13.1 Why is the generic four-stage control cycle useful for understanding how to monitor and control projects?
13.2 Why was one of the earliest project tracking devices referred to as an S-curve? Do you see value in the desire to link budget and schedule to view project performance?
13.3 What are some of the key drawbacks of S-curve analysis?
13.4 What are the benefits and drawbacks of the use of milestone analysis as a monitoring device?
13.5 It has been said that Earned Value Management (EVM)
came about because the federal government often used “cost-plus” contractors with project organizations. Cost plus contracting allows the contractor to recover full project development costs plus accumulated profit from these contracts. Why would requiring contractor firms to employ Earned Value Management help the government hold the line against project cost overruns?
13.6 What are the major advantages of using EVM as a project control mechanism? What do you perceive as its disadvantages?
13.7 Consider the major findings of the research on human factors in project implementation. What common themes seem to emerge from the research on behavioral issues as a critical element in determining project status?
13.8 The 10 critical success factors have been applied in a variety of settings and project types. Consider a project with which you have been involved. Did any of these factors emerge clearly as being the most important for the project’s success? Why?
13.9 Identify the following terms: PV, EV, and AC. Why are these terms important? How do they relate to one another?
13.10 What do the Schedule Performance Index and the Cost Performance Index demonstrate? How can a project manager use this information to estimate future project performance?
13.11 Suppose the SPI is calculated as less than 1.0. Is this good news or bad news for the project? Why?
13.12 Using the following information, develop a simple S-curve representation of the expected cumulative budget expenditures for this project (figures are in thousands). Duration (in days)
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80, Activities 4 8 12 20 10 8 6 2, Cumulative 4 12 24 44 54 62 68 70
13.13 Suppose the expenditure figures in Problem 1 were modified as follows (figures are in thousands). Duration (in days)
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Activities 4 8 10 14 20 24 28 8
Cumulative 4 12 22 36 56 80 108 116
Draw this S-curve. What does the new S-curve diagram represent? How would you explain the reason for the different, non-S-shape of the curve?
13.14 Assume the following information (figures are in thousands):
Budgeted Costs for Sample Project
Duration (in weeks)
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Total
Design 4 4 2
Engineer 3 6 12 8
Install 4 12 24 6
Test 2 6 6 4 2
Total Monthly Cumulation.
a. Calculate the monthly budget and the monthly cumulative budgets for the project.
b. Draw a project S-curve identifying the relationship between the project’s budget baseline and its schedule.
13.15 Use the following information to construct a tracking Gantt chart using MS Project.
Activities Duration Preceding Activities
A 5 days none
B 4 days A
C 3 days A
D 6 days B, C
E 4 days B
F 2 days D, E
Highlight project status on day 14 using the tracking option and assuming that all tasks to date have been completed on time. Print the output file.
13.16 Using the information in Problem 13.15, highlight the project’s status on day 14 but assume that activity D has not yet begun. What would the new tracking Gantt chart show? Print the output file.
13.17 Use the following table to calculate project schedule variance based on the units listed (figures are in thousands). Schedule Variance Work Units
A B C D E F Total
Planned Value 20 15 10 25 20 20 110
Earned Value 10 10 10 20 25 25
13.18 Using the data in the table below, complete the table by calculating the cumulative planned and cumulative actual monthly budgets through the end of June. Complete the earned value column on the right. Assume the project is planned for a 12-month duration and a $250,000 budget. Activity Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Plan % Comp. Value
Staffing 8 7 15 100
Blueprinting 4 6 10 100
2 8 10 70
Full Design 3 8 10 21 60
Construction 2 30 32 25
Transfer 10 10 0
Monthly Actual 10 15 6 14 9 40
Cumul. Actual 13.19 Using the data from Problem 13.18, calculate the following values:
Planned Value (PV)
Earned Value (EV)
Schedule Performance Index
Estimated Time to Completion
Actual Cost of Work Performed (AC)
Earned Value (EV)
Cost Performance Index
Estimated Cost to Completion
13.20 You are calculating the estimated time to completion fora project of 12 months’ duration and a budgeted cost of $500,000. Assuming the following information, calculate the Schedule Performance Index and the estimated time to completion (figures are in thousands).
Planned Value (PV) 65
Earned Value (EV) 58
Schedule Performance Index
Estimated Time to Completion
13.21 Suppose, for Problem 13.20, that your PV was 70 and your EV was 95. Recalculate the SPI and estimated time to completion for the project with this new data.
13.22 You have collected the following data based on three months of your project’s performance. Complete the table. Calculate cumulative CPI (CPIC). How is the project performing after these three months? Is the trend positive or negative?
EV EVC AC ACC CPI CPIC
January $ 30,000 $ 35,000
February $ 95,000 $100,000
March $125,500 $138,000
13.23 You have collected EV, AC, and PV data from your project for a five-month period. Complete the table. Calculate SPIC and CPIC. Compare the cost and schedule performance for the project on a month-by-month basis and cumulatively. How would you assess the performance of the project? (All values are in thousands $)
Table for Problem 13.23
EV EVC AC ACC PV PVC SPI SPIC CPI CPIC
April 8 10 7
May 17 18 16
June 25 27 23
July 15 18 15
August 7 9 8
13.24 Assume you have collected the following data for your project. Its budget is $75,000 and it is expected to last four months. After two months, you have calculated the following information about the project:
PV = $45,000
EV = $38,500
AC = $37,000
Calculate the SPI and CPI. Based on these values, estimate the time and budget necessary to complete the project. How would you evaluate these findings? Are they good news or bad news?
13.25 You had planned to construct a series of eight traffic roundabouts in your town, with each roundabout costing $150,000. Your goal was to complete the project during the four (4) months of good weather in the summer, but due to unexpected delays the project has not gone according
to plan. After two months, earned value (EV) is calculated at $400,000. What is your budgeted cost at completion (BAC)?
13.26 (Optional—Based on Earned Schedule discussion in Appendix 13.1) Suppose you have a project with a Budget at Completion (BAC) of $250,000 and a projected length of 10 months. After tracking the project for six months, you have collected the information in the table below.
a. Complete the table. How do Earned Value SPI (based on $) and Earned Schedule SPI differ?
b. Calculate the schedule variances for the project for both Earned Value and Earned Schedule. How do the values differ? Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
PV ($) 25,000 40,000 70,000 110,000 150,000 180,000
EV ($) 20,000 32,000 60,000 95,000 123,000 151,000
SV ($) -5,000
SPI ($) 0.80
ES (mo.) 0.80
SV (t) -.20
SPI (t) 0.80