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Introductory Project Management


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Title: Introductory Project Management

Introductory Project Management
  • Time Management

Project Time Management
  • Establishes and maintains the appropriate
    allocation of time
  • By planning, estimating, scheduling, trending and
    schedule control
  • Through the successive stages of the projects
    natural life-span
  • i.e. definition, concept, execution and finishing

Some Time Management Technologies
  • Gantt charts
  • Critical path analysis (CPM)
  • Pert charts
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • GERT analysis
  • Line of balance techniques
  • Critical Chain approach
  • S-curves

Time Management Processes
  • Activity definition identifying the specific
    activities that must be preformed to produce the
    various project deliverables
  • Activity Duration Estimating estimating the
    number of work periods which will be needed to
    complete individual activities
  • Activity Sequencing identifying and documenting
    interactivity dependencies
  • Schedule development analysing activity
    sequences, activity durations and resource
    requirements to create the project schedule
  • Schedule Control controlling changes to the

Activity Definition
  • Activity definition is the process that involves
    the identification and the documentation of the
    specific activities required to produce the
    project deliverable and sub-deliverables
    identified in the WBS
  • In this process the main goal is to define the
    activities that are required to produce the
    desired project objectives

Activity definition- inputs
  • WBS
  • Scope Statement
  • Historical Information
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions

Methods used
  • Decomposition Involves subdividing project
    elements into smaller, more manageable
    components. Differs from scope definition in that
    the Output are activities (action steps) rather
    than deliverables
  • Templates Activity lists or portions of activity
    lists from previous projects.

Activity Definition - Outputs
  • A detailed activity list
  • Supporting detail
  • Refined work breakdown structure

Activity definition Issues
  • 80-20 rule
  • Choose deliverables as boundary points
  • Activities should be S.M.A.R.T (specific,
    measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based)
  • Avoid premature use of schedules that are too

Activity Duration Estimating - Inputs
  • Activity List
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • Resource Requirements
  • Resources Capabilities
  • Historical Information

Techniques for Activity Duration Estimating
  • Expert judgement
  • Analogous estimating
  • Simulation

Outputs of Activity Duration Estimating
  • Activity duration estimates
  • Basis of estimates

  • Very difficult to do, but needed often
  • Created, used or refined during
  • Strategic planning
  • Feasibility study and/or SOW
  • Proposals
  • Vendor and sub-contractor evaluation
  • Project planning (iteratively)
  • Basic process
  • Estimate the size of the product
  • Estimate the effort (man-months)
  • Estimate the schedule
  • NOTE Not all of these steps are always
    explicitly performed

  • Remember, an exact estimate is an oxymoron
  • Estimate how long will it take you to get home
    from class tonight
  • On what basis did you do that?
  • Experience right?
  • Likely as an average probability
  • For most software projects there is no such
  • Most software estimations are off by 25-100

  • Target vs. Committed Dates
  • Target Proposed by business or marketing
  • Do not commit to this too soon!
  • Committed Team agrees to this
  • After youve developed a schedule

  • Size
  • Small projects (10-99 FPs), variance of 7 from
    post-requirements estimates
  • Medium (100-999 FPs), 22 variance
  • Large (1000-9999 FPs) 38 variance
  • Very large (gt 10K FPs) 51 variance

Estimation Methodologies
  • Top-down
  • Bottom-up
  • Analogy
  • Expert Judgment
  • Priced to Win
  • Parkinsons law
  • Parametric or Algorithmic Method
  • Using formulas and equations

Top-down Estimation
  • Based on overall characteristics of project
  • Some of the others can be types of top-down
    (Analogy, Expert Judgment, and Algorithmic
  • Advantages
  • Easy to calculate
  • Effective early on (like initial cost estimates)
  • Disadvantages
  • Some models are questionable or may not fit
  • Less accurate because it doesnt look at details

Bottom-up Estimation
  • Create WBS
  • Add from the bottom-up
  • Advantages
  • Works well if activities well understood
  • Disadvantages
  • Specific activities not always known
  • More time consuming

Expert Judgment
  • Use somebody who has recent experience on a
    similar project
  • You get a guesstimate
  • Accuracy depends on their real expertise
  • Comparable application(s) must be accurately
  • Systematic
  • Can use a weighted-average of opinions

Estimation by Analogy
  • Use past project
  • Must be sufficiently similar (technology, type,
  • Find comparable attributes (ex of
  • Can create a function
  • Advantages
  • Based on actual historical data
  • Disadvantages
  • Difficulty matching project types
  • Prior data may have been mis-measured
  • How to measure differences no two exactly same

Priced to Win
  • The project costs whatever the customer has to
    spend on it
  • Advantages You get the contract
  • Disadvantages The probability that the customer
    gets the system he or she wants is small. Costs
    do not accurately reflect the work required

Parkinson's Law
  • The project costs whatever resources are
  • Advantages No overspend
  • Disadvantages System is usually unfinished

Wideband Delphi
  • Group consensus approach
  • Rand corp. used orig. Delphi approach to predict
    future technologies
  • Present experts with a problem and response form
  • Conduct group discussion, collect anonymous
    opinions, then feedback
  • Conduct another discussion iterate until
  • Advantages
  • Easy, inexpensive, utilizes expertise of several
  • Does not require historical data
  • Disadvantages
  • Difficult to repeat
  • May fail to reach consensus, reach wrong one, or
    all may have same bias

Quality and productivity  
  • All metrics based on volume/unit time are flawed
    because they do not take quality into account
  • Productivity may generally be increased at the
    cost of quality
  • It is not clear how productivity/quality metrics
    are related

Effort Estimation
  • Now that you know the size, determine the
    effort needed to build it
  • Various models empirical, mathematical,
  • Expressed in units of duration
  • Man-months (or staff-months now)

Estimation Issues
  • Quality estimations needed early but information
    is limited
  • Precise estimation data available at end but not
  • Or is it? What about the next project?
  • Best estimates are based on past experience
  • Politics of estimation
  • You may anticipate a cut by upper management
  • For many software projects there is little or
  • Technologies change
  • Historical data unavailable
  • Wide variance in project experiences/types
  • Subjective nature of software estimation

Over and Under Estimation
  • Over estimation issues
  • The project will not be funded
  • Conservative estimates guaranteeing 100 success
    may mean funding probability of zero.
  • Parkinsons Law Work expands to take the time
  • Danger of feature and scope creep
  • Be aware of double-padding team member
  • Under estimation issues
  • Quality issues (short changing key phases like
  • Inability to meet deadlines
  • Morale and other team motivation issues

Estimation Guidelines
  • Estimate iteratively!
  • Process of gradual refinement
  • Make your best estimates at each planning stage
  • Refine estimates and adjust plans iteratively
  • Plans and decisions can be refined in response
  • Balance too many revisions vs. too few

Estimation Presentation
  • How you present the estimation can have huge
  • Techniques
  • Plus-or-minus qualifiers
  • 6 months /-1 month
  • Ranges
  • 6-8 months
  • Risk Quantification
  • /- with added information
  • 1 month of new tools not working as expected
  • -2 weeks for less delay in hiring new developers
  • Cases
  • Best / Planned / Current / Worst cases
  • Coarse Dates
  • Q3 02
  • Confidence Factors
  • April 1 10 probability, July 1 50, etc.

Other Estimation Factors
  • Account for resource experience or skill
  • Up to a point
  • Often needed more on the low end, such as for a
    new or junior person
  • Allow for non-project time common tasks
  • Meetings, phone calls, web surfing, sick days
  • There are commercial estimation tools available
  • They typically require configuration based on
    past data

Other Estimation Notes
  • Remember manage expectations
  • Parkinsons Law
  • Work expands to fill the time available
  • The Student Syndrome
  • Procrastination until the last minute (cram)

Activity Sequencing
  • Activity sequencing involves reviewing the
    activities in the detailed WBS, detailed product
    descriptions, assumptions and constraints to
    determine the relationship between activities it
    also involves the evaluation of dependencies
  • A dependency or relationship shows the way in
    which activities or sequenced to other activities
  • Certain activities can be done in parallel others
    rely on the completion of others first
  • It is important to determine these in a project

Activity Sequencing
  • Mandatory Dependencies
  • Hard logic dependencies
  • Nature of the work dictates an ordering
  • Ex Coding has to precede testing
  • Ex UI design precedes UI implementation
  • Discretionary Dependencies
  • Soft logic dependencies
  • Determined by the project management team
  • Process-driven
  • Ex Discretionary order of creating certain

  • Precedence
  • A task that must occur before another is said to
    have precedence of the other
  • Concurrence
  • Concurrent tasks are those that can occur at the
    same time (in parallel)
  • Leads Lag Time
  • Delays between activities
  • Time required before or after a given task

  • Slack Float
  • Float Slack synonymous terms
  • Free Slack
  • Slack an activity has before it delays next task
  • Total Slack
  • Slack an activity has before delaying whole
  • Slack Time TS TL TE
  • TE earliest time an event can take place
  • TL latest date it can occur w/o extending
    projects completion date

Activity Sequencing
  • The precedence diagramming method is a network
    diagramming technique in which boxes represent
    activities. It is useful for visualising types of
    time relationships.
  • Boxes or rectangles (nodes) represent the
    activities and are connected with arrows to show

Activity A
Activity B
Task Dependency Relationships
  • Finish-to-Start (FS)
  • B cannot start till A finishes
  • A Construct fence B Paint Fence
  • Start-to-Start (SS)
  • B cannot start till A starts
  • A Pour foundation B Level concrete
  • Finish-to-Finish (FF)
  • B cannot finish till A finishes
  • A Add wiring B Inspect electrical
  • Start-to-Finish (SF)
  • B cannot finish till A starts (rare)

Sample Logic diagram
Design Brochure
Set Date
Set Location
Mail Brochure
Receive Regs.
Obtain lists
Prepare kits
Obtain Materials
Set theme
Obtain speakers
Predecessors and Successors
Work Package Title Predecessors Successors
Start Start - 1.1.1,1.1.2
1.1.1 Establish Overall Theme Start 1.1.2
1.1.2 Obtain speakers 1.1.1 1.3.1 Obtain speaker material 1.1.2 Prepare Conference Kits 1.3.3 End
1.2.1 Set Conference date Start 1.2.2
1.2.2 Select conference location 1.2.1, 1.3.1
1.3.1 Obtain mailing lists 1.2.2,1.1.2 Design brochure 1.2.2,1.1.2 Mail brochures,1.3.1 1.3.3
1.3.3 Receive Registrations
End End
Schedule development
  • The goal of schedule development is
  • To create a realistic project schedule that
    provides a basis for monitoring project processes
  • To determine realistic start and finish dates for
    project activities

Schedule Development
  • Project schedule development is based on the
    results of the preceding time management
  • Activity definition
  • Activity Duration estimating
  • Activity sequencing

Schedule Development
  • Inputs to the schedule development process
  • Project network diagram
  • Activity duration estimation
  • Resource requirements
  • Resource pool description
  • Project and resource calendars
  • Project constraints and assumptions

Project milestones
  • Milestones
  • Have a duration of zero
  • Identify critical points in your schedule
  • Shown as inverted triangle or a diamond
  • Often used at review or delivery times
  • Or at end or beginning of phases
  • Ex Software Requirements Review (SRR)
  • Ex User Sign-off
  • Can be tied to contract terms

Outputs from Schedule Development
  • Project schedule
  • Supporting Detail
  • Schedule Management plan

Essence of a good project schedule
  • Logical
  • Simple and easy to work with
  • Easy to monitor
  • Flexible i.e. easy to revise
  • Specific and timely
  • Help you to anticipate problems
  • Promote effective communication

Supporting Detail
  • Supporting detail for the project schedule
    includes at least documentation of all identified
    assumptions and constraints
  • Information supplied as supporting detail
  • Resource requirement by time period, often in the
    form of a histogram
  • Schedule reserves or schedule risk assessment

Schedule Management Plan
  • Defines how changes to the schedule will be
  • May be formal or informal
  • Highly detailed or broadly framed
  • Is a subsidiary element of the overall project

Network Diagrams
  • Developed in the 1950s
  • A graphical representation of the tasks necessary
    to complete a project
  • Visualizes the flow of tasks relationships

Mathematical Analysis
  • PERT
  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique
  • CPM
  • Critical Path Method
  • Sometimes treated synonymously
  • All are models using network diagrams

Network Diagrams
  • Two classic formats
  • AOA Activity on Arrow
  • AON Activity on Node
  • Each task labeled with
  • Identifier (usually a letter/code)
  • Duration (in std. unit like days)
  • There are other variations of labeling
  • There is 1 start 1 end event
  • Time goes from left to right

Node Formats
Network Diagrams
  • AOA consists of
  • Circles representing Events
  • Such as start or end of a given task
  • Lines representing Tasks
  • Thing being done Build UI
  • a.k.a. Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM)
  • AON
  • Tasks on Nodes
  • Nodes can be circles or rectangles (usually
  • Task information written on node
  • Arrows are dependencies between tasks
  • a.k.a. Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)

Critical Path
  • The specific set of sequential tasks upon which
    the project completion date depends
  • or the longest full path
  • All projects have a Critical Path
  • Accelerating non-critical tasks do not directly
    shorten the schedule
  • Slack or float is the amount of time an activity
    can be delayed without delaying a succeeding
    activity or the project finish date

Importance of CPM
  • Helps identify what needs to be done when tasks
    must start and by what time they must be
  • Easy to compare actual progress with plan
  • Allows on-going re-scheduling
  • Reduces project risk by identifying critical
  • Provides a powerful basis for managerial action
  • Helps clarify understanding of how the work must
    be done and how activities relate to one another
  • Excellent communication tool

  • Critical Path Method
  • The process for determining and optimizing the
    critical path
  • Non-CP tasks can start earlier or later w/o
    impacting completion date
  • Note Critical Path may change to another as you
    shorten the current
  • Should be done in conjunction with the you the
    functional manager

Example Step 1
Forward Pass
  • To determine early start (ES) and early finish
    (EF) times for each task
  • Work from left to right
  • Adding times in each path
  • Rule when several tasks converge, the ES for the
    next task is the largest of preceding EF times

Example Step 2
Backward Pass
  • To determine the last finish (LF) and last start
    (LS) times
  • Start at the end node
  • Compute the bottom pair of numbers
  • Subtract duration from connecting nodes earliest
    start time

Example Step 3
Example Step 4
Slack Reserve
  • How can slack be negative?
  • What does that mean?
  • How can you address that situation?

Slack Reserve
Network Diagrams
  • Advantages
  • Show precedence well
  • Reveal interdependencies not shown in other
  • Ability to calculate critical path
  • Ability to perform what if exercises
  • Disadvantages
  • Default model assumes resources are unlimited
  • You need to incorporate this yourself (Resource
    Dependencies) when determining the real
    Critical Path
  • Difficult to follow on large projects

  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique
  • Based on idea that estimates are uncertain
  • Therefore uses duration ranges
  • And the probability of falling to a given range
  • Uses an expected value (or weighted average) to
    determine durations
  • Use the following methods to calculate the
    expected durations, then use as input to your
    network diagram

  • Start with 3 estimates
  • Optimistic
  • Would likely occur 1 time in 20
  • Most likely
  • Modal value of the distribution
  • Pessimistic
  • Would be exceeded only one time in 20

PERT Formula
  • Combined to estimate a task duration

PERT Formula
  • Confidence Interval can be determined
  • Based on a standard deviation of the expected
  • Using a bell curve (normal distribution)
  • For the whole critical path use

  • Advantages
  • Accounts for uncertainty
  • Disadvantages
  • Time and labor intensive
  • Assumption of unlimited resources is big issue
  • Lack of functional ownership of estimates
  • Mostly only used on large, complex project
  • Get PERT software to calculate it for you

  • Both use Network Diagrams
  • CPM deterministic
  • PERT probabilistic
  • CPM one estimate, PERT, three estimates
  • PERT is infrequently used

Milestone Chart
  • Sometimes called a bar charts
  • Simple Gantt chart
  • Either showing just highest summary bars
  • Or milestones only

Bar Chart
Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart
  • Disadvantages
  • Does not show interdependencies well
  • Does not factor in uncertainty of a given
    activity (as does PERT)
  • Advantages
  • Easily understood
  • Easily created and maintained
  • Note Software now shows dependencies among tasks
    in Gantt charts
  • In the old days Gantt charts did not show these
    dependencies, bar charts typically do not

Critical Chain Scheduling
  • Technique that addresses the challenge of meeting
    or beating project finish dates and an
    application of the Theory of Constraints (TOC)
  • Developed by Eliyahu Goldratt in his books The
    Goal and Critical Chain
  • Critical chain scheduling is a method of
    scheduling that takes limited resources into
    account when creating a project schedule and
    includes buffers to protect the project
    completion date
  • Critical chain scheduling assumes resources do
    not multitask because it often delays task
    completions and increases total durations

Buffers and Critical Chain
  • A buffer is additional time to complete a task
  • Murphys Law states that if something can go
    wrong, it will, and Parkinsons Law states that
    work expands to fill the time allowed. In
    traditional estimates, people often add a buffer
    and use it if its needed or not
  • Critical chain schedule removes buffers from
    individual tasks and instead creates
  • A project buffer, which is additional time added
    before the projects due date
  • Feeding buffers, which are addition time added
    before tasks on the critical path

Example of Critical Chain Scheduling
Reducing Project Duration
  • How can you shorten the schedule?
  • Via
  • Reducing scope (or quality)
  • Adding resources
  • Concurrency (perform tasks in parallel)
  • Substitution of activities

Compression Techniques
  • Shorten the overall duration of the project
  • Crashing
  • Looks at cost and schedule tradeoffs
  • Gain greatest compression with least cost
  • Add resources to critical path tasks
  • Limit or reduce requirements (scope)
  • Changing the sequence of tasks
  • Fast Tracking
  • Overlapping of phases, activities or tasks that
    would otherwise be sequential
  • Involves some risk
  • May cause rework

Crashing and Fast Tracking
Schedule Control
  • Schedule control is concerned with
  • Influencing the factors that create schedule
  • Determining that the schedule has changed
  • Managing changes as they occur
  • It is not about simply reporting changes that
    have happened

Schedule Control
  • Have effective procedures for monitoring and
    reporting actual progress against schedule
  • And for highlighting problems
  • Find problems early
  • Take necessary steps to avoid schedule delays
  • Hence minimise slippage
  • By prompt and aggressive action

Inputs to schedule control
  • Project schedule
  • Performance reports
  • Change Requests
  • Schedule Management Plan

Tools and techniques for schedule
  • Schedule change control system
  • Performance measurement
  • Additional Planning
  • Project Management software

Outputs from schedule control
  • Schedule updates
  • Revisions
  • Corrective actions
  • Lessons learned