How does the development of project software compare to other methods of scheduling. What are the benefits of using project software? What are the downfalls of using technology in this manner?
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According to Brown and Hyer (2010), the different project scheduling methods depend on different variables. The Critical Path Method (CPM) depends on time and the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) depends on the most likely optimistic and pessimistic time estimates, and on both the sequential and parallel execution of tasks. According to Lewis (2006), the difference between the software and other scheduling methods is based on Activity-On-Node (AON) and the Activity-On-Arrow (AOA) scheduling techniques. Some of the scheduling methods have dummy activities and other methods lack those. A dummy activity can create a false dependency. A dummy activity can be used to clarify the logic of a project. In most cases, the software development life cycle depends on a single dominant path of a precedence network (Bolles & Hubbard, 2007). The benefits of using project software include the ability to automate project tasks and identify needs for effective and efficient allocation of resources. According to Lewis (2006), project software enables project team managers to reduce project time scale, cut costs, develop better procedures for troubleshooting, reduce the time for routine decision making, provide simplified visual displays of activities, and easily monitor project tasks. The downfall means inappropriate resource allocation, such as financial resources and personnel, along with an inability to change under the influence of modifications that happen with the project (Brown & Hyer, 2010).
The textbook gives examples of successful scheduling. What are the benefits of having a schedule for a project?
According to Brown and Hyer (2010), the benefits of having a schedule include the ability to allow for detailed planning and critical thinking. A project schedule enables project team managers to identify tasks and subtasks and fit them appropriately within the project schedule. It enables the effective management of resources within projects and allows the scheduling of tasks and identification of eligible activities. It enables the evaluation of projects to determine viable and non-viable projects (Brown & Hyer, 2010). According to Heerkens (2002), the schedule allows the customers to provide incentives for the earlier completion of the project. It makes the project manager avoid incurring costs, which are caused by contractual penalties and the loss of profits that might be incurred because of the late market entry of a product. It enables the project manager to reschedule some activities and resources because of changes in user requirements and too fast to track some project activities to allow some activities to run concurrently (Lewis, 2007). The schedule encourages the manager to modify the timetable of project activities to meet the demands and constraints that are either internal or external, such as cost overruns, emergency crisis, new technology, and customer requirements that have not been known previously (Heerkens, 2002).
Variables for developing the project
What are the variables that must be considered when developing a project schedule? Give a short explanation of how they impact the schedule development.
According to Kerzner (2009), the variables to consider when the development of a project schedule should take place include resources and time requirements to complete the project. They contain the effort required to complete each task, the resources needed for each task, and the time taken to complete each task. The time to complete the whole project and time for each task can be measured in months, weeks, or even days, and the effort is measured in terms of man/months (Brown & Hyer, 2010). Kerzner (2009) asserts that the schedule enables the project manager to identify the workforce required to complete each task and interdependent tasks successfully. It allows the project manager to consider the best time to start and complete the project, the least risk, and the least cost incurred in the project. Other considerations include how to use resources, communicate effectively, and evaluate schedule alternatives (Klein, 2000). One of the variables factored into the construction of a schedule includes the effort applied to each task. When the applied effort is increased, the delivery time reduces significantly decreasing the amount of time required for each project task (Kerzner, 2009). According to Kerzner (2009), other variables are tasks to perform, the time for each task, and resource requirements.
What are the different types of precedence relationships? Which types are most practical to use when scheduling.
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The different types of precedence relationships in a schedule are based on the relationships between tasks (Lewis, 2004). According to Brown and Hyer (2010), the forward pass task based on schedule consists of interconnected tasks having the start and finish time. Each task has an Early Start (ES) for every starting activity and Early Finish (EF) for any terminating activity. Another relationship is based on the backward pass. In the backward pass, the relationship between tasks is grounded on the Late Finish (LF) for the last milestone or the last activity. The relationship can be described in the form Finish-Start (FS) in which the last activity can only start after the first activity has been completed. The Start-Start (SS) schedule means that the first activity can only start after the completion of the last activity has been done. Another relationship is the Finish-Finish (FF) schedule where the second activity is started when the first activity is completed (Brown & Hyer, 2010). The last relationship is based on the Start-Finish (SF) schedule where the second activity is finished after the first activity has been completed. The most viable option for practical scheduling includes the Start-Finish (SF) and the Start-Start (SS) scheduling options (Lewis, 2004).
Bolles, D. & Hubbard, D. G. (2007). The Power of Enterprise-wide Project Management. New York: Willey & Sons.
Brown, K. A., & Hyer, N. L. (2010). Managing projects: A team-based approach. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Heerkens, G. (2002). Project Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kerzner, H. (2009). Project Management: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. New York: Wiley & Sons.
Klein, R. (2000). Scheduling of Resource-Constrained Projects. New York: McGraw-Hill
Lewis, J. P. (2004). Project Leadership. New York: Wiley & Sons. New York: Willey & Sons.
Lewis, J. P. (2007). Fundamentals of Project Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lewis, J. (2006). The Project Manager’s Desk Reference. New York: Willey & Sons.