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Unformatted text preview: ased on the Law of Compensating Errors discussed in Chapter 4. That the Law of Compensating Errors applies to the productivity ratios follows from knowing that the information used to calculate the task productivity ratios is the same information that is used to calculate the productivity ratio for the packages that contain them. 5.4— The Importance of Productivity Measurement More than anything else on a project, productivity is the thing a project manager can manage once the actual work of the proj - Page 133 ect has begun. In a sense, the project manager cannot manage quantification deviations or changes in the scope of the work. Quantification deviations are ultimately caused by estimating errors by those who have estimated the work. They are already there waiting to be discovered. Also, changes in the scope of the work either are introduced by the client or are discoveries that significant design or specification options were either overlooked or have become available through new technologies or methods. The project manager can do little about any of these types of deviations on a day-to-day basis. But productivity is something that is happening day by day. Moreover, project expenditures on labor are usually the dominant cost component on a project. It is through enhancing productivity that a project manager can increase project performance and build a cushion against unperceived difficulties down the road. While the project manager often oversees the development of the project plan, it is frequently the case that a business development department within a company develops the project plan and the project manager is not selected until after the contract is successfully negotiated. In such cases the project manager has little to no control over the original estimates of time and resources. Also, the project manager often has little influence over the final negotiated rates for materials and equipment. These expenditures are often determined by purchasing departments or internal equipment management departments. The experienced project manager knows that the primary resource over which he or she has control is the labor resource. It is the productivity ratio that measures how well this resource is being put to use. While productivity can be influenced by factors outside the project manager's control, such as inclement weather and slow materials and equipment arrivals, it is often the case that productivity is largely influenced by the motivation of the workforce. On large projects that span long periods of time, the project manager has an extended opportunity to motivate the work- Page 134 force and to enhance productivity. On high-technology projects, productivity can often be enhanced by judicious expenditures on automation support and training. Even on low-technology projects in the construction industry, it has been found that workers respond positively to the perception that they are learning something new on the job. On large projects, workers' salaries go on for long periods of time. The cost of short courses to improve worker skills at company expens...
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- Spring '10