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Fundamentals Of Project Management

Then when problems occur there is no float left and

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Unformatted text preview: ct, the true meaning of the word critical is that it has no float. It must be done on time. Once you have used up the float on a task, it becomes part of the critical path. Previous Table of Contents Next www.erpvn.net Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. www.erpvn.net Fundamentals of Project Management by James P. Lewis AMACOM Books ISBN: 0814478352 Pub Date: 01/01/95 Search Tips Search this book: Advanced Search Previous Table of Contents Next Title ----------- USING THE NETWORK TO MANAGE THE PROJECT The point of developing a CPM diagram is to use it to manage the project. If this is not done, scheduling is simply a worthless exercise. So here are some pointers that I have found helpful in managing my own jobs: • Try to stay on schedule. It is always harder to catch up than to stay on target to begin with. • Keep float in reserve in case of unexpected problems or bad estimates. • Apply whatever effort is needed to keep critical tasks on schedule. If a task on the critical path can be finished ahead of schedule, do it! Then start the next task. • Avoid the temptation to perfect everything—that’s what the next generation product or service is all about. I don’t mean that it is okay to do your work sloppily or that you shouldn’t do your best. I mean that you should not be tempted to make your work perfect. Realistically, you will never reach perfection. • Estimates of task durations are made on the basis of the output of particular people. If someone else is actually used, you may have to adjust durations accordingly. This is especially true if the person is less skilled than the intended resource. • No task should be scheduled with a duration much greater than four to six weeks. As I noted in Chapter 5, if you do allot greater time spans for tasks, people will develop a false sense of security and are likely to put off starting, under the assumption that they can always make up the time. If a task has a duration greater than six weeks, it is a good idea to subdivide it, creating an artificial break if necessary. Then review progress at that point. That will help keep it on target. • If the people doing the work did not develop the network, explain it to them and teach them the meaning of float. Give them a bar chart to work to; it is much easier to read a bar chart than a network diagram. Show them that if they use up float on a task, then subsequent tasks may become critical, leaving the people who must do those activities under great pressure. • It is possible to shorten a task by adding resources, reducing the scope of the task, doing sloppy (poor quality) work, being more efficient, or changing the process by which the task is done. Wi...
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