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Ch13_184-211 - 72106 CH13 GGS 3:16 PM Page 184 C H A P T E...

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184 T EACHING S UGGESTIONS Teaching Suggestion 13.1: Importance of PERT. PERT has rebounded and, due to PC software such as Microsoft Project, become a highly used quantitative analysis technique. It can be useful for organizations of all sizes and any individuals in- volved in planning and controlling projects. A good way to start this chapter is to discuss the capabilities of PERT. Students can be asked to contact a local firm (such as a builder) to ask about the use of PERT. Teaching Suggestion 13.2: Getting Students Involved with PERT. PERT is a technique that students can apply immediately. For ex- ample, students can be asked to use PERT to plan the courses they will need to take and the timing of taking these courses until grad- uation. Another approach would be to have students take a typical semester and use PERT to plan the term papers, exams, and assignments that must be finished to successfully complete the semester. Teaching Suggestion 13.3: Constructing a Network. One of the most difficult tasks of PERT or CPM is to develop an accurate network that reflects the true situation. Students should be given practice in this important aspect of network analysis as early as possible. Use the end-of-chapter problems. Students can be asked to develop their own networks. We can’t stress enough the importance of drawing networks, since many students have a con- ceptual problem with the task. Teaching Suggestion 13.4: Using the Beta Distribution. PERT uses the beta distribution in estimating expected times and variances for each activity. As a matter of fact, it is questionable whether the beta distribution is appropriate. Students should be told that other distributions such as the normal curve can be used. A discrete probability distribution can also be used to determine expected times and variances. Instead of using optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic time estimates, an entire discrete distribu- tion can be used to determine expected times and variances. Teaching Suggestion 13.5: Finding the Critical Path. Finding the critical path is not too difficult if the steps given in this chapter are followed. Students should be reminded that in making the forward pass all activities must be completed before any activ- ity can be started. In the backward pass, students should be reminded that latest time is computed by making sure that the pro- ject would not be delayed for any activity. This means that all ac- tivities must be completed within the original project completion time. Teaching Suggestion 13.6: Project Crashing. In manually performing project crashing, the critical path may change. In many cases, two or more critical paths will exist after crashing. Students should be reminded of this problem. Fortu- nately, the linear programming approach or the use of PERT soft- ware, including QM for Windows, automatically takes care of this potential problem.
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