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1 PROJECT SCHEDULING AND CONTROL, PROJECT LIFE CYCLE, PROJECT MANAGEMENT Project Scheduling in Management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. A project is a finite endeavor (having specific start and completion dates) undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. This finite characteristic of projects stands in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional work to repetitively produce the same product or service. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management philosophy, which is the subject of this article. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while adhering to classic project constraints— usually scope, quality, time and budget. The secondary—and more
ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives. A project is a carefully defined set of activities that use resources (money, people, materials, energy, space, provisions, communication, motivation, etc.) to achieve the project goals and objectives. 1.2 Network Scheduling Techniques
Management is continually seeking new and better control techniques to cope with the complexities, masses of data, and tight deadlines that are characteristic of highly competitive industries. Managers also want better methods for presenting technical and cost data to customers. Scheduling techniques help achieve these goals. The most common techniques are: _ Gantt or bar charts _ Milestone charts _ Line of balance1 _ Networks _ Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) _ Arrow Diagram Method (ADM) [Sometimes called the Critical Path Method (CPM) _ Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) _ Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique (GERT)
_ They identify the longest path or critical paths. 3 . _ They provide the basic structure for reporting information. _ They help management evaluate alternatives by answering such questions as how time delays will influence project completion.Advantages of network scheduling techniques include: _ They form the basis for all planning and predicting and help management decide how to use its resources to achieve time and cost goals. material. and what elements are crucial to meet the completion date. _ They utilize a so-called time network analysis as the basic method to determine manpower. _ They reveal interdependencies of activities. and capital requirements. _ They provide visibility and enable management to control “one-of-a-kind” programs. _ They facilitate “what if” exercises. as well as to provide a means for checking progress. _ They provide a basis for obtaining facts for decision-making. where slack exists between elements.
i. _ Events and activities must be sequenced on the network under a highly logical set of ground rules that allow the determination of critical and subcritical paths. Navy._ They aid in scheduling risk analysis. after the technique had been developed with the aid of the management consulting firm of Booz. introduced PERT on its Polaris Weapon System in 1958. and Hamilton. the basic requirements of PERT/time as established by the Navy were as follows: _ All of the individual tasks to complete a program must be clear enough to be put down in a network. 4 . PERT has spread rapidly throughout almost all industries. The Special Projects Office of the U. and is particularly concentrated in the construction and process industries. PERT was originally developed in 1958 and 1959 to meet the needs of the “age of massive engineering” where the techniques of Taylor and Gantt were inapplicable. Networks may have more than one hundred events. At about the same time. which comprises events and activities. which also has spread widely.e. Since that time. follow the work breakdown structure. Allen.S. but not fewer than ten. In the early 1960s. the DuPont Company initiated a similar technique known as the critical path method (CPM). concerned with performance trends on large military development programs..
2. Activities are depicted as nodes on the network and events that signify the beginning or ending of activities are depicted as arcs or lines between the nodes. CPM models the activities and events of a project as a network. The following is an example of a CPM network diagram: Steps in CPM Project Planning 1.CPM . Determine the sequence of those activities. they developed the Critical Path Method (CPM) for managing such projects. Given the complexity of the process. CPM provides the following benefits: • • • Provides a graphical view of the project. Shows which activities are critical to maintaining the schedule and which are not. 5 . DuPont developed a project management method designed to address the challenge of shutting down chemical plants for maintenance and then restarting the plants once the maintenance had been completed. Specify the individual activities.Critical Path Method In 1957. Predicts the time required to complete the project.
2. 6 . the CPM diagram can be drawn. but some project planners prefer to specify the activities on the arcs. Draw a network diagram. 4. This listing can be used as the basis for adding sequence and duration information in later steps. a listing can be made of all the activities in the project. 3. Update the CPM diagram as the project progresses. A listing of the immediate predecessors of each activity is useful for constructing the CPM network diagram. 5. Identify the critical path (longest path through the network) 6. 1. Estimate the completion time for each activity. CPM originally was developed as an activity on node (AON) network. Determine the Sequence of the Activities Some activities are dependent on the completion of others. Draw the Network Diagram Once the activities and their sequencing have been defined. Specify the Individual Activities From the work breakdown structure.3.
The significance of the critical path is that the activities that lie on it cannot be delayed without delaying the project. Identify the Critical Path The critical path is the longest-duration path through the network. Estimate Activity Completion Time The time required to complete each activity can be estimated using past experience or the estimates of knowledgeable persons. • LF . 7 .earliest start time: the earliest time at which the activity can start given that its precedent activities must be completed first.4. so only one number is used for an activity's time estimate. Because of its impact on the entire project. critical path analysis is an important aspect of project planning. • EF . CPM is a deterministic model that does not take into account variation in the completion time. The critical path can be identified by determining the following four parameters for each activity: • ES . 5.earliest finish time. equal to the earliest start time for the activity plus the time required to complete the activity.latest finish time: the latest time at which the activity can be completed without delaying the project.
and structural changes may be made in the network if project requirements change. A delay in the critical path delays the project.latest start time. to accelerate the project it is necessary to reduce the total time required for the activities in the critical path. The critical path is the path through the project network in which none of the activities have slack. 6. The slack time for an activity is the time between its earliest and latest start time.• LS . equal to the latest finish time minus the time required to complete the activity. Slack is the amount of time that an activity can be delayed past its earliest start or earliest finish without delaying the project. Update CPM Diagram As the project progresses. Similarly. the actual task completion times will be known and the network diagram can be updated to include this information. or between its earliest and latest finish time. 8 . A new critical path may emerge. that is. the path for which ES=LS and EF=LF for all activities in the path.
An alternative to CPM is the PERT project planning model. PERT Complex projects require a series of activities. In 1957 the Critical Path Method (CPM) was developed as a network model for project management. This collection of series and parallel tasks can be modeled as a network. For less routine projects there is more uncertainty in the completion times. which allows a range of durations to be specified for each activity. and this uncertainty limits the usefulness of the deterministic CPM model. While CPM is easy to understand and use. CPM is a deterministic method that uses a fixed time estimate for each activity. PERT was 9 . some of which must be other activities. The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is a network model that allows for randomness in activity completion times. it does not consider the time variations that can have a great impact on the completion time of a complex project.CPM Limitations CPM was developed for complex but fairly routine projects with minimal uncertainty in the project completion times.
Over time.developed in the late 1950's for the U. The activities in the above diagram are labeled with letters along with the expected time required to complete the activity. Incrementing the numbers by 10 allows for new ones to be inserted without modifying the numbering of the entire diagram. all of its predecessor activities must be completed. The PERT chart may have multiple pages with many sub-tasks. PERT originally was an activity on arc network. 10 . some people began to use PERT as an activity on node network. we will use the original form of activity on arc. It has the potential to reduce both the time and cost required to complete a project. in which the activities are represented on the lines and milestones on the nodes. Navy's Polaris project having thousands of contractors. For this discussion. an activity is a task that must be performed and an event is a milestone marking the completion of one or more activities. Project network models represent activities and milestones by arcs and nodes.S. The milestones generally are numbered so that the ending node of an activity has a higher number than the beginning node. The Network Diagram In a project. Before an activity can begin.
Determine the proper sequence of the activities. 2. 6. 3. 1. The milestones are the events marking the beginning and end of one or more activities. Estimate the time required for each activity. Identify the specific activities and milestones. 2. Identify Activities and Milestones The activities are the tasks required to complete the project.Steps in the PERT Planning Process PERT planning involves the following steps: 1. Update the PERT chart as the project progresses. 5. Determine the critical path. Other tasks may require more 11 . Construct a network diagram. It is helpful to list the tasks in a table that in later steps can be expanded to include information on sequence and duration. Determine Activity Sequence This step may be combined with the activity identification step since the activity sequence is evident for some tasks. 4.
3. 4. A distinguishing feature of PERT is its ability to deal with uncertainty in activity completion times. a network diagram can be drawn showing the sequence of the serial and parallel activities. but any consistent unit of time can be used. If done manually. Construct the Network Diagram Using the activity sequence information. Software packages simplify this step by automatically converting tabular activity information into a network diagram. the activities are depicted by arrowed lines and milestones are depicted by circles or "bubbles".analysis to determine the exact order in which they must be performed. the model usually includes three time estimates: 12 . several drafts may be required to correctly portray the relationships among activities. For the original activity-on-arc model. Estimate Activity Times Weeks are a commonly used unit of time for activity completion. For each activity.
Three standard deviations from the mean is commonly used for the pessimistic time.generally the shortest time in which the activity can be completed.the longest time that an activity might require. To calculate the variance for each activity completion time. • Pessimistic time . Note that this time is different from the expected time.the completion time having the highest probability. • Most likely time . the expected time for each activity can be approximated using the following weighted average: Expected time = (Optimistic + 4 x Most likely + Pessimistic) / 6 This expected time may be displayed on the network diagram. so the variance is given by: 13 . PERT assumes a beta probability distribution for the time estimates.• Optimistic time . It is common practice to specify optimistic times to be three standard deviations from the mean so that there is approximately a 1% chance that the activity will be completed within the optimistic time. For a beta distribution. then there are six standard deviations between them. if three standard deviation times were selected for the optimistic and pessimistic times.
the total project time does not change.Earliest Start time EF . The amount of time that a non-critical path activity can be delayed without delaying the project is referred to as slack time. If the critical path is not immediately obvious. If activities outside the critical path speed up or slow down (within limits). The earliest start and finish times of each activity are determined by working forward through the network and determining the earliest time at which an 14 .Earliest Finish time LS . it may be helpful to determine the following four quantities for each activity: • • • • ES . Determine the Critical Path The critical path is determined by adding the times for the activities in each sequence and determining the longest path in the project.Optimistic ) / 6 ]2 5.Latest Finish time These times are calculated using the expected time for the relevant activities. The critical path determines the total calendar time required for the project.[ ( Pessimistic .Latest Start time LF .
The difference in the latest and earliest finish of each activity is that activity's slack. the project can be accelerated by adding the resources required to decrease the time for the activities in the critical path. The variance in the project completion time can be calculated by summing the variances in the completion times of the activities in the critical path. The critical path then is the path through the network in which none of the activities have slack. The normal distribution assumption holds if the number of activities in the path is large enough for the central limit theorem to be applied. one can calculate the probability that the project will be completed by a certain date assuming a normal probability distribution for the critical path. Such a shortening of the project sometimes is referred to as project crashing. 15 . LS and LF are found by working backward through the network.activity can start and finish considering its predecessor activities. Given this variance. Since the critical path determines the completion date of the project. The latest start and finish times are the latest times that an activity can start and finish without delaying the project.
and each category can be treated as a summary task whose duration spans all the tasks within that category.6. The horizontal axis is (linear) time. and the groups ordered by starting date. line. Gantt The Gantt chart was invented in the early 1900’s by Henry L. an American engineer and social scientist. a resolution of one day is useful for most projects. if there are groups of tasks. Gantt. Tasks are often grouped into categories. The horizontal axis has a resolution appropriate to the type of tasks. each task is given its own horizontal band where the calendar duration of the task is indicated by a box. the tasks are chronological (by starting date) within a group. Update as Project Progresses Make adjustments in the PERT chart as the project progresses. Note that if significant work is not expected to be done on weekends. or other object with a variable horizontal dimension. additional resources may be needed to stay on schedule and the PERT chart may be modified to reflect the new situation. As the project unfolds. Tasks are generally listed from top to bottom in the order they will occur. In cases where there are delays. the estimated times can be replaced with actual times. these should be omitted from 16 .
only calendar time (solution: note person-hours near the task “box”) • dependencies are not explicit (solution: imply dependencies by ordering tasks. otherwise tasks will have their durations distorted if they straddle days when no work is likely. The advantages of the Gantt chart are • time is explicit (and linear) • all tasks visible in relationship to others • deadlines are shown • project status at intermediate times is shown • can show progress by “filling in” task boxes The unmodified Gantt chart has the following shortcomings: • tasks might not be associated with people (solution: tag tasks with the initials of the people responsible) • person-hours are not indicated. or use extra lines and arrows) 17 .the chart. A vertical line is usually placed on the chart to show the current date. Other important milestones can be noted (and labeled) with dotted vertical lines at the appropriate dates.
and closing. showing what tasks they are working on when) • other resources not shown (e. forecasting is an extremely important element of the initiation stages of project management.• no summary of the load on a person (solution: create an additional set of horizontal “task” lines for each person.. executing. planning.g. financial) (solution: note resources in description or near task “box”) • critical paths are not explicit (solution: use highlighting or other graphical means to indicate the sequence of tasks along the critical path) • does not record difference between original plan and actual (solution: enhancethe task “box” to show two different durations—an upper (actual) and lower (estimated)) The basics of forecasting for project management Project management is a process that involves several component aspects such as initiation. 18 . controlling. with definitive start and end dates to construct a time frame during which project objectives are meant to be achieved. Since projects are usually temporary rather than ongoing.
possible constraints.During the initiation and planning stages. project managers will often complete "forecasting" exercises to determine the project's scope. and potential risks. Project managers will often use common tools and techniques to ensure that their forecasts are as accurate as possible. In addition. 19 . these individuals will also use organizational assets and resources available to them to increasingly improve their accuracy. Overall. Forecasting tools and techniques are central components to a project manager's ability to accurately predict possible risks or delays which effect project status. All of these factors require a project manager to be as accurate as possible when making his or her predictions about any aspect of a given project's life cycle. understanding the basics of forecasting for project management involves a great deal of patience and diligent study.
Project Management (The Briefcase Book Series).. Project Management Institute. Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning. Wiley. Wiley. ISBN 978-0471413844. ISBN 978-1567262179.. Fundamentals of Project Management. Gary (2001). 3rd ed. 8th Ed.REFERENCES Project Management Institute (2003). ISBN 0-47122577-0. Kerzner. and Controlling.. American Management Association. Project Management: Tools and Trade-offs. ISBN 0-07-137952-5. 3rd ed. Lev Virine & Michael Trumper (2007). Harold (2003). James (2002). Scheduling.. ISBN 0-8144-7132-3. ISBN 1-930699-45-X. Klastorin. Management Concepts. A Guide To The Project Management Body Of Knowledge. 20 . McGraw-Hill. Project Decisions: The Art and Science. Heerkens. 2nd ed. Ted (2003). Lewis.
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