This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: d as a tool, and managers should not become slaves to the
It is also very easy to create schedules that look good on paper but won’t work in practice. The main reason
this occurs is a lack of resources with which to do the work when it comes due. In fact, unless resource
allocation is handled properly, schedules are next to useless. Fortunately, today’s scheduling software handles
resource allocation fairly well. I leave discussion of the methods used to the software manuals and in this
book simply examine how networks are used to show us where we need to manage.
I am often told that scope and priorities change so often in a given organization that it doesn’t make sense to
spend time finding critical paths. There are two points worth considering here. One is that if scope is changing
often in a project, not enough time is being spent doing up-front definition and planning. Scope changes most
often occur because something is forgotten during the planning stage. Better attention to what is being done in
the beginning usually reduces scope creep.
Second, if priorities are changing often, management does not have its act together, and the organization may
be trying to tackle too much work for the number of resources available. We all have “wish lists” of things we
personally want to do, but we have to put some of them on hold until time and/or money become available.
The same is true of organizations. Experience shows that when individuals are working on many projects,
productivity suffers. For example, one company found that when it stopped having people work on multiple
projects, their productivity doubled! That obviously is highly significant. www.erpvn.net DEFINITIONS OF NETWORK TERMS
An activity always consumes time and may also consume resources. Examples include paperwork,
labor, negotiations, machinery operations, and lead times for purchased parts or equipment.
An activity or event that must be achieved by a certain time, having no latitude (slack or float)
The critical path is the longest path through a network and determines the earliest completion of
Beginning and ending points of activities are known as events. An event is a specific point in time.
Events are commonly denoted graphically by a circle and may carry identity nomenclature (words,
numbers, alpha-numeric codes, etc.).
An event that represents a point in a project of special significance, usually the completion of a major
phase of the work. A project review is often conducted at that time.
Networks are called arrow diagrams. They provide a graphical representation of a project plan
showing the relationships of the activities.
What does CPM have to do with this? Knowing where the critical path is in a project allows you to determine
the impact on the project of a scope or priority change. You know which activities will be affected most
severely and what might need to be done to regain los...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.
- Fall '13