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Fall 2011

Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 4 Project Management – PM0015 - 4 Credits
(Book ID:) Assignment Set- 1 (60 Marks) Note: Each question carries 10 Marks. Answer all the questions. Q.1 Describe the process of setting up of a common resource.

The management of resources is a major feature of MS Project. It is possible to see how each one is being used and determine the times when they are under or over utilised. The system can adjust the project to eliminate over allocation of a resource. We can think of resource data being stored in a database, which is the partner to the task database. They system merges the data in the two databases to provide the facilities that are available. When a large pool of resources is built – for example, 200 employees – the best place to enter this information is in the Resource Sheet. If there are only a few resources working on the project, however, anybody might enter them “on the fly” using the Resource Assignment dialog box. Reviewing and Navigating the Resource Sheet .The Resource Sheet contains an array of required fields for entering resources. A Resource Sheet is illustrated below: Figure : Reviewing and Navigating the Resource Sheet Entering the Resources There are two separate stages in adding Resources to be managed by the system. They first must be entered in the Resource Sheet to identify them as being available. Secondly the available resources are associated with the respective tasks. Adding Resources to the Resource Sheet You add resources to the Resource Sheet in rows. The columns identify the fields. The table below summarizes the information that you can store in the Resource Sheet. Field Description Resource Name The name given to a resource. It can be the name of an individual or a type of group. Initials The abbreviated name for the resource. Group A resource can be placed in a group, which can be used by a filter to show only group members, it is also possible to use the group name to view all members of the group together. Max. Units The percentage (number) of resource units available. This is applicable only if using a type of resource. For example, you might have three technicians, but you can have only one Emma Cheesman.

Std. Rate The standard cost of the resource per hour, week, or month. Ovt. Cost The overtime cost of the resource per hour, week, or month. Cost/Use The cost of the resource every time it is used. Accrue At This field identifies when the cost of the resource is added to the running total of the project. The options are at the “Start”, at the “End” or “Prorated” which means updated at the end of each time unit as the resource is used. Base Calendar The base calendar to which you assign the resource. Code You can assign an alphanumeric code to each resource. The Code field can be used to associate an accounting code for use of the resource. This is an additional method of allocating the costs of the project as required and you have to use it for sorting, filtering, and reporting. To add resources to the Resource Sheet: • From the View menu, choose Resource Sheet. • In the Resource Name cell, type the Resource Name. • Press TAB • Type the necessary information. • Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have entered all the information needed for the resource. • Press ENTER • Press HOME Repeat steps 2 through 7 for each resource. A resource can be defined under the following headings:ID: Name: Initials: Group: Max Units: The next items relate to calculating the cost of the resource. They can be defined by setting a cost level for a specific period or a cost for each time the resource is used. Std. Rate: Ovt. Rate: Cost/Use: Accrue At: Code: Viewing the Resources Where it is necessary to view all the resources, this is best done in the top part of the screen or a single pane view. Selecting Resource Sheet from the View pull down menu will show a complete list of the resources required by the tasks. To add resources on the fly: •On the Standard toolbar, click the Resource Assignment button. •In the Resource Assignment dialog box, select a blank Name cell at the end of the resource list. •Type the name of the resource. •Press ENTER

in order to provide you with a schedule in the form of a Gantt chart. forms. The information provided by you is fed into the “Black Box” or algorithm. the scheduling algorithm produces a project schedule that would be impossible for you to produce manually. Network Diagram Chart. manage and update project information. At the heart of every project management system is a scheduling algorithm. In summary. . or Resource Graph. Figure 2: The Input/Output Model In Microsoft Project. An algorithm is a mathematical or logical equation that solves a complex problem by breaking down the problem into simple steps. Charts can be either Gantt Charts or Network Diagram Charts both of which are a diagrammatic representation of the project data. you can vary only information regarding the tasks or the resources. In a combination view. the information in the bottom relates only to the task or resources in the top view. and sheets. The reason for having combination views is to make the job of entering and analysing information easier.2 Write a short note on MS projects and explain in brief some of the important terminologies used in MS Project. The details of the project tasks and associated resources are entered into the system as a new project. You can combine any two single-pane views on the screen to create a combination view. the seven or eight parameters that you enter result in output that is a schedule displayed on various views and forms.Q. The system will then display the data in such a way that the relationships of the tasks and their time scales can clearly be seen and potential problem areas identified. Answer:MS Project is a tool to help you to plan projects. even if your project is very complex. When scheduling resources and parameters are entered into it. Project data can be entered and/or viewed in a number of ways. and communicate the status once the project is under way. the three principal formats are charts. This Input/Output model is displayed below.

A critical path is a series of critical tasks. not shown above. and LE marks the latest possible time Task A can end. then the project is delayed. Both of these tasks are considered to be non-critical because they both have flexibility. EA marks the earliest possible time Task A can start. Some of these terms are illustrated below. Free slack is the amount of time Task A can be delayed before affecting the start time of Task B. Both of these tasks have slack. All tasks on a critical path must be completed on time for the project to finish on time. therefore. Some important terminologies in MS Projects Table 1: Some important terminologies in MS Projects and Project Management Actual Usage ALAP ASAP A measure of the resource expended in completing or partially completing a task. Let‟s focus on Task A. . Task A is scheduled to start later and therefore has been delayed.The project management industry uses specific language and terminology. SS marks the scheduled start time for Task A. The summary task summarizes Tasks A and B. two tasks have a relationship. Used to indicate a task that should be started „As Soon As Possible‟. delaying this type of task would mean delaying the project. In the example above. and Task B is the successor task. using all the free-float time available. all tasks are scheduled to start at the earliest possible time. By default. Refers to a task that should be started „As Late As Possible‟. taking into account the start date of the project and its predecessor tasks. unless you specify otherwise. In Microsoft Project. Figure 3: Clarification of Project Management Terminologies In the illustration above. the amount of time a task can slip before it affects another task‟s dates or the project finish date. If one task on a critical path is delayed. SE marks the scheduled end time for Task A. Critical tasks. Task A is the predecessor task. a critical path is shown on the Gantt chart and the Network Diagram Chart in red. have no slack. and total slack is the amount of time that Task A can be delayed before affecting the finish date of the project.

The amount of time between the finish of a predecessor task and the start of a successor task. Front loading systems will attempt to allocate resources as early in the task as possible. The contour-loading pattern assesses which resources are left over after allocation to the critical tasks and spreads these resources among the remainder. Organisational Breakdown Structure codes are used to identify tasks by resource groups in a hierarchical format. The sequence of tasks or activities whose schedules and durations directly affect the date of overall project completion. When using fixed-loading algorithms. and is calculated by multiplying a task‟s planned cost by the percentage of work completed. Different methods of loading may be used depending on what‟s available in your project management application and what‟s applicable for your particular project. This is a measure of a project‟s performance. A project tracking function recording the difference between the budgeted cost of the work performed and the actual cost. and facilitates the tracking and analysing of a project‟s progress.Baseline The original project plan. and resemble flow charts. Network Diagrams are a graphical depiction of task dependencies. the length of which is proportional to its duration. Dependencies are shown by connecting lines or arrows indicating the work flow. A task whose duration is calculated based on the time span between its predecessor and successor activities. and can also be used for filtering tasks. A graphical representation of a project schedule showing each task as a bar. Cost Variance Critical Path Earned Value Float (slack) Gantt chart Hammock Task Histogram Lag Lead Loading Loading (back) Loading (contour) Loading (fixed) Loading (front) Loading (uniform) Milestone Negative float OBS codes Network Diagram . Values below the baseline show an overspend and positive values denote cost savings. Refers to an unscheduled delay before an actual task start time that must be recovered if the project is not to be delayed. Project Evaluation and Resource Tracking charts. This will usually be done without causing any one task to be over committed. Many project management packages use a spreadsheet section to the left of the Gantt chart to display additional information. OBS codes are often used to reflect departmental structure in a company or code of accounts. A loading pattern that allocates resource usage as late in the task as possible. This loading pattern allocates the resource usage on a by day basis in a task. A measurement of resource usage on a task per unit of time. A project event that represents a checkpoint. including the time schedule and resource and cost allocations. A bar chart that shows resource workloads over a time period. The baseline is used for comparing projected values to actuals. also called network diagrams. The amount of time by which a non-critical task can be delayed before it affects another task‟s schedule. a major accomplishment or a measurable goal. The amount of time that a task is permitted to start before its predecessor is finished. you specify the actual amount of resource allocated to the encompassing tasks.

The following equations describe a set of autoregressive models – First Order Autoregressive Model (7. A group of activities which are treated as a single task in a master project schedule. a set of principles. service or material used in accomplishing a project task. Subprojects are a way of working with multiple projects that keep all the data in one file rather than in independent files. Task durations determined by the program and based on the number of an allocation of resources. WBS codes can be used to filter the project schedule for tracking and reporting purposes. Frequently. Many project management applications associate these codes with an outline structure.1) . group of people. Q. item or equipment. the values of a series of data at particular points in time are highly correlated with the values that precede and succeed them. rather than the time available. In a dependency relationship between two tasks. A first-order autocorrelation refers to the magnitude of the relationship between the values that are two periods apart. at the same time. or techniques dealing with the planning and control of projects. To obtain a better historical fit of the data and. Any person. Work Breakdown Structure codes are used to identify tasks in a hierarchy. What do you understand by managing cash flow? Answer:Autoregressive Modelling for Trend-fitting and Forecasting Another approach to the forecasting with annual time-series data is based on autoregressive modelling. Describe the time series forecasting with the help of autoregressive modeling.3.Predecessor Project Management Resource Resource Leveling Resource Driven Sub-project Successor WBS codes In dependency relationships. Both individual tasks and entire projects can be resource-driven. the predecessor is the task that must be started or completed first. Best defined as a body of knowledge. the successor is the task that must await the start or completion of the other. Most project management programs offer an automated resource levelling routine that delays tasks until the resources assigned to them are available. it is possible to take advantage of the autocorrelation inherent in such data by considering autoregressive modelling methods. The process of resolving resource conflicts. make useful forecasts of their future behaviour. A p-th order autocorrelation refers to the size of the correlation between values in a time-series that are p periods apart.

A1.3) where Yi = the observed value of the series at time i Yi-1 = the observed value of the series at time i-1 Yi-2 = the observed value of the series at time i-2 Yi-p = the observed value of the series at time i-p A0 = fixed parameter to be estimated from least-squares regression analysis A1.Second Order Autoregressive Model (7. A p-th order autoregressive model deals with the effects of the relationships between consecutive values. Ap = Autoregression parameters to be estimated from the least-squares regression analysis = a non-auto-correlated random (error) component (with mean = 0 and constant variance) The first-order autoregressive model is similar in the form to the linear regression model. The selection of an appropriate autoregressive model is a complex task. a1.. A second-order autoregressive model considers the effects of the relationship between the consecutive values in a series and between values that are two periods apart. the second-order autoregressive model is similar to the multiple regression model with two independent variables and the p-th order autoregressive model. ... …. . with the corresponding estimates denoted by a0. it is needed to be concerned with . values two periods apart. …. In the autoregressive models. the parameters are given by the symbols A0.. Ap.2) p-th Order Autoregressive Model (7.. On the other hand. . with corresponding estimates denoted by b0. …. the regression parameters are given by the symbols . . ….. In the regression models. is similar in the form to the multiple regression model. and so on – up to the values p periods apart. …. It is needed to weigh the advantages that are due to simplicity against the concern of failing to take into account important autocorrelation behaviour inherent in data. b1. ap. A2. A first order autoregressive model is concerned only with the correlation between consecutive values in a series. bk.

for example. This requirement is reasonable when the contractor needs to purchase a significant amount of materials and supplies during the early stages of the project. such as weekly or monthly payments rather than quarterly payments. . which is p periods apart. If sufficient cash isn‟t available to meet expenses. The reasons for this concern is that p out of n data values will be lost in obtaining an estimate of Ap when comparing each data value with another data value. If more cash is coming in than is going out during the early part of the project. Cash outflow usually is smaller in the early stages of a project. · Make equal monthly payments based on the expected duration of the project. charges for materials. money must be borrowed. along with a charge for borrowing the money – the interest. the number of observations in the series. The key to managing cash flow is to ensure that cash comes in faster than it goes out. Managing Cash Flow Managing cash flow in a project is an important task to be performed. it‟s desirable to receive payments from the customer early in the project rather than later. is not too large. The flow of cash coming in from the customer can be controlled by the terms of payment in the contract. · Provide frequent payments. The contractor might try to negotiate payment terms that require the customer to do one or more of the following: · Provide a down payment at the start of the project. the contractor may be able to invest some of the excess cash and earn interest. From the contractor‟s point of view. unnecessary parameters – specially if n. and travel expenses. Borrowing increases project cost because any money borrowed must be paid back to the lender.the selection of a higher-order model requiring the estimation of numerous. Managing cash flow involves making sure that sufficient payments are received from the customer in time so that one has enough money to cover the costs of performing the project – employee payroll. invoices from subcontractors. The saved funds can then be withdrawn to meet the greater cash outflow requirements later in the project.

You can flesh out the following information from the above diagram:   The Cut wood activity can be carried out in parallel to the Build shed base & Supervise cement hardening ones – this of course assumes that you have different teams working on each set of activities. The dark arrows show what is known as the Critical Path (Buy materials->Build shed base->Supervise cement hardening->Assemble shed).The worst scenario from the contractor‟s point of view is to have the customer make only one payment at the end of the project. the WBS does not show the dependencies or sequence between these activities. Describe how you can display data using Gantt chart and Network Diagram Chart Network diagrams and Gantt Charts Answer:A Work breakdown Structure ( WBS) allows you to identify groups of activities that you need to accomplish in your project.4. Once your network diagram is ready. Any delay in this sequence . only then can you realistically start determining your project‟s schedule. The Critical Path is the sequence of activities that takes up the most time to complete your project. the contractor will need to borrow money to have cash available to meet expenses throughout the project. A network diagram will allow you to illustrate this. In this situation. Q. However. Here is a simplified network diagram for the “Build Shed” project: The above network diagram shows the relationships (arrows) between the main activities (rectangles) that are required to build a shed.

A Gantt chart is a very useful project management tool that provides you with an overview of your schedule (something that the network diagram did not). Form a series of p “lagged predictor” variables such that the first variable lags by 1 time period. Q. Include all of this information in your project plan.5. a number of project management software packages allow you to show such relationships on a Gantt chart providing you with an overview of the schedule. 2. Here is the Gantt chart for the build shed project: A Gantt chart does not show the relationships between the activities of your project. List the steps involved in Steps involved in Autoregressive Model Steps involved in Autoregressive Model Answer:1. Therefore. and so on and the last predictor variable lags by p time periods. you should monitor carefully monitor all activities on this path. the second variable lags by 2 time periods.of activities will impact the overall timeframe of your project. you need to create your Gantt chart. the sequence of these activities. the highest-order parameter in the autoregressive model to be evaluated. . and the critical path of your project. and the overall schedule of the project. Thanks to the WBS. However. The Gantt chart After you have finished working on your network diagram. network diagram and Gantt chart you now know what are the activities involved in a project. Choose a value for p. realizing that the t-test for significance is based on n-2p-1 degrees of freedom.

events. It can also be described as an analytic technique used during project planning to determine the sequence of activities and their interrelationship within the network of activities that will be required by the project. 5. the highest order autoregressive parameter in the model. Answer:Network Analysis is a core technique available to the Project Managers for planning and controlling their projects. Write a short note on project crashing using network analysis.3.6. called branches (or arcs or links). Networks A network is a set of points. Network analysis is a mathematical model of analyzing complex problems.6) (b) If the null hypothesis is not rejected.5) and forecasting (equation 7. It involves breaking down a complex project‟s data into its component parts (activities. The following figure shows a network with 5 nodes. . and a set of curves. and other analyses requiring the consideration of path and direction. The model is used for fitting (equation 7. It has wide application in the architectural projects. only those networks are considered in which a given pair of nodes is joined by at most one branch. by representing the problem as a network of lines and nodes. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the highest order autoregressive parameter is statistically significant.) and plotting them to show their interdependencies and interrelationships. the autoregressive model with all p predictors is selected for fitting (equation 7. Nodes are usually denoted by the uppercase letters and branches are denoted by the nodes they use to connect. etc.6) Q. It real-life scenario. as in transportation or project scheduling. durations. In network analysis. it can be used as a data processing method using topologically linked data such as street maps or river networks with the purpose of determining the routes between geographic locations. Test for the significance of Ap. that connect certain pairs of nodes. (a) If the null hypothesis is rejected. steps 3 and 4 are repeated with an evaluation of the new highest-order parameter whose predictor variable lags by p-1 years. The test for the significance of the new highest order parameter is based on a t-distribution whose degrees of freedom are revised to correspond with the new number of predictors. the p-th variable is discarded. Use Microsoft Excel to perform a least-squares analysis of the multiple regression model containing all p lagged predictor variables. 4. transportations projects etc. called nodes.5) and forecasting (equation 7.

the connected network is called a tree. but branches AB and CD are not connected.3 Minimum-Span Problems A minimum-span problem involves a set of nodes and a set of proposed branches. A minimal spanning tree may be found by initially . The arrow of the branch AB in Figure 2. but the sequence of connected branches {CA. directions are indicated by the arrows.Figure 2. If the two branches have a common node. If the path is unique for each pair of nodes. In figure 2. no node is repeated. CB} is not a path. Equivalently. one of these paths must contain a branch whose removal does not disconnect the network. DA.1 signifies that this branch is directed from A to B. in case of the deletion of the DE. the network is not a tree. labeled A through E. as node C occurs in it twice. Any movement along this branch must originate at A and it must end at B. If two nodes in a connected network are joined by two paths.1. AD. {ED. In figure 2. BC. CD and DE. Any movement in the direction B to A will not be permitted. none of them oriented. and the six branches are defined by the curves AB. Each proposed branch has a nonnegative cost associated with it.1 is a network consisting of five nodes. Schematically. branches AB and AC are connected. AD.1. since there would not be a path linking D with E. The objective is to construct a connected network that contains all the nodes and is such that the sum of the costs associated with those branches actually used is minimum. A network is said to be connected if for each pair of node in the network there exists at least one path joining the pair. Since D and C are joined by the three paths. AC. 2.1: Network Figure 2. Removing such a branch leads to the lowering of the total cost. It is to be assumed that there are enough proposed branches to ensure the existence of a solution. The minimum-span problem can be solved by a tree. A branch is oriented if it has a direction associated with it. A path is a sequence of connected branches such that in the alternation of nodes and branches. The network is connected. and remains connected even if branches DA and AB are deleted. then these two branches are said to be connected. However. a tree is a connected network having one more node than branch. AB} is a path. DC. the network would not remain connected.

and the cheapest such branch is identified. At each stage of the iterative process. All branches linking these nodes to the unconnected nodes are considered.selecting any one node and determining which branch incident on the selected node has the smallest cost. we add this branch to the solution. the attention is to be focused on the nodes which are already linked together. it can be proved that the minimal spanning tree is unique and is produced by the above algorithm for any choice of the starting node. AD and AC. Nodes A and D are connected. The iterative process is to be terminated when all the nodes have been linked. This branch is accepted as part of the final network. they are AE. In case that all the costs are distinct. Since AD is the cheapest. the branches are to be chosen arbitrarily in order to break the tie. The numbers on the branches represent the costs of including the branches in the final network. The branch is accepted as part of the final network. as shown in Figure 2. respectively. . with costs 10.2: Minimum-Span Problem Example We arbitrarily choose A as our starting node and we consider all branches incident on it.3 (a). 1 and 4. The network is to be then completed iteratively. In case of the ties. Figure 2. 2. AB. Example 1 – Solve the minimum-span problem for the network given in the figure below.

Figure 2.3 (b): Minimum-Span Problem Example 1 Figure 2.3 (c): Minimum-Span Problem Example 1 .3 (a): Minimum-Span Problem Example 1 Figure 2.

3 (e): Minimum-Span Problem Example 1 Shortest-Route Problems .Figure 2.3 (d): Minimum-Span Problem Example 1 Figure 2.

it suggests the direction in which the solution algorithm should be applied. A minimum-cost path is obtained recursively. in ascending order of cost. Step 4 – Consider all marked nodes having un-circled branches under them in the current master list. Step 5 – Z* is the value assigned to the sink. Denote the smallest of these sums as M. and circle that branch whose cost contributed to M. Go to Step 3. For each one. Step 3 – If the newly marked node is the sink. go to Step 5. Locate the cheapest branch incident on the source and encircle it. Delete from the master list all other branches that have the newly marked node as second node. by including in the path each circled branch whose second node belongs to the path. One node is designated as the source. The following algorithm is to be used to solve the Shortest-route problems – Step 1 – Construct a master list by tabulating under each node. . mark the second node of this branch and assign this node a value equal to the cost of the branch. add the value assigned to the node to the cost of the cheapest un-circled branch under it. In the shortest-route problem. the branches incident on it. Delete from the master list all other branches having this newly starred node as second node. the objective is to determine a path joining the source and the sink such that the sum of the costs associated with the branches in the path is minimum. These terms don‟t imply an orientation of the branches. However. Next. Each branch under a given node is written with that node as its first node. go to Step 4. Step 2 – Mark the source and assign it the value 0.A shortest-route problem involves a connected network having a nonnegative cost associated with each branch. If not. Mark the second node of this branch and assign it the value M. and the other node is designated as the sink. beginning with the sink.

Also describe the framework required for PERT & CPM Answer:PERT and CPM are the project management techniques created for the need of the Western and Military Establishments to plan. 3. Walker and J. Another important feature of the PERT/CPM is that it is a useful tool for evaluating the performance of the individuals and the teams. 2. Answer all the questions. CPM/PERT can answer following important questions – How long will the entire project take to be completed? What are the risks involved in this? Which are the critical activities or tasks in the project which could delay the entire project if they were not completed on time? Is the project on schedule. There are many variations of CPM/PERT which have been useful in planning costs.Fall 2011 Master of Business Administration-MBA Semester 4 Project Management – PM0015 . .4 Credits (Book ID:) Assignment Set. Navy. PERT/CPM is a great communication medium by which thinkers and planners at one level can communicate their ideas. E. it is found that PERT/CPM provides a focus around which managers could brain-storm and can put their ideas. Compute the longest time path through the network. 4. Draw the „Network‟ connecting all the activities. CPM/PERT developed along two parallel streams – one industrial and the other military. behind schedule or ahead of schedule? If the project has to be finished earlier than the planned.1 Explain Relationship between PERT & CPM. their doubts and fears for another level. In March 1959. Develop the relationships among the activities. Dummy arrows are used where required to avoid giving the same numbering to two activities. The first test was made in 1958. Kentucky. Define the Project and all of its significant activities or tasks. Rather than giving technical benefits. 5. Virginia. what is the best way to do this at the least cost? The Framework for PERT and CPM There are six steps which are common to both the techniques. when CPM was applied in the construction of a new chemical plant.2 (60 Marks) Note: Each question carries 10 Marks. Each activity should have unique event numbers. Assign time and/or estimates to each activity. The introduction of CPM greatly reduced the unproductive time from the 125 hours to the 93 hours. the CPM was applied in the planned shutdown at the Du Pont works in Louisville. Kelly. PERT was introduced first for the POLARIS missile program by the Program Evaluation Branch of the Special Projects office of the U. Decide which activities must precede and which must follow others. Q. scheduling manpower and machine time. The project (made up of several tasks) should have only a single start activity and a single finish activity. The calculations were so arranged so that they could be performed in the IBM Naval Ordinance Research Computer (NORC) at Dahlgren. CPM was first introduced by M.S. The procedure is as follows – 1. R. This is called the critical path. schedule and control the complex projects. This computation was designed for the UNIVAC-I computer.

because they are independent of each other and can start simultaneously. i. List & explain the steps in the PERT planning process..2 Describe Time-Cost optimization Algorithm. monitor and control the project. which is obtained by adding the crashing cost cumulatively to the normal cost Q. One technique which is very much useful in planning for the future needs is the forecasting. If these „critical‟ activities could be identified and assigned to the responsible persons. one reaches a point when further crashing is either not possible or does not result in the reduction of crashing of project duration Step 6 – Compute the total project cost by adding corresponding fixed cost to the direct cost. The steps involved in the project crashing are the following – Step 1 – Schedule a project with all its activities at their normal duration as well as identify the critical path and critical activities Step 2 – Calculate the cost slope for the different activities and rank the activities in the ascending order of the cost slope Step 3 – Crash the activities on the critical path as per the ranking. This means that the project duration can be reduced duly by simultaneous crashing of activities in the parallel critical paths Step 5 – Crashing as per Steps 3 and 4. managers must find ways to keep abreast of the effects that such changes will have on their organizations. the activities are concurrent. other paths may also become critical. without affecting the whole project. which make up the longest path through the activity network control the entire project. i. schedule. The key concept used by both in PERT as well as CPM is that a small set of activities. Ans: Because of the variation of the economic and business conditions over time. they all have one common goal – to make . we get parallel critical paths. This is essentially the case in organizations which have supervisory resources so that work can be delegated to various departments that will be responsible for the activities to be performed and their completion as per the planning.e. management resources could be optimally used by concentrating on the few activities which determine the fate of the entire project. rescheduled and resources for them can be reallocated flexibly.. The non-critical activities can be re-planned.6. Use the network to help plan.3 Explain the importance of business forecasting. The second activity can begin only after the first activity is completed. Although numerous forecasting methods have been devised. Q. In the certain cases. activity having lower cost slope would be crashed first to the maximum extent possible Step 4 – As the critical path duration is reduced by crashing in Step 3.e. The five important questions that should be asked before the preparation of an activity network are the following –  Is this a Start Activity?  Is this a Finish Activity?  What activity precedes this?  What activity follows this?  What activity is concurrent with this? Some activities are serially linked. Answer:Time-Cost Optimization Algorithm The process of shortening a project is called crashing and is usually achieved by adding extra resources to an activity.

Steps in the PERT Planning Process PERT planning involves the following steps – 1. and make assessments of other needs. Qualitative forecasting methods are especially important when historical data are unavailable. Marketing executives of a large retailing corporation must be able to forecast product demand. Quantitative forecasting methods make use of historical data. Determination of the critical path 6. officials in government must be able to forecast such things as unemployment. The milestones include the events marking the beginning and the end of one or more activities. Determination of the Activity Sequence This step may be combined with the activity in the identification step since the activity sequence is evident for some tasks. consumer preferences. inventory and so on. Construction of a network diagram 4. Identification of the specific activities and the milestones 2. Forecasting is highly essential in our modern society to take necessary precautionary action. The goal of these methods is to study what has happened in the past in order to better understand the underlying structure of the data and thereby provide a way of predicting future values. inflation. leading indicator analysis. and the annually recorded total sales revenues of a particular company. sales revenues. the daily closing prices of a particular stock on the New York Stock Exchange constitute a time series. Administrators of a college or university must make forecasts of student enrolments and consider the trends in curricula that are based on technological developments in order to plan for the construction of dormitories and other academic facilities. Quantitative forecasting methods can be subdivided into two types – time-series and casual.predictions of the future events so that the projections can then be incorporated into the planning and strategy process. Other tasks may require more analysis in order to determine the exact order in which they must be performed. diffusion indexes. The need for forecasting encompasses the modern society. . and other economic barometers. Determination of the proper sequence of the activities 3. The directors of an airline must be able to fill equipment and personnel needs based on forecasts of the number of passengers and revenues. industrial production. These include multiple regression analysis with lagged variables. For example. plan for student and faculty recruitment. Time-series forecasting methods involve the projection of future values of a variable based entirely on the past and present observations of that variable. and expected revenues from personal and corporate income taxes in order to formulate policies. Identification of the Specific Activities and Milestones The activities are the tasks that are required to be completed in the project. Updating of the PERT chart as the project progresses 1. Other examples of economic or business time series are the monthly publication of the Consumer Price Index. in order to make timely decisions regarding current and future operations and to assist in strategic planning activities. Casual forecasting methods involve the determination of factors that relate to the variable to be predicted. It is helpful to list the tasks in a table that in later steps can be expanded to include information on the sequence and duration. Estimation of the time required for each activity 5. For example. the quarterly statements of gross domestic product (GDP). 2. There are two common approaches to forecasting – qualitative and quantitative. econometric modelling. Qualitative forecasting methods are considered to be highly subjective and judgmental.

so the variance is given by – [(Pessimistic – Optimistic)/6]2. The amount of time that a non-critical path activity can be delayed without delaying the project is referred to as slack time. Three standard deviations from the mean are commonly used for the pessimistic time. 5. This time is different from the expected time. Determination of 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. For the original activity-on-arc model. Estimation of the Activity Times Weeks or days are commonly used unit of time for activity completion.3. 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 activity can start and finish considering its predecessor activities. For the beta distribution. Pessimistic time – The pessimistic time is the longest time that an activity might require. the activities are depicted by arrowed lines and milestones are depicted by circles of „bubbles‟. The latest start and finish times are the latest times that an activity can start and finish without delaying the project. 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. The critical path then is the path through the network in which none of the activities have slack. but any consistent unit of time can be used. 4. The difference in the latest and earliest finish of each activity‟s slack. Most likely time – Most likely time is the completion time having the highest probability. the total project time does not change. if three standard deviation times were selected for the optimistic and pessimistic times. It is the 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. Manual drawings may require several drafts for correct portrayal of the relationships among the activities. LS and LF are found by working backward through the network. For each activity. then there are six standard deviations between them. Construction of the Network Diagram Using the activity sequence information. To calculate the variance for each activity completion time. it may be helpful to determine the following four quantities for each activity –  ES – Earliest Start Time  EF – Earliest Finish Time  LS – Latest Start Time  LF – Latest Finish Time These times are calculated using the expected time for the relevant activities. Software packages simplify the step by automatically converting the tabular information into a network diagram. the model usually includes three time estimates – Optimistic time – Generally optimistic time represents the shortest time in which the activity can be completed. The variance in the project . The critical path determines the total calendar time required for the project. a network diagram can be drawn showing the sequence of the serial and parallel activities. PERT assumes a beta probability distribution for the time estimates. If activities outside the critical path speed up or slow down (within limits). If the critical path is not immediately obvious. A distinguishing feature of PERT is its ability to deal with uncertainty in activity completion times.

including chance event outcomes. resource costs and utility. As the project unfolds. Updating of the PERT chart as the Project Progresses Adjustments in the PERT chart are to be made as the project progresses. Write a short note on project crashing using network analysis.4 What do you understand by a decision tree. the project can be accelerated by adding the resources required to decrease the time for the activities in the critical path. Q. In cases where there are delays. An example of the decision tree is shown below – . Ans: A Decision tree (or tree diagram) is a decision support tool that uses a tree-like graph or model of decisions and their possible consequences. can help to assure all factors are given proper consideration. Such a shortening of the project sometimes is referred to as project crashing. Since the critical path determines the completion date of the project. when decision making. the estimated times can be replaced with the actual times. It can be described as an algorithm or a formal step-wise process used in coming to a conclusion or making a judgment.completion time can be calculated by summing the variances in the completion times of the activities in the critical path. one can calculate the probability that the project will be completed by a certain date assuming a normal probability distribution for the critical path. The decision tree analysis is often conducted when a number of future outcomes of scenarios remains uncertain. The decision tree is a diagram that presents the decision under consideration and. and is a form of brainstorming which. The normal distribution assumption holds if the number of activities in the path is large enough for the central limit theory to be applied. A decision tree is a logical model represented as a binary (two-way split) tree that shows how the value of a target variable can be predicted by using the values of a set of predictor variables. Another use of decision tree is as a descriptive means for calculating conditional probabilities. It is widely used for project policy decision making. along different branches. 6. the implications that may arise from choosing one path or another. Decision trees have vast applications in operations research and decision analysis for identifying a strategy most likely to reach a specific goal. A decision tree analysis is a specific technique in which a diagram (decision tree) is used for the purposes of assisting the project leader and the project team in making a difficult decision. additional resources may be needed to stay on schedule and the PERT chart may be modified to reflect the new situation. Given this variance.

if the product Y is opted. it is possible to get an insight of the future prospects (expected returns) of both the products and accordingly it is possible for the company to choose the most profitable product for development. The Gantt View shows the Gantt Chart in the right part of the window with the Task Sheet in the left part. For developing the product X. there is probability of 0. they have to make an initial investment of INR 2 Lakh.3 that the return will be INR 3 Lakh. .Figure 1: Decision Tree on choosing between two products Figure 1 describes a decision tree for choosing between two products X and Y. whereas for developing the product Y. A company has to decide upon development of two products X and Y. It is important to keep an eye on this process. The system will hold task information in a task database.5 Describe in brief the various pages of the task information form in the MS Project software. Now. the system will update the appropriate data and views to reflect the entries. The order of entry should be in the logical progression but this is not essential as it can be changed. They can develop only one product at a time. Now as per the decision tree.6 that the return will be INR 3 Lakh after a year. This is one of the two databases the system uses and the other is the resource database. Project Crashing as in question 6 of assignment set 1 Q. they have to make an initial investment of INR 3 Lakh.4 that the return will be INR 2 Lakh after a year and there is probability of 0. there is probability of 0. Now. The tasks which have been identified at the Design Stage must be entered in this stage. this will be discussed in a later section. in case of opting the product X.7 that the return in one year will be INR 1 Lakh and there is probability of 0. As each entry is made. Answer:Task entry is the main activity in setting up a new project. which we cannot access directly but is used by the system whenever we view task data. Normal Task entry will be by using the standard Task Sheet. It is important to understand that the system checks the data that it holds and where the data does not cross check then the system will generally update the database to make it right. after analyzing the decision tree.

Finish Date: The ID numbers for the preceding Tasks that Predecessors: are linked to this Task. ID: The Name of the Task. The names of the resources performing or used Resources: in the Task.Figure 2: Task Information Box / Task Sheet (General Section) The task sheet is a view of the selected task with information shown in the columns as follows: The Task Identification number. This is the current Scheduled Start date for the Start Date: Task. Name: The time the Task will take including the time Duration: units. Table 1: Information in the Task Sheet . Not the Planned or Actual Start. The Scheduled Finish date.

% Complete: A measure of the completion of the Task if it has been started. you have to choose View. More Views. To do this. As the entries are made. Tables and Descriptions Resource Table ID: The identification number of the Resource Resource Name: The name of the resource. ID: The Task Identification number. the Gantt Chart will automatically be updated to display the tasks. Units The number of units available for the resource.Figure 3: Task Information Sheet (Predecessors Section) Task Entry Form One can select the Task Entry view to see the Gantt Chart in the upper pane and the Task Form in the lower pane. If someone is using the Task Form. . if this is not entered the system will calculate it from the data entered and the relationships defined. Duration: The time the Task will take including the time units. Start: The scheduled start date. From the Task Sheet the following entries can be made. Task Entry. Task Name: The Name of the Task. it is possible for him/her to enter and/or view the following: Name: The name of the task Duration: The length of time the task will take and the units of time. Fixed: A check box to specify the start date to be fixed. Finish: The scheduled finish date. entered or calculated as above.

Work The amount of work currently assigned to the resource. h for hours. type the appropriate information. Press TAB In the Duration column. Type: The relationship with the current Task which will be FS. type the value of the duration.  Open the Task information box. In order to enter task descriptions and durations one cell at a time:      In the Task Name column.6. type m for minutes. Clicking the mouse inside or outside the range will deselect the range. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as required. Lag The time delay between the end of the Predecessor the start of the Successor. Press ENTER Press LEFT ARROW to return to the Task Name column and repeat steps 1 through 4 as required. Q. Entering task descriptions and durations by selecting a range:       It is possible to move to the previous cell without deselecting the range through pressing SHIFT+TAB. select the first available cell and type the name of the task. Select the first cell (the numbered cell) of the desired range. If the duration is anything other than days. Describe how you can change the duration of a project task Answer:Changing Duration The default duration is 1day. Predecessor Table ID The identification number of the Predecessor. Completion of all the fields at entry time is not necessary as more information is added so the system will update the boxes.  Change the durations for each Module to 2d. To change this one can simply overtype with the new value.  Set the duration to 1.5d . or w for weeks. In the first cell. If this is not entered the system will look it up using the ID number. Press TAB In the Duration column. or SS. or FF. It is only necessary to enter the data that has been determined in the design stage. Predecessor Name: The name of the Predecessor.  Select all the remaining tasks. Drag the mouse through the range of cells you want to include.  When the Wizard appears READ THE INFORMATION then click on the OK button. type the desired information.