Lecture 9 Project Scheduling: Networks, Duration Estimation, and Critical Path By : Prof. Lili Saghafi

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1 Lecture 9 Project Scheduling: Networks, Duration Estimation, and Critical Path By : Prof. Lili Saghafi 1

2 Learning Objectives After completing this chapter, students will be able to: Understand and apply key scheduling terminology. Apply the logic used to create activity networks, including predecessor and successor tasks. Develop an activity network using Activity-on- Node (AON) techniques. Perform activity duration estimation based on the use of probabilistic estimating techniques

3 Learning Objectives After completing this chapter, students will be able to: Construct the critical path for a project schedule network using forward and backward passes. Identify activity float and the manner in which it is determined. Calculate the probability of a project finishing on time under PERT estimates. Understand the steps that can be employed to reduce the critical path

4 Project Scheduling Project scheduling requires us to follow some carefully laid-out steps, in order, for the schedule to take shape. Project planning, as it relates to the scheduling process, has been defined by the PMBoK as: The identification of the project objectives and the ordered activity necessary to complete the project including the identification of resource types and quantities required to carry out each activity or task

5 Project Scheduling Terms B Successors Predecessors Network diagram Serial activities Concurrent activities A D E F C 09-05

6 Project Scheduling Terms B Merge activities Burst activities Node Path Critical Path A D E F C 09-06

7 Network Diagrams FIGURE 9.2 Alternative Activity Networks for Term Paper Assignment 09-07

8 AOA Versus AON The same mini-project is shown with activities on arc B D C E F and activities on node. D E B F C 09-08

9 Node Labels Early Start ID Number Early Finish Activity Float Activity Descriptor Late Start Activity Duration Late Finish 09-9

10 Activity Node Labels Using MS Project 2010 FIGURE

11 Serial Activities Serial activities are those that flow from one to the next, in sequence. FIGURE

12 Activities Linked in Parallel (Concurrent) When the nature of the work allows for more than one activity to be accomplished at the same time, these activities are called concurrent and parallel project paths are constructed through the network. FIGURE

13 Merge Activity FIGURE

14 Burst Activity FIGURE

15 Complete Activity Network FIGURE

16 Developing the Activity Network Using MS Project 2010 FIGURE

17 Duration Estimation Methods Past experience Expert opinion Mathematical derivation Beta distribution Most likely (m) Most pessimistic (b) Most optimistic (a) Activity Variance = s 2 b a = 6 2 Activity Duration = TE = a+ 4m+ b

18 FIGURE 9.14 Symmetrical (Normal) Distribution for Activity Duration Estimation 09-18

19 FIGURE 9.15 Asymmetrical (Beta) Distribution for Activity Duration Estimation 09-19

20 Activity Duration and Variance Name: Project Delta Durations are listed in weeks Table 9.2 Activity Description Optimistic Likely Pessimistic A Contract signing B Questionnaire design C Target market ID D Survey sample E Develop presentation F Analyze results G Demographic analysis H Presentation to client

21 Constructing the Critical Path Forward pass an additive movethrough the network from start to finish Backward pass a subtractive movethrough the network from finish to start Critical path the longest pathfrom end to end which determines the shortest project length 09-21

22 Rules for Forward/Backward Pass Forward Pass Rules (ES & EF) ES + Duration = EF EF of predecessor = ES of successor Largest preceding EF at a merge point becomes EF for successor Backward Pass Rules (LS & LF) LF Duration = LS LS of successor = LF of predecessor Smallest succeeding LS at a burst point becomes LF for predecessor 09-22

23 Project Delta Information Project Delta Table 9.4 Activity Description Predecessors Estimated Duration A Contract signing None 5 B Questionnaire design A 5 C Target market ID A 6 D Survey sample B, C 13 E Develop presentation B 6 F Analyze results D 4 G Demographic analysis C

24 FIGURE 9.16 Partial Project Activity Network with Task Durations 09-24

25 FIGURE 9.18 Activity Network with Forward Pass 09-25

26 FIGURE 9.19 Activity Network with Backward Pass 09-26

27 FIGURE 9.20 Project Network with Activity Slack and Critical Path Note:Critical path is indicated with bold arrows

28 AON Network with Laddering Effect FIGURE

29 Laddering Activities Project ABC can be completed more efficiently if subtasks are used A(3) B(6) C(9) ABC=18 days A 1 (1) A 2 (1) A 3 (1) B 1 (2) B 2 (2) B 3 (2) Laddered ABC=12 days C 1 (3) C 2 (3) C 3 (3) 09-29

30 Example of a Hammock Activity FIGURE

31 Reducing the Critical Path Eliminate tasks on the CP Convert serial paths to parallel when possible Overlap sequential tasks Shorten the duration on critical path tasks Shorten early tasks longest tasks easiest tasks tasks that cost the least to speed up 09-31

32 Summary 1. Understand and apply key scheduling terminology. 2. Apply the logic used to create activity networks, including predecessor and successor tasks. 3. Develop an activity network using Activity-on- Node (AON) techniques. 4. Perform activity duration estimation based on the use of probabilistic estimating techniques

33 Summary 5. Construct the critical path for a project schedule network using forward and backward passes. 6. Identify activity float and the manner in which it is determined. 7. Calculate the probability of a project finishing on time under PERT estimates. 8. Understand the steps that can be employed to reduce the critical path

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