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Chap003 - Chapter 03 Project Management CHAPTER 3 PROJECT...

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Chapter 03 - Project Management CHAPTER 3 PROJECT MANAGEMENT Review and Discussion Questions 1. What was the most complex project that you have been involved in? Give examples of the following as they pertain to the project: the work breakdown structure, tasks, subtasks, and work package. Were you on the critical path? Did it have a good project manager? Obviously, the answer will vary. Remember that the project could be in a non-profit environment as well. School plays, fund-raisers, and social events could all be examples of projects. 2. What are some reasons project scheduling is not done well? Several problems with project scheduling are discussed at the end of the chapter. The uncertainties inherent in the activities comprising the network of any project make it necessary to update the schedule on a regular basis. Maintaining accurate time and cost estimates is often difficult and frustrating. Managing this evolving process requires a discipline that is not always available. 3. Discuss the graphic presentations in Exhibit 3.4. Are there any other graphic outputs you would like to see if you were project manager? The various graphs and charts presented are typical of the graphical techniques for presenting the necessary data. Most are adaptable to computer programming. The major requirements in the graphics package include planned activities related to time, a milestone chart to show major achievements, a breakdown to show how funds were spent plus a plot of actual completion versus planned. 4. Which characteristics must a project have for critical path scheduling to be applicable? What types of projects have been subjected to critical path analysis? Project characteristics necessary for critical path scheduling to be applicable are: a. Well-defined jobs whose completion marks the end of the project. b. The jobs of tasks are independent in that they may be started, stopped, and conducted separately within a given sequence. c. The jobs or tasks are ordered in that they must follow each other in a given sequence. d. An activity once started is allowed to continue without interruption until it is completed. A wide variety of projects have used critical path analysis. Some industries that more commonly use this approach include aerospace, construction, and computer software. 22
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Chapter 03 - Project Management 5. What are the underlying assumptions of minimum-cost scheduling? Are they equally realistic? The underlying assumptions of minimum cost scheduling are that it costs money to expedite a project activity and it costs money to sustain or lengthen the completion time of the project. While both assumptions are generally realistic, it often happens that there are little or no out-of- pocket costs associated with sustaining a project. Personnel are often shifted between projects, and in the short run there may be no incentive to compete a project in “normal time.” 6. “Project control should always focus on the critical path.” Comment.
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