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ESM 505 System Project Management Homework 1 Network Planning techniques and DSM

Spring 2012
Out: January 25, 2012 Due: February 12, 2012, 1pm

Learning objectives This homework is divided into two parts. In the first part, you will create a project plan using the Critical Path Method (CPM). You will draw a project graph, estimate the early finish time (EF) of the project and identify the critical path and slack times. You will think about the impact of changes in individual task times on the critical path and consider probability distributions of task times and their effect on the project schedule (PERT). In the second part, you will apply the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) method to a hypothetical design project. You will first learn how to translate the project graph from the previous assignment to a DSM representation. Next, you will add iterations to the project and analyze their effect on the previous task sequence. You will consider partitioning the DSM to reveal meta-tasks. Finally, you will estimate the effect of these changes on the critical path and estimated project completion time. Readings

K.F. Levy, G. L Thompson and J.D. Wiest, “The ABCs of the Critical Path Method”, Harvard Business Review, #63508, Harvard Business School Publishing, 1963 – Reading #2

Other Resources

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[6] [7]

Optional: H. Kerzner, “Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling”, John Wiley & Sons, 2009 – Chapter 12 Online Normal Distribution Table (online): Steven D. Eppinger, Daniel E. Whitney, Robert P. Smith, and David A. Gebala. "A ModelBased Method for Organizing Tasks in Product Development", Research in Engineering Design. Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1-13, 1994. Steven D. Eppinger, Murthy V. Nukala, and Daniel E. Whitney. "Generalized Models of Design Iteration Using Signal Flow Graphs", Research in Engineering Design. Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 112-123, 1997. DSM website: DSM software: (PSM32) •

This homework is designed to be solved without the assistance of project management software. Please do it manually.


5) with ECC. incl. You can initiate (GFE) avionics design (f. UAV Project Description (NMA-X1) The UAV “pusher” vehicle concept is shown in Figure 1.5) have been defined. but will help you establish the plan. b=500 mm nominal duration is 17 working days. both the engine and payload are integrated (electrically) in the power system integration (o. payload (a visual and an IR camera. Once engine development is complete. empennage. Your task today is to create a project schedule. Specifications: integration”.Part I: Network Planning Techniques [75 marks] Situation You are a Project Manager at New Millennium Aerospace (NMA) Inc. incl. you can carry out the following jobs in parallel: negotiate the engine specification (c.8) has been established.17) and empennage/wing design (l. the dependencies between tasks.15) and the engine delivered (n. The subsequent project description is hypothetical. Example: engine integration (x.15) begin in parallel after the vehicle layout (e.10). transmitter) and the engine (incl. Fuselage design (k.10) step. determine the vehicle layout (e.8) and write the software specification (g. you first have to complete the overall requirements definition (b. the engine is rearmounted which can lead to higher propulsive efficiency..10) step. means that there is a task called “engine Fig 1. find the critical path and to estimate the finish time of the project.17).8) can be designed after these two jobs are 2 . wings. The vehicle can be decomposed into the following assemblies: fuselage (houses the avionics suite).30) based on experience with a previous variant. However the tasks (c. the supplier (ECC) informs you that it will take 30 days for engine development (i. propeller). delivery and checkout (n. and the payload L task ID and normal duration in working days are given in parentheses. Once the payload is developed (j. UAV concept. Once this is accomplished. Internal fittings (m. whose L=2000 mm.0). define your payload specification (d. After (d. so that the avionics will be able to control both the engine and payload in a synchronized fashion.5) and (d. Once the engine specs (c. In a pusher aircraft. payload development (j.5).15) can take place in parallel with engine development.12).2) can take place at NMA’s facilities. B=3500 mm.15) after (b. The task (“job”) descriptions are engine underlined the first time they are mentioned. identified by the symbol ”x”.2). After the project start (a.5) is done. fuselage empennage b avionics suite wings B What follows is a description of the tasks necessary to develop the vehicle.5) must also have been completed before the GFE design can be started.

5) can begin.g.(n. 2012 for completion of the project.8) consists of building a physical frame for the vehicle after jobs (k. Explain in a few sentences what this means for you as the project manager. a-b-k-t-w). What is the earliest calendar finish date of the project.12) and subsequent avionics/software integration (q. but in a notionally meaningful sequence .25) which depends both on (g. description and identify immediate predecessors and nominal task completion times. Notes: . [4 marks] 5. Which task in your project has the largest free slack? How do you suggest to best use this free slack as a project manager? [8 marks] 3 . What is the critical path? (e.10). [5 marks] 4. in order for this last step to take place. finish (w.15) has been completed.17) and (l.8) and avionics/software integration (q. Highlight the critical path in the project graph obtained in step 2.8) have been achieved . [5 marks] 2.15) must have also been completed. After some negotiation. suppliers) works only Monday through Friday and that there are no holidays? [7 marks] 6.5). The project is continued by performing vehicle integration (s. for each task. Obviously. Also. software development (h. structural airframe prototyping (r. final vehicle assembly (t. what the total slack (TS) and what the free slack (FS) is.0) has been fixed as January 1.10) and internal fitting design (m. Construct a task table from the NMA-X1 project description. Create a project graph [similar to slide #18 of session 2 lecture note] by hand.task durations are hypothetical (on the short side) Task 2: Plan the Project 1.25) means that the task is tagged as “n” and is expected to take 25 work days . 2012. The start date of the project (a. After final assembly. What is the earliest finish (EF) for the project as a whole (in units of work days)? Show how you arrived at this result. the CEO of NMA has set a target date (T) of May 26.completed. Try to arrange the task table in “technological order” (see [1] for an explanation of that term).12) and (f. Once avionics design (f.5).15) are completed. Figure out.0). After vehicle integration (s.10) which requires prior completion of power system integration (o.5).10) leading to completion of the prototype development project.). [8 marks] 3. the completed vehicle is subjected to laboratory testing (u. airframe prototyping (r.task descriptions are hypothetical.task descriptions are underlined . assuming that everyone (incl. followed by an outdoor flight test campaign (v. Clearly designate each task with its tag. this leads to avionics delivery and checkout (p.

all tasks were completed at their earliest finish time (EF). 2012) for both delivery of the engine (n. Why did you choose those dates? Which of the two dates is more critical for the overall project completion date and why? [8 marks] 8. You are now starting laboratory (u. task (i.. What is the probability (in percent %) that you can complete the project by that date? [20 marks] 4 . 2012 for an early flight demonstration of the system to an Air Force General. 2: Task completion time histogram for NMM-X1 testing The CEO wants to move the NMA-X1 project completion date to May 8.7. What is the impact on the earliest finish (EF) date of the project? Does it impact the target date (T) set by the CEO? What do you report to her? How does this phone call change your focus as a project manager? Explain and contrast with what you answered earlier to question 4. They inform you that engine development (task i) will now take 40 working days instead of 30 working days due to the more stringent engine requirements agreed to in task c. Fig. You have just completed all tasks up to (and including) vehicle final assembly (t. ECC. It is now Friday. the completion times for these tasks u and v are represented by the histograms shown in Figure 2. You just successfully finished the requirements definition (b.5) and payload specification (d.e. 5) and flight testing (v. 2012 at 5:00 p.2) from ECC and for delivery of the avionics package (p.m. Based on previous experience. Set specific target dates (for example. engine specification (c. i.e.5) according to your revised schedule that you worked out in question 8.10). the phone rings and you get a call from the engine supplier.10).40). As you get ready to leave your office for happy hour and a nice weekend. i.5) steps on time.12) from GFE. Challenge Question 9. [10 marks] • • • • • How does this impact the critical path of the project? Revise the project plan with the changed information. April 2. January 19.

electric wire harnesses. Software specification (g) and software development (h) are really iterative.Part II: Task-based Design Structure Matrix [25 marks] Situation You are still Project Manager for the NMA-X1 UAV development project and you have successfully completed the requirements definition (b. During the requirements review (b) you discussed the upcoming design project with your functional team managers and your suppliers. Integrating the vehicle (s) is never a single step process and data from past projects indicates that adjustments must be made to power system integration (o) due to problems discovered during (s). You realize that your previous PERT/CPM plan was useful. but did not capture a number of important design iterations. Convert the DSM to a binary matrix using only {1.0} and multiply the matrix by itself a number of times.[5 marks] 11. wing and empennage. effectively the first task in the process. Assignment 10. This means that UAV engine development (i) and payload development (j) require data from each other. there must be some concurrent development. Comment briefly on the structure of the completed matrix. Finally. memory and communications bandwidth In order to decide what the power budget between the engine and the payload should be. with dimension 23x23. In previous vehicle projects there were structural misalignment problems between the fuselage. including all NMA-X1 tasks a through w (including dummy tasks “start” and “finish”). The purpose of this step is to identify the loops in the 5 . air ducts and trim panels it is a frequent occurrence that internal fittings (m) need to be adjusted based on interferences discovered during final vehicle assembly (t). In order to avoid this on the NMA-X1 project. despite early efforts to avoid collisions between fuel lines. Experience from other programs has shown that significant errors and non-conformances are often discovered during avionics/software integration (q). Modify the DSM to reflect these iterations and briefly comment on the changes.e. Describe the result of each sequential multiplication and draw conclusions for your vehicle development project. Construct a Design Structure Matrix (DSM). This can require substantial rework from task (q) to software development (h).10) step. they feed information to each other).2. This DSM should capture the same task dependencies as the project graph from partI. tasks (k) and (l) must be coupled together (i. You realize that your previous PERT/CPM plan is useful. See Appendix I for an initial DSM template that you could use to get started. but does not capture some important task interdependencies: [7 marks] • • • • • • • Avionics design (f) requires information from software development (h) in terms of properly sizing the avionics bus and controllers for processing speed. 12.

project of length 1 (two tasks coupled) or larger…. How many iteration loops are there in the project? What tasks are involved in each loop? [7 marks] 13. in parallel and which ones must be worked on iteratively. [6 marks] 6 . How many iterations remain in the upper right triangular part of the DSM after you have re-sequenced? Discuss briefly how this new way of modeling the project might change your view and focus relative to the original CPM project plan. The manual partitioning algorithm we discussed in class (Lecture 4-5) by swapping columns and rows of the DSM in a deliberate fashion. Attempt to improve the task sequence of the project such that feedback loops (entries above the main diagonal of the DSM) are minimized and appropriate meta-tasks emerge. Highlight the coupled meta-tasks by enclosing them in a highlighted box. Identify which tasks can be done sequentially.

Appendix I : Design Structure Matrix (DSM) a b c d e f G h i j k l m n o p q R s t u v w a a b b c c d d e e f f g g h h i i j j k k l l m m n n o o p p q q r r s s t t u u v v w w 7 .