9.22 Go to www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/business/business-and-law/critical-path-analysis-and-scheduling-for-game-r1440 and click around the site. There are several articles on how to run your own computer game company. Click on articles related to project management and critical path scheduling for game design. Why is project scheduling so important for developing computer games?
9.23 Go to http://management.about.com/lr/project_time_management/174690/1/ and click on “Project Management” on the left side of the screen. When you consider several of the articles on time management in projects, what sense do you get that project schedule is as much about personal time management as it is about effective scheduling? Cite some articles or information to support or disagree with this position.
9.24 Go to www.infogoal.com/pmc/pmcart.htm and examine some of the archived articles and white papers on project planning and scheduling. Select one article and synthesize the main points. What are the messages the article is intending to convey?
9.25 Key in “project scheduling” for a search of the Web. Hundreds of thousands of hits are generated from such a search. Examine a cross-section of the hits. What are some of the common themes found on these Web sites?
9.26 Key in a search with the prompt “projects in ” in which you select a country of interest (e.g., “projects in Finland”). Many of the projects generated by such a search are government-sponsored initiatives. Discuss the role of proper scheduling and planning for one such project you find on the Internet. Share your findings and the reasons you believe planning was so critical to the project.
MS Project Exercises
Please note that a step-by-step primer on using MS Project 2016 to create project schedules is available in Appendix B. For those considering the following exercises, it would first be helpful to refer to Appendix B for tips on getting started.
Consider the following information that you have compiled regarding the steps needed to complete a project. You have identified all relevant steps and have made some determinations regarding predecessor/successor relationships. Using MS Project, develop a simple network diagram for this project, showing the links among the project activities.
A – Survey site —
B – Install sewer and storm drainage A
C – Install gas and electric power lines A
D – Excavate site for spec house B, C
E – Pour foundation D
Suppose we have a complete activity predecessor table (shown here) and we wish to create a network diagram highlighting the activity sequence for this project. Using MS Project, enter the
activities and their predecessors and create a complete activity network diagram for this project.
Project—Remodeling an Appliance
A Conduct competitive analysis —
B Review field sales reports —Activity Predecessors
C Conduct tech capabilities assessment—
D Develop focus group data A, B, C
E Conduct telephone surveys D
F Identify relevant specification improvements E
G Interface with marketing staff F
H Develop engineering specifications G
I Check and debug designs H
J Develop testing protocol G
K Identify critical performance levels J
L Assess and modify product components I, K
M Conduct capabilities assessment L
N Identify selection criteria M
O Develop RFQ M
P Develop production master schedule N, O
Q Liaise with sales staff P
R Prepare product launch Q
Suppose that we add some duration estimates to each of the activities from Exercise 9.28. A portion of the revised table is shown here. Recreate the network diagram for this project and note how MS Project uses nodes to identify activity durations, start and finish dates, and predecessors. What is the critical path for this network diagram? How do we know?
Activity Duration Predecessors
A – Survey site 5 days —
B – Install sewer and storm drainage 9 days A
C – Install gas and electric power lines 4 days A
D – Excavate site for spec house 2 days B, C
E – Pour foundation 2 days D
PMP Certification Sample Questions
9.30 A building contractor is working on a vacation home and is looking over his schedule. He notices that the schedule calls for the foundation footers to be poured and then the rough floor decking to be installed. In this plan, the decking would be an example of what type of activity?
a. Successor task
b. Predecessor task
c. Lag activity
d. Crashed activity
9.31 Your project team is working on a brand-new project with leading-edge technology. As a result, it is very difficult for your team to give reasonably accurate estimates for how long their activities are going to take in order to be completed. Because of this uncertainty, it would be appropriate for you to require team members to use what kind of logic when estimating durations?
a. Normal distribution
b. Beta distribution
c. Deterministic estimates
9.32 Suppose a project plan had three distinct paths through the network. The first path consisted of activities A (3 days), B (4 days), and C (2 days). The second path consisted of activities D (4 days), E (5 days), and F (5 days). The third path consisted of activities G (2 days), H (3 days), and I (10 days). Which is the critical path?
9.33 Activity slack (also known as float) can be calculated through which of the following means?
a. Early finish (EF) – late finish (LF)
b. Early finish (EF) – early start (ES)
c. Late finish (LF) – late start (LS)
d. Late start (LS) – early start (ES)
9.34 Your project team is working from a network diagram. This type of tool will show the team:
a. Activity precedence
b. Duration estimates for the activities and overall schedule
c. The dates activities are expected to begin
d. The network diagram will show none of the above
9.35 What do we mean by an activity’s late finish date?
a. The latest activity can finish without delaying the subsequent activity
b. The latest activity can finish without delaying the project
c. The pessimistic time from the PERT calculation
d. The earliest starting time for a predecessor activity
9.36 Which of the following would result from activity sequencing?
a. Activity-on-Node diagram
b. External dependencies
c. Resource leveling
d. The project’s critical path
9.37 Hammock activities are simply:
a. Another name for dependencies
b. An activity sequencing ladder
c. A means for disaggregating the project network into logical summaries
d. The shortest activity path through a network
9.38 The fact that a product must first be prototyped before it can be tested is an example of:
a. A mandatory dependency
b. An external dependency
c. A discretionary dependency
d. A milestone gate
9.39 What is the difference between a Gantt chart and a milestone chart?
a. There is no difference; they are the same thing
b. A milestone chart shows only major events, while
a Gantt chart shows more information, including dependencies
c. A milestone chart is a project plan and a Gantt chart is not
d. A Gantt chart is a project plan and a milestone chart is not
9.30. a—The decking is a successor task, as it is scheduled to occur after the completion of the footers.
9.31. b—The beta distribution would work best because it takes into consideration best-case, most likely, and worst-case estimates.
9.32. c—GHI has a path duration of 15 days.
9.33. d—One way to calculate float is LS – ES, and the other way is LF – EF.
9.34. a—The primary advantage of activity networks is the precedence ordering of all project activities.
9.35. b—late finish times refer to the latest an activity can finish without delaying the project.
9.36. a—activity sequencing leads to some type of activity diagram, either AON or AOA designation.
9.37. c—hammocks allow for creating activity summaries in a network.
9.38. a—when one activity cannot be done until a previous activity has been finished, this state refers to a mandatory dependency.
9.39. b—milestone charts only show major events in the project and the Gantt chart provides more information about activity interdependence.
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3. There are a number of citations for the development of project networks. Among the more important are Callahan, J., and Moretton, B. (2001). “Reducing software product development time,” International Journal of Project Management, 19: 59–70; Elmaghraby, S. E., and Kamburowski, J. (1992). “The analysis of activity networks under generalized precedence relations,” Management Science, 38: 1245–63; Kidd, J. B. (1991). “Do today’s projects need powerful network planning tools?” International Journal of Production Research, 29: 1969–78; Malcolm, D. G., Roseboom, J. H., Clark, C. E., and Fazar, W. (1959). “Application of a technique for research and development program evaluation,” Operations Research, 7: 646–70; Smith-Daniels, D. E., and Smith-Daniels, V. (1984). “Constrained resource project scheduling,” Journal of Operations Management, 4: 369–87; Badiru, A. B. (1993). “Activity-resource assignments using critical resource diagramming,” Project Management
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4. The literature on PERT/CPM is voluminous. Among the citations readers may find helpful are the following: Gallagher, C. (1987). “A note on PERT assumptions,” Management Science, 33: 1350; Gong, D., and Rowlings, J. E. (1995). “Calculation of safe float use in risk-analysis-oriented network scheduling,” International Journal of Project Management, 13: 187–94; Hulett, D. (2000). “Project schedule risk analysis: Monte Carlo simulation or PERT?” PMNetwork, 14(2): 43–47; Kamburowski, J. (1997). “New validations of PERT times,” Omega: International Journal of Management
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Reinhold; Mongalo, M. A., and Lee, J. (1990). “A comparative study of methods for probabilistic project scheduling,” Computers in Industrial Engineering, 19: 505–9; Wiest, J. D., and Levy, F. K. (1977). A Management Guide to PERT/CPM, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; Sasieni, M. W. (1986). “A note on PERT times,” Management Science, 32: 942–44; Williams, T. M. (1995). “What are PERT estimates?” Journal of the Operational Research Society, 46(12): 1498–1504; Chae, K. C., and Kim, S. (1990). “Estimating the mean and variance of PERT activity time using likelihood-ratio of the mode and the mid-point,” IIE Transactions, 3: 198–203.
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“Want better estimates? Let’s get to work,” PMNetwork, 12(12): 12–15; Lederer, A. L., and Prasad, J. (1995). “Causes of inaccurate software-development cost estimates,” Journal of Systems and Software, 31: 125–34; Libertore, M. J. (2002). “Project schedule uncertainty analysis using fuzzy logic,” Project Management Journal, 33(4): 15–22.
7. Meredith, J. R., and Mantel, Jr., S. J. (2003). Project Management, 5th ed. New York: Wiley.
8. Project Management Institute. (2000). Project Management Body of Knowledge. Newtown Square, PA: PMI.
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10. Callahan, J., and Moretton, B. (2001). “Reducing software product development time,” International Journal of Project Management, 19: 59–70.
11. This case was prepared by Ghada Baz and Jennifer Morin, University of Central Florida. Used by permission.
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Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/oscapen-house-beth-kassab-20140917 column.html; Peddie, M. (2013, September 17 2013). Intersection: Saving the Capen House, DragonCon 2013. Retrieved from WMFE News:http://wmfe.convio.net/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15013&news_iv_ctrl=1041