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Unformatted text preview: ject planning and how to use the desktop computer tools provided with this book to do project planning. In later chapters we discuss project execution, which in a way is the easier part, and how to use these desktop tools for project control. In this chapter, a concise definition or description of each of the five activities of project planning is given. Also included is a discussion of the rationale for these activities, presented within the framework of business practices. These practices have proven essential in the consistent application of the methods of modern project management and in the establishing of credibility between a project manager and the project manager's client(s). They exist to ensure that the project management team understands the client's objectives, their responsibilities, and the need for consistent and continuing planning and control. Furthermore, their consistent application ensures that the results of the methods embodied in the practices are repeatable. 2.1— Subdivision of the Work The essential idea behind project planning is the subdivision of the work into manageable pieces. These pieces are called work packages. For this reason, subdivision of the work is often referred to as "packaging the work." Work packages are elements of work that are small enough that the responsibility for performing them can be assigned to a single individual. This does not mean that individual actually performs all the work of the work package. Indeed, the person responsible for a work package may be a manager who assigns the work to others. But the fact that each work package has a single individual who has Page 17 performance responsibility is a fundamental concept in project management. Each work package is individually estimated and scheduled. Specifically how this is done is explained later in this chapter. In this section it suffices to assume that since the work packages are conceptually "small," it is always possible to easily estimate accurately how much time and money it will take to complete each work package. Another useful assumption, which needs to be enforced as a policy, is that each work package is of short duration. Projects always have reporting periods. The reporting period may be a week or a month or any other convenient time period that is useful for a specific project. At the end of each reporting period, the status of each active work package is reported, together with the actual cost and labor-hours expended to date on the package. The assumption that a work package is of short duration means that it spans at most a few reporting periods. The total cost of the project at any point in time and the status of the project are derived from the expenditure and status information for each work package. Specifically how this is done is explained in Chapter 3. The subdivision of the work is important in project management because it facilitates the management of the work, it facilitates the estimation of the amount and cost of the work, and it provides a means for calculating the cost and status of the project at any point in time. There is a specific method for...
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2011 for the course ACC 9 taught by Professor Yeetan during the Spring '10 term at Sunway University College.
- Spring '10