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Schedule Issues

  1. Why do you think schedule issues often cause the most conflicts on projects?

Part of the reason are the different attitudes and work styles that exist towards schedules as stated in the text. Schedules may be viewed differently in other cultures as well and Project managers must be aware of these concerns. Sometimes the original schedule was not realistically thought out and was too aggressive.

  1. Why is defining activities a process of project time management instead of project scope

management?

Time management is another key aspect of managing a project. As such, it is considered to be a core knowledge area, and is closely knit to scope and cost areas. The main purpose of this knowledge area, as it name suggests, is to build processes and outputs into the project that assist the manager and team to complete the project in a timely manner.

The main performance aspects of any project are time, cost and scope, and these aspects are tightly linked such that a change in one of them will almost certainly impact change in one or more of the others.

  1. Why is it important to determine activity sequencing on projects? Discuss diagrams

you have seen that are similar to network diagrams. Describe their similarities and

differences.

You cannot determine the critical path for a project unless you sequence activities.  Several different diagrams are similar to project network diagrams.  In transportation modeling, for example, you try to find the shortest route between two points.  In those diagrams, however, you only need to take one path.  In a project network diagram, all activities must be completed in order to complete the project.

  1. How does activity resource estimating affect estimating activity durations?

The duration of activities will vary based on the resources assigned to them. For example, an expert at an activity should be able to do it in less time than a novice. The number of resources assigned to an activity also affects its estimated duration.

  1. Explain the difference between estimating activity durations and estimating the effort

required to perform an activity.

The effort estimate related to how many hours will be spent performing an activity.  The activity duration estimate includes the effort as well as how much time passes on a calendar in order to generate the project schedule.  For example, an activity might only take 8 work hours to complete, but if it is done one hour per workday, it will take more than a week on the project’s Gantt chart.

  1. Explain the following schedule development tools and concepts: Gantt charts, critical path

method, PERT, and critical chain scheduling.

A Gantt chart displays a project schedule in a calendar format.  The critical path for a project determines the earliest completion time for a project.  PERT is a network analysis technique where you apply a weighted average to determine the duration estimate for tasks.  Critical chain scheduling accounts for resource constraints and suggests that you limit multitasking of resources in creating project schedules and include project and feeding buffers to protect the project completion date.

  1. What do you think about adding slack to individual task estimates (sometimes called

padding estimates)? What do you think about adding a project buffer for the entire project,

as critical chain scheduling suggests? What are some ethical considerations when using

slack and buffers?

A single project buffer is added at the end of the project network between the last activity and the project deadline. Any delays on the critical chain will partly consume this buffer without having an effect on the project completion date.

  1. How can you minimize or control changes to project schedules?

It is important to develop realistic schedules and use leadership and discipline to meet schedule deadlines.

  1. List some of the reports you can generate with Project 2010 to assist in project time

management.

Project 2010 includes overview reports of critical tasks and milestones reports, current activities reports of unstarted tasks, tasks starting soon, tasks in progress, completed tasks, should have started tasks, and slipping tasks and an assignment report called who does what and when

  1. Why is it difficult to use project management software well?

Project management software is very powerful.  It also assumes that the user knows how to create a good WBS, enter task durations and dependencies, and understand basic concepts of project management.

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