Projects developed with available time and budget are more useful for own as well as customers satisfaction. This process is completed through the mechanisms of planning, monitoring and also re-planning. This report supports the project scheduling, planning and analysis methodologies, modeling concepts and analysis technique. The report is presented using a theoretical contribution on process simulation to assist design planning. We have highlighted the design planning using Microsoft Project Design with key challenges of project management. The Microsoft Project is a flexible and competent program designed to administrate the projects and help to plan effectively. We can organize the lists of task and set the time frame and facilitates with quick planning of projects.
Large and complex projects are more significant for the project management. The consequence decisions of projects as how the project is managed and role of the managers are portrayed. When the schedule is tight more need is magnified. Technical design of projects requires different skills and for the complex projects the technical aspects are out these areas which need to be well managed. For this reason project management is more emphasized backed by the specialized resources.
The management team is responsible for the development, designing and delivery of the projects. Our project is based on the case study of the Pharmaceutical industry’s Software development in Switzerland. Pharmaceutical industry management needed the software development for their indigenous business and in other countries of the world. It also addresses all the critical processes and operations which are required for its performance and successful business. The management system approaches to quality management and all the successful operations of Pharmaceutical industry. In this process the decommissioning of the business is considered to achieve the mandate and objectives.
Work breakdown Structure
Work breakdown structure (WBS) defines the total scope of our project. The WBS subdivides the project into smaller and manageable piece of work. This concept of the WBS is used to produce the work packages scheduled, cost estimated, monitored and controlled. The development team uses the WBS from the previous projects and works as a template for new project. The WBS involves the following activities
Identifying the deliverable and other related work;
Organizing and structuring the WBS;
The decomposing of the upper work breakdown structure into lower level detailed components;
Assigning and developing the identification codes to WBS.
Finally verifying the degree of decomposition which is necessary and sufficient.
Projects are complex endeavors and plan is a necessary guide for the execution of the project. The progress of the project is recorded on a project and remaining work is reassessed in the light of new information. It is rare that execution of a project proceeds as initially set plans. The purpose of the scheduling is to show a road map that when and how the project will deliver the products in the limits of the scope defined by the project team. For the project management planning and analysis the scheduling is one of the basic requirements. Its main aim is to set the time for the required project. The project management sets the time to complete the project. The management team engaged with our project manages the processes as given following. Many activities are performed by the management team accomplishing the project undertaken.
Activity: To produce the deliverable projects many specific schedule activities are identified.
Activity sequencing: The schedule activities are dependent and activity sequencing identifies these dependencies among the schedule activities.
Activity resource estimating: This type of activity defines the resources to perform these schedule activities.
Activity duration estimating: It identifies the number of work periods which are entirely needed to complete the individual schedule activity.
Schedule Development: The process of analyzing the activity sequences, resources requirement, durations, and other schedule constraints required to create the project schedule.
Schedule Control: It controls the changes made in project schedule.
For our project we use the Microsoft Project 2010 where Gantt chart gives us visual representation. It represents the tasks and products deliverable within the time specified in schedule. It also provides the roadmap to execute the product its delivery, tracking the changes and also managing the changes. Microsoft Project Management has very powerful tools in it to perform the activities very quickly as in figure 1.
Fig 1: Project professional 2010
We can manage the schedule tasking manually using the Project Professional 2010.
Fig 2: Improved Top to down scheduling
Managing team has option to schedule the task automatically as shown in figure 2. The design and developments tasks of our project are scheduled automatically. The project professional 2010 is more useful for the business managers and productivity of project. The concept of Precedence Diagramming Method (PMD) is used to represent the activities and show the dependencies of the activities with sign of arrows. There are four types of dependencies or called as precedence relationships.
Finish-to-Start: Successor activity starts which depends upon the completion of predecessor activity.
Finish-to-Finish: the completion of the successor activity depends upon the completion of predecessor activity.
Start-to-Start: The successor activity starts and depends upon the completion of the predecessor activity.
Start-to-Finish: The completion of the successor activity depends upon the beginning of the predecessor activities.
Time constraints are very important during the schedule development. Start and Finish activities can be restricted by imposing the dates which affects the completion of the activities. Many other constraints are also present in the project management software but in our case “Start No earlier than and the”Finish no later than” constraints are specifically used. Project customer, sponsor and stakeholders dictate the major milestones and affect the certain deliverable components to a specific date. The scheduled dates become the expected dates and only can be changed through the approval. Milestones only provide the schedules interface and are not part of the project data base.
Fig 3: Milestone and Tasks
Project is actually a list of tasks and manager reports and keeps track of it. Our project is broken into phases by the managers and completion of these tasks is called as milestone. Milestone of our projects are documented at the end of each phase which reduces the project operating cost.
Planning and Control
The planning process consists of the project maturity, scope, development and project management plan and schedule of project activities occurring within project. While control techniques are used to compare the actual performance with planned performance. It also analyses the variances and trend assessment to improve the process improvements and recommending the adequate corrective actions required.
Monitoring and Controlling a Project
When a project is planned then it requires to be started according to plan. Formal changes in plan are permitted and customers are informed about this change. If this process is not completed then it is not possible to get the approval for the extension of time. In our case the monitoring project ensures:
development of the required products is ensured
The required standard and quality are being met
Products are ready in time according to the budget and planned resources
Business case is achieved by the project products
Using the planning and scheduling software three components are measured as Time, Resources and cost
The analysis of the project schedule is not taken lightly. Budget and timeline are the basic measures to analyze the quality of schedule. The budget and timeline are kept on track, if it is not on track then manager takes immediate action to cure the problem. For the project schedule a baseline was established, this baseline is used as starting point and performance on the project is also measured. This technique is used during the project execution when the project is on track.
Baseline costs compared and variances are shown between these two variances. Earned Value Management (EVM) technique is used to monitor the IT projects in some ways as other projects. For the effective performance measurement EVM has proven itself and also feedback tool to manage the projects.EVM also informs us that where the project is and its comparison with the proposed project. Value of accumulated cost is also measured by the EVM as the amount of work and amount spent on it.
Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) back to its history was used to control the large complex projects in USA. PERT has become now the combination of the Critical Path Method (CPM) and is thus know as the PERT/CPM. For project in discussion Pert Chart is a five step process.
Identifying the all tasks for the entire project i.e. planning to execution of the product.
Amount of work required to complete the each task in development of the product.
Identifying the immediate predecessor tasks.
Entering each task in PERT/CPM chart.
Calculating the time and duration based on the resources and durations.
In above tasks first two tasks are always manual and completed in brainstorming session. Last three tasks are interacted with MS Project. The best advantage of the PERT is used for the most probable effort for the tasks. We want to know the ways of estimating the effort for each task. Pessimistic, most likely and optimistic estimates are combined together into a single value which gives the expected effort for the task. A weight average simply ensures that any deviation from the optimistic or pessimistic estimates is not so much effective to take away the duration from expected duration. These estimated are more valuable when right people are involved in it. First task needed the two days and second one 1 day each with two people working. We can say that first task requires the 4 person-days of work and second task needed two. Three kinds of dependencies are found during the third task. These dependencies include the (1) project mandatory (2) external mandatory (3) discretionary. It is clear that start of the new task depends upon the success or output of previous task. External dependencies are due to non-project occurrences for example the arrival of the new hardware and interface definition of another project. Discretionary dependencies are troublesome. These dependencies are based on the flexibilities which are used to build the schedule; but also add some complexities. When all rearranging and juggling is completed and hand written information is transferred to computer based applications like MS project.
Toggling between views optimistic & pessimistic
Calculating the Pert
Entering the weight for PERT calculation
Entering the durations of optimistic, pessimistic and expected in one sheet
Entering the durations of optimistic, pessimistic and expected
Figure 4: Pert Analysis in MS project
We have found that PERT methodology has number of limitations. The first problem lies in calculating the accurate estimates of duration of tasks. When a single dominant path is selected then it yields very accurate results. In case when there are number of parallel paths then it gives overly optimistic estimation. It is recommended that classical PERT model for the quantitative for the risk analysis when you require the accurate estimation for the optimistic, pessimistic and most like durations and our project has a dominant path through the entire network.
In this report we have discussed the project scheduling, planning and analysis methodologies, modeling concepts and analysis technique using the Microsoft Project. Delivering the IT projects on time and budget is very critical to companies’ success and their effective management of scheduling. The concept of WBS is an essential part of this report which has determined the scope of our project. Activities and tasks with allocated time and budget are also discussed in this report. For these tasks and activities Gantt chart makes a best visual representation and used to manage and track the changes in schedule. Earned Value Management (EVM) is a best tool to measure the progress of the project. PERT analysis is also a major part of this report to represent the tasks and durations using the MS Project.
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