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Unformatted text preview: o reduce overtime expenses. Or some tasks might require the workers to have a certain skill and there may be a limited number of workers Page 183 with this skill, which prevents multiple tasks requiring this skill to be performed at the same time. Sometimes, there are other sources of information that can be used to assist the project planners with their estimates of the durations of the tasks. Large companies that engage in specific types of tasks regularly often gather statistics on the average durations for certain types of tasks. Also, the experience and judgment of the project planners plays a role in deciding what the durations should be. Determining the durations of tasks is very much an estimating function, just as determining the budgets of the tasks is an estimating function. For the example project, the durations were given in Figure 7-5. These durations have already been entered into the example project scheduling database that is included on the CD at the back of this book. If you use Microsoft Project to open this schedule database ( example.mpp), it should produce a Gantt Chart View that looks like Figure 7- 7. You can use the scroll bar on the right side of the Gantt Chart View window to scroll backward and forward to view the whole schedule, as it does not fit entirely within the window. Also, you may need to suppress a table on the left side of the Gantt chart or scale the chart to fit the window in order to get your Gantt Chart View to look like the one shown in Figure 7-7. To scale the chart to fit the window, click on the View button at the top of the window, and then select Zoom at the bottom of the menu that drops down. This opens a zoom window so you can specify the scaling you desire. Select the Entire project option, and then click on OK . This will scale the chart to fit your Gantt Chart View window. From this view of the schedule it can be seen that the project can be completed in a little over a year from the time it is started. What is not as obvious is that the tasks are arranged on the time line in accordance with their early date set. This is characteristic of simple scheduling. Later, when we discuss resource leveling, we will find that the schedule may have tasks TE
Team-Fly® AM FL Y Figure 7-7. Gantt chart of example project schedule. starting and finishing at intermediate times between their early date set and their late date set. It is important to understand what types of dates you are getting from your scheduling system. The dates you get determine the time phasing of the control budget and consequently the shape of the baseline labor curve on the Earned Value Chart. This, in turn, influences the performance evaluation of the project in each time period. When you do simple scheduling, you usually get early start dates, and these may not always be appropriate to enter into your project management system. Early start and end dates are always optimistic On real projects, most tasks do not start or finish on the earliest possible dates for them to s...
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