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Project planning methods



Project Planning
• A plan must be stated as a
– Set of targets
– The achievement or non achievement can be measured – Target start and completion date for each activity – Visibility of start and completion of activities
• Achieved by producing something tangible such as a product or deliverable

In Class!! Why Plan a project?


Why project planning • Ensure that the appropriate resources will be available precisely when required • Avoid different activities competing for the same resources at the same time • Produce a detailed schedule showing which staff carry out each activity • Produce a detailed plan against which actual achievement may be measured • Produce a timed cash flow forecast • Replan the project during its life to correct drift from the target 3 .

Objectives of planning • Feasibility assessment • Resource allocation • Detailed costing • Motivation • Co-ordination 4 .

could it be done with eight people in three months? 5 .Feasibility assessment • Is the project possible: – within required timescales – Resource constraints • Project plans allow us to forecast a completion date with any reasonable knowledge of its achievability. • If a project is estimated for 2 work years effort.

Resource allocation • What is the most effective ways of allocating resources to the project and when should they be available? • The Project plan allows us to investigate the relationship between timescales and resource availability 6 .

Detailed costing • How much will the project cost and when is the expenditure likely to take place? • Detailed estimates of costs and timelines can be achieved after producing: – activity plan – resource schedule 7 .

Motivation  Providing targets and being seen to monitor achievement against targets is an effective way of motivating staff particularly when they have been involved in setting those targets in the first place. 8 .

Co-ordination • Project plans provide effective – communication and – co-ordination among teams – Particularly where staff may need to be transferred between project teams or different departments 9 .

When to plan • Feasibility study – Estimate timescales – Risk • Not achieving target completion dates • Not keeping within budget • Post Feasibility study – Production of activity plans for resource availability – Cash flow control • Monitoring and replanning must continue to correct any drift that might prevent meeting time or cost targets 10 .

Project Schedules • Construct an ideal activity plan – Plan activities where resources are not a constraint • Risk Analysis – Identify potential problems – Might suggest alterations to the ideal plan • Resource allocation – May place constraints on when activities can be carried out • Schedule production – Indicates planned start and completion dates. resources requirements for each activity 11 .

Identifying activities Activity based approach: • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) – Identify the main tasks required to complete a project – Break the tasks down into a lower level of tasks – Each branch should be broken down at least to a level where each leaf may be assigned to an individual or responsible section within an organisation – Higher nodes represent a collection of activities – Leaves comprise of the list of activities. 12 .

Example of Activity based WBS Project Analyse Design Build Data Design Process Design Physical Design Relational Data Analysis Logical Data Design 13 .

5 Unit Test Tool Support 1.3 Software Test and Evaluation 1.2..2.1.1 Requirements Analysis 1.2 Architectural Design 1.3 Procedural Design 1. 14 .5 Software Requirements Analysis 1.5 Management Training Test & Evaluation 1.4 Code 1.5 Quality Assurance 1.4 System Requirements Analysis 1.3 Management Tools Support to Systems Engineering 1.6 Operations and Support Etc .2 Library Operations 1.3 Purchased Software 1.1 Software Dev.1.4 Management Reviews 1.7 Technical Reviews 1.1.6 Quality Control 1.1 Package Evaluation 1.4.1 Configuration Management Data Management 1.2 Support to Hardware Engineering 1.1..1.1 Deliverable Software Software Integration Test 1.2 Non-deliverable Software 1.1.3 Software Engineering Trade Studies 1.6 Interface Analysis Technical Training 1.2 Software Development 1.3.1 Project Management 1.2.Example 1.2 End-Product Acceptance Test Development facilities and tools 1.1 Software Systems Engineering Management 1.4 Test Data Management 1.3 Interface Control 1.4.5 Product Assurance Administrative Support Support to Systems Test 1.Work Breakdown Structure .3.

Sequencing and scheduling activities • Schedule indicates – Planned Project activities – Resources required and when • Techniques – Milestones – Gantt charts – PERT 15 .

• We estimate Checkpoints or milestones to allow progress to be periodically reviewed.Milestones • Project estimation is the business of establishing project milestones. 16 . • An essential aspect of project milestones is that they are specific measurable events.

Final Introductions. Distribute Final Copies Write Status Report 1 Write Status Report 2 Write Status Report 3 Write Status Report 4 Write Status Report 5 Write Status Report 6 Draft Decomposition Diagram 17 .Milestones TEAM PROJECT . Executive Summary. Appendices. Contents. Appendices. etc. Assigned Plan Date Actual Date Status Draft Introductions. etc.Recommended Milestone Management Plan Task/Deliverable Prep Cover. Assemble. Full Edit of Final Report Edit. etc.

with each bar representing a project task.Gantt Charts • These are a graphical project management technique. • The horizontal axis represents time & should include dates to signify the start & end of the particular tasks that we list along the vertical axis. 18 . • A Gantt chart is a bar chart.

2. Forward scheduling – Establish a project start-date & then schedule forward from that date. 19 . – This means the tasks. – We use the reverse scheduling strategy in most information system projects. & the allocation of resources to complete those tasks. Reverse scheduling – Establish a project deadline & then schedule backward from that date. a project completion date is calculated.Gantt Charts in Scheduling There are two basic scheduling approaches 1. – Based on the planned duration of tasks. & resources must be chosen to ensure that we can complete the project by the deadline. their duration.

Gantt chart .example Room Assignments 12 10 AM 1 AM 2 AM 3 AM 4 AM 5 AM 6 AM 7 AM 8 AM 9 AM AM 11 AM 12 10 PM 1 PM 2 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM 7 PM 8 PM 9 PM PM 11 PM 12 AM 1 AM 1 2 3 4 20 .

Gantt chart .example .

A nice feature of Gantt charts is the ability to factor a top-level chart into one or more lower levels of chart. Gantt Charts can be used in resource assignment & management 5. Gantt charts clearly show the overlap of scheduled tasks. which is quite a common occurrence in systems development.The benefits of using Gantt Charts in controlling information systems projects 1. 2. 3. Gantt Charts can be used in scheduling 4. Gantt Chart can be used in progress evaluation 22 .

which we will look at next. • On a Gantt chart. 23 . • After we have identified the project team. Gantt in 1917. with each bar representing a project task. they remain a popular and effective method of project scheduling and progress evaluation. • Unlike PERT charts. the horizontal axis is a calendar timeline. we can also establish personal calendars to block out individual commitments.Project Management Using Gantt Charts • Developed by Henry L. they do not show the dependency of one task on another. • The horizontal axis represents time and should include dates to signify the start and end of the particular tasks that we list along the vertical axis. • A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart.

If we record actual time spent on tasks. • Resources are people. we can enter the number of staff required to do a task into the bar on the diagram. • We can assign costs to resources to assist in budgeting for the project. • For example.Gantt Charts in Resource Assignment and Management • It is possible to enhance the Gantt Chart in several ways. and tools that you assign to the completion of a task. 24 . • Resources complete the tasks that you have included in a Gantt Chart. material. we can compare budgets to actual expenses.

• Draw a bold vertical line at right angles to the horizontal axis. • We can now evaluate project progress. completely shade in the bar that represents it. intersecting the axis at the current date.Gantt Charts in Progress Evaluation • Project managers are frequently required to report project progress • Gantt charts often feature in progress reports because of their simplicity and ability to compare the planned schedule with the actual performance. • To facilitate this we need to extend our notation slightly: • If you have completed a task. 25 . • If a task has been partially completed shade in a proportion of the bar representing the proportion of the task that has been completed. • Non shaded bars represent tasks that have not begun.