based on the date that the first 45 units are ready for residents. without any schedule changes due to weather conditions. In order to determine the start date of the Implementation task. This must be started 5 months prior to the building being ready for occupancy so that marketing has time to find residents to move in when the facility is available. 2000 start date for the project. Step #7. Determine the start date of the Marketing Plan phase of the project in order to meet your recommended facility ready for occupancy date? We assumed a March 1. By using MSP to change the project’s start date. we do not know when to start. the project would be completed by 6/29/01.5/Scheduling the Project If students chose March 1. First enter all of the tasks names. 4. The action steps were taken directly from the Marketing plan developed and implemented section of the broad marketing plan that was presented in the case. Once we enter the projects completion date. using the project information dialog box. you must first determine the start date of the final step in the project action plan. Below is the Gantt chart for the steps in the Marketing Plan and Implementation phase of the St. “Implementation of the Marketing Plan”. we must enter this project’s overall finish date. 2000. one can schedule this project backwards. and their durations. precedences. To determine the project’s start date. students can easily choose various new start dates and see the associated project end date. found in the “Project” menu on the tool bar. Draw a Gantt Chart of the Marketing Plan and Implementation Phase of the Project. we know the completion date. This date is June 25. Dismas Assisted Living Project. 2000. 66 . the entire project will be completed by July 31. as shown below: Next. 2001. MSP will determine when each step of the project should take place.

Nutristar Teaching Purpose: The purpose of this case is to reinforce students’ skills in analyzing projects with probabilistic time estimates. The following abbreviations will be used for the activities. for example if a step can not be completed on the marketing phase of the project until Legal has completed a step in their project plan.5/Scheduling the Project Enter an end date of 6/25/01. Activity Description Concept Development Plan Development Define project scope Develop broad schedule Detailed cost estimates Develop staffing plan Design and Construction Detailed engineering Facility construction Mobilization of construction Employees Procurement of equipment Start-up and Turnover Pre-startup inspection Recruiting and training Abbreviation A B C D E F G H I J K 67 . and select “Schedule from the project finish date”. 1. The case also provides students with an opportunity to use spreadsheets to simulate the completion of the project and use the results of the simulation to perform standard probability calculations. What is the next step the team members must take in order to complete their action plans? Each member of the project steering team needs to prepare final action plans. Draw a network diagram for this project. monitored and controlled. including dates and resources. The team must also determine the predecessors from outside their specific plan that link to their plans. Identify all the paths through the network diagram. MSP will automatically determine each step’s start and end date to meet the constraint you set. this must be noted on the action plan. This will enable a complete overall integrated project action plan to be tied to the project budget. See below: 5.

L. J. J. I. L. J. H. J. D. H.G. M A. M A. J. M A. C. H. F. M A. F.G. K. C. K. J. J. K. J. K. M A. J. K. J. C. L. H. B. M A. C. J. L. M A. C. C.G. K. I. the following AOA network diagram can be constructed. I. M A. H. K. J. H. B A C D E F H G I J K L M There are 32 paths through the network as follows A. F. I. B. K. M A. M A.G. D. I.G. I. M A. K. D. M A. J. J. F. B. L. B. F. J. M A.G. E. M A. D. H.G. I. L. H. L. K. M A. J. F. B.G. I. F. J. M A. F. D. L. M A. J. J. F. J. H. I. L. K. I. L. J. D. F. B. C.5/Scheduling the Project Solving start-up problems Centerlining L M Using these abbreviations and the information provided in the case. M A. M A. D. J.G.G. F. J. K. M 68 . C. F.G. M A. H. B. D. J. M A. M A.G. H. L. M A. J. H. M A. I. L.G. F. I. K. B.

Simulate the completion of this project 100 times assuming that activity times follow a normal distribution. I. to generate the random activity times for Activity A.5/Scheduling the Project A.M were dedicated to activities A .G.833 1 0.3 0. columns A . standard deviation. M A.250 3.5 0.333 0. and A3:A102 for the output range. 3. in the spreadsheet developed for this case.M.340 0.25 K 0.333 4 1.333 0.083 0.004 0. Estimate the mean and standard deviation of the project completion time.167 3. normal was specified for the type of distribution. J.3 3 12 2 3 0. E.G. E. 69 .542 0. the mean and standard deviation for each activity must be calculated.016 0. H.542 0. H.317 0.667 4 2.833 1 0.333 0.016 0. I.5 1 1 D E F G Pessimistic Expected Standard Time Time Variance Deviation 24 12. M 2. As demonstrated in the textbook.5 0. K.125 1 0. E.003 0.016 0. K.125 2 1. J. J. K.111 0.5 for the mean. L.500 12 3.5 for the standard deviation. Thus. E.500 12. J. F.361 1. one approach is to dedicate a column to each activity and then generate random activity times. F. I.444 0. J. respectively.25 L 0 M 0 A C Most Likley 12 2 0.667 Key Formulas: Cell E3: =(B3+(C3*4)+D3)/6 {copy to cells E4:E15} Cell F3: =((D3-B3)/6)^2 {copy to cells F4:F15} Cell G3 =SQRT(F3) {copy to cells G4:G15} Next.583 12 4. I.25 D 0.2 F 2 G 8 H 0. J. F. E. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 B Optimistic Activity Time A 3 B 1 C 0.667 24 13.111 2. M A.5 I 1 J 0.444 0. M A. E.6 0.000 0.500 3.125 0. the actual spreadsheet to simulate the completion of the project can be developed. M A.050 0.G. 12. Prior to simulating the project. H.5 0.067 6 3. Using Excel’s Random Number Generator only requires the specification of the type of random variable. J. M A. L. its mean.2 E 0. and the range for the random numbers.361 1.333 7.542 0. A snapshot of the spreadsheet developed is shown below. E. L. L. M A. Then random numbers were generated for one activity at a time using Excel’s random number generation capability. The spreadsheet shown below was developed to calculate these parameters. For example. H.

293843 E Activity E 0.535049 0. 40 .85 months.F.303745 0.G .35.279394 0.702878 2.663059 33.44919 8. 30 .5/Scheduling the Project 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A Activity A 11.234122 2.45.25.18521673 31.393954 28. a snapshot of the spreadsheet developed is shown below.115277 1. 3.3549 16.241881 0.398613 3.029766 31.94689201 20.21668 C Activity C 0.13499 0.96766 16.291584 0. Excel’s histogram function can be used to quickly calculate the frequency distribution of the project completion times.K .50 were specified. Excel’s ChartWizard was used to develop the actual histogram shown below.82999899 To determine the time to complete the project.15716899 36.502369 M N O P Activity Path Path Path M ABFGJKM ABFGJLM ABFIJKM 0.69423 B Activity B 4. Once the frequency distribution was generated.421074 0.974028 1.B .17570742 1. To illustrate.93146016 32.884924 3.M in row three is: =A3+B3+F3+G3+J3+K3+M3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 L Activity L 0.36431331 38.317893 0.6103619 29.441605 0. and 45 . 35 .58927129 1. 25 .30425754 26.40. and the standard deviation was close to five.72604 D Activity D 0.739816 0. One simulation of 100 replications of the project yielded an average project completion time of 35.95738934 1.8563155 34. summary statistics for this column were calculated.61093393 28.356053 0. Develop a histogram to summarize the results of your simulation.56046329 1. Then.30.J .75870589 28. a final column was entered that calculates the maximum path completion time for each row in the spreadsheet.694415 0.028109 13. The maximum completion time was 46.338099 0.374516 36. The distribution appears to be approximately normally distributed. 70 . Since the shortest project completion time was just under 25 months and the longest just over 46. intervals of 0 .65 months.813718 38.17 months and the minimum completion time was 24.53 months with a standard deviation of 4. the formula for path A . Entering the formulas is very straightforward since the letters used to label the activities correspond directly to the column labels. Again.375742 After generating the random numbers. one column is dedicated to each path and formulas are entered to calculate the path completion time based on the random activity times generated.489304 0.

What is the probability that the project will take longer than 40 months? What is the probability that the project will take between 30 and 40 months? Normally. this approach is based on the assumption that the paths are independent of one another.. Specifically.15 4. In a similar fashion.87 percent.5/Scheduling the Project A 1 Bin 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 More 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 B Frequency 25 1 30 15 35 30 40 38 45 14 50 2 0 C D E F G H I J K L 40 35 30 25 Number of 20 Replications 15 10 5 0 25 30 35 40 45 50 Project Completion Time 4. The probability that the project is completed within 30 to 40 months is 71.1251 . Calculate the probability that the project can be completed within 30 months.65 Thus. just determining which paths should be considered in the analysis is a tedious process. With 32 paths to consider.65 Thus. the approach to calculate the probability that a project is completed by some specified time is to calculate the probability that all paths finish by the specified time. 71 . Further.51 percent. the probability that the project is not completed within 40 months can be calculated as: z= 40 − 35.33 months with a standard deviation of 4. this assumption is clearly violated due to the number of times several activities appear on alternate paths. the probability that the project is not completed within 40 months is 15.33 = −1.0 .00 4.65 months. the probability of completing the project in 30 months or less (refer to normal table in Appendix A) is 12. the probability that the project is completed within 30 months can be calculated as: z= 30 − 35. Another approach is to use the information generated from simulating the completion of the project.. In the present case.62 (1.1587) percent. Based on this and assuming a normal distribution.33 = 1. the results of the simulation indicated that the average completion time of the project was 35.

___ Critical path tasks always have zero slack. ___ A project manager should use probabilities to determine project durations only on complex projects. ___ Milestones on a Gantt chart are tasks with a duration of zero. T 8. ___ The shortest time to complete a network is equal to the duration of the longest path through the network. F 5. a project manager should include a 10% safety factor. T 4. pessimistic and most likely time estimates have a Beta distribution. F 10. ___ A project schedule is a project action plan converted into a timetable. ___ The formula for the expected time of an activity in a network assumes that the optimistic. ___ AON and AOA networks can both be used to depict any project network. F 17. F 14. ___ It is easiest to see lead and lag time in a project task on a PERT/CPM chart. F 16. it is only necessary that the project manager pay close attention to tasks on the critical path. T 2. ___ When discussing completion dates with senior management. T 12. ___ A start-to-finish linkage is the most common way of linking to successive task. T 9. ___ A disadvantage of Gantt charts is that they are hard to draw. PERT used certain (deterministic) methods to estimate activity duration. ___ A Gantt chart can not depict a critical path. ___ The difference between the LST and EST is called slack. F 11. ___ To manage a project successfully. T 3.5/Scheduling the Project Test Questions True/False and Multiple Choice F 1. only a PERT/CPM chart can. ___The actual project duration will be known with certainty after the project is completed. F 6. T 13. F 7. 72 . ___When it was originally developed. T 15. the project manager needs to only examine the critical path when conducting a risk analysis. ___ If task duration estimates are carefully made.

___ The difference between LST and LFT is called slack. ___Lead and lags cannot be shown in an AOA network. an activity with an uncertain completion time e. Work Breakdown Structure e. ___ Technical dependencies on a project plan are easiest to see on a: a. b. the difference between how long the project would take if all tasks were completed based on their pessimistic versus optimistic time estimates e. Linear Responsibility Chart 73 . T 23. Gantt chart b. the amount of time a non-critical task can be delayed without making the project late. ___ For which purpose is simulation not used with regard to project scheduling: a. to investigate the range of project completion times c. GERT chart c. investigate the distribution of project completion times d. all of the above c 27. F 19. ___ The difference between LFT and EFT is called slack. PERT/CPM chart d. ___ A big advantage of AON networks is that they are easier to draw. ___ The difference between EST and LFT is called slack. a mark on a chart that depicts project progress c. F 21. all of the above b 25. ___Leads and lags can only be shown on an AON network. to overcome the limitations associated with statistical techniques used to develop probability of completion time estimates b. an activity on the critical path d. the amount of time an activity on the critical path can be delayed without making the project late d. none of the above d 26. a 24. pessimistic and most likely time estimates e. T 22.5/Scheduling the Project F 18. to verify the accuracy of the optimistic. c. ___ What is it a milestone? a. ___What is project slack: a. the amount of time the critical path of a project can be delayed without making the project late. a significant event in the project b. F 20.

start to finish. advertising b 29. What is activity slack? The amount of time a non-critical activity can be delayed without delaying the project. military d. What are the four methods of linking steps in a project using precedence diagramming? Finish to start. actual progress b. What are some of the drawbacks of letting the project team and management know how much slack is in the project? The team will tend to delay the start of a task with slack. construction b. a 30. 74 . optimistic time d. What is a Gantt chart? A graphical depiction of a project action plan. ___ PERT was originally used for what type of project? a. The following information has been compiled for a project that is about to begin. if delayed. R&D c. Problems 36. scheduled milestones e. It displays project activities as a bar chart against a time scale. start to start. variance of the critical path c. 35. expected time b. will delay the completion of the project. Management will want the slack removed and the project duration shortened. 34. ___ Which of the following is typically used as the best estimate of task duration? a. ___ Which of the following is not an element of the Gantt chart? a. The set of activities on a path from the project’s start to finish that. all of the above are elements. thinking they have plenty of time to complete it—the student syndrome. pessimistic time c. 33. finish to finish. the current date d. most likely time e. all of the above Short Answer 31. computer software development e. 32. Define the term Critical Path.5/Scheduling the Project c 28.

and c. D C G. b. B A F H E I C D G b. d. A Activity A B C D E F G H I B ES 0 3 3 6 8 8 6 12 15 C EF 3 8 6 7 11 12 8 15 16 D LS 0 3 4 7 12 8 10 12 15 E LF 3 8 7 8 15 12 12 15 16 F Slack 0 0 1 1 4 0 4 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 75 . H a. Determine the earliest and latest start times for each activity as well as the earliest finish and latest finish times for each activity. c. Construct the network for the project. F E.5/Scheduling the Project Activity A B C D E F G H I Activity Duration 3 5 3 1 3 4 2 3 1 Preceding Activities None A A C B B. Which activities are critical? e. How long will it take to complete this project? Solution: a. Calculate the slack for each activity.

In this case. 37.5%. Activities A. b.5 a. 76 . and I have zero slack and are therefore critical. the probability that the entire project is completed by 21 days b. E F Optimistic Time 6 8 2 6 5 5 4 2. F. D A C B F E H G As shown in the spreadsheet below. Based on the assumption that the paths are independent. Assuming the paths are independent. H. e.5 Most Likely 7 10 3 7 5. Assume the time estimates were made at the 99+ percent level. Activity A B C D E F G H Preceding Activities None None A A B. c. what is the probability that the project will be completed within 21 days? Solution a. path A-C-E-G has the longest duration of 23 and a probability of being completed by time 21 of 11.5 7 6 3 Pessimistic Time 14 12 4 8 9 9 8 3. C D. The probabilities of the other four paths being completed by time 21 can be calculated in a similar fashion. B. The critical path is A-B-F-H-I and has a duration of 16. The following information has been compiled for a project that is about to begin.5/Scheduling the Project d. the probability that the project is completed by time 21 can be calculated by taking the product of these respective probabilities. What is the probability that the path with the longest expected duration will be completed within 21 days? c. Construct the network. C B.

5/Scheduling the Project is .5% 50.5% 77 .44 0.00 -0.5 E tE 8 10 3 7 6 7 6 3 Prob of Path Fin < 21 50. 6 8 2 6 5 5 4 2.87 1. In other words.44 0.0% 19.0% 11.11 0.5 7 6 3 D Pess.9 z 0.3% 85. 14 12 4 8 9 9 8 3.20 0.3 0. there is only half a percent chance that all five paths will be completed by time 21.4 1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 A Task A B C D E F G H B Opt.8 2.00 -1.04 0.5 C Most Likely 7 10 3 7 5.03 Paths A-D-G A-C-E-G A-C-F-H B-E-G B-F-H Prob of Proj < 21 Expected Duration 21 23 21 22 20 Variance 2.5 percent.2% F Variance 1.11 0.44 0.3 2.78 0.44 0.

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