heizer10_ch03_sg - 3 Project Management Summary This is...

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3 Project Management Summary This is your first quantitative chapter, but it also requires an ability to picture how work is accomplished. Projects come in many sizes and usually clients or managers want them completed yesterday. Projects are associated with a unique event that has a beginning and end. Some projects, such as building a house, are repeated, but each house is a separate project. This is true for a road, marketing campaign, new product introduction, or training seminar. We must concern ourselves with planning the project, scheduling it, and controlling its outcomes. A key feature of most projects is that tasks do not always proceed in sequence. Activities can occur simultaneously, which can short a project’s duration. Knowing which tasks occur in what sequence, then, provides structure to managing the project. Organizing a project may require teams that do not necessarily follow standard hierarchy. Alternatively, for organizations that are constantly performing projects (like a construction company), the structure is specifically designed to handle multiple projects. Organizations regularly assign and reassign specialists to new projects. Many techniques help with project management. This chapter focuses on three. The first is known as Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which helps identify and organize the tasks associated with a project. Think of an outline and you will understand WBS. Higher levels in the outline identify major tasks. The lower levels describe the activities to be completed. These activities are grouped into “work packages.” WBS provides the basic material for defining the work, but each of the tasks requires a schedule. Project scheduling involves the sequencing and allotting of time to the project activities. While the WBS lists the tasks to be developed, an important characteristic of project management is the order in which tasks occur. The other two techniques described in this chapter help to assign start and end dates for tasks, as well as show when certain tasks can occur simultaneously. The first tool is the Gantt Chart, which shows tasks, order of performance, completion, and overall project time estimates. The second tool uses a network approach to map out specific tasks and their sequences. Network approaches such as PERT and CPM (described below) have the ability to consider precedence relationships and interdependency of activities. Many companies make software packages that automate the creation and use of Gantt charts and network analysis. 16
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Project Management 17 Learning Objectives 1. Use a Gantt chart for scheduling 2. Draw AOA and AON networks 3. Complete forward and backward passes for a project 4. Determine a critical path 5. Calculate the variance of activity times 6. Crash a project Skills to Develop Distinguish between sequential and parallel tasks Identify unique tasks within a project Organize tasks into a work breakdown structure (WBS) Identify precedence among the tasks Draw AOA and AON networks
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heizer10_ch03_sg - 3 Project Management Summary This is...

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