Managing Projects

Term Paper, 2009

34 Pages, Grade: 65%


Table of content

1 Task 1
1.1 Exercise 1
1.2 Exercise 2
1.3 Exercise 3
1.4 Exercise 4
1.5 Exercise 5
1.6 Exercise 6

2 Task 2
2.1 Executive Summary
2.2 Introduction
2.3 Findings
2.3.1 Project Manager
2.3.2 The project team
2.4 Planning and monitoring
2.4.1 Project Life cycle
2.4.2 Objectives
2.4.3 Feasibility Study
2.4.4 Stakeholder analysis
2.4.5 Work Breakdown Structure
2.5 Cost Management
2.5.1 Resource Planning
2.5.2 Estimating Costs
2.5.3 Cost Budgeting
2.5.4 Cost Control
2.6 Project Risks



1 Task 1

1.1 Exercise 1

Please see Appendix.

1.2 Exercise 2

The earliest start time for the project start node is zero because there is no a specific time of the project start given in absolute terms such as date or a week number on a calendar. The earliest event time is calculated by using the forward pass through the network (Field and Keller, 1998, p.191). The latest finish time is calculated by using the backward pass (Field and Keller, 1998, p.193). The earliest and latest start time and the earliest and latest finish time are identical on the critical path.

The total float for an activity is calculated by the following formula:

Total float = latest finish time - earliest start time - duration

(Field and Keller, 1998, p. 391)

Note: There is no float on critical path, only on secondary path. Float must never be planned and is an inherent consequence of technical process. Float is also “the excess time available for an activity in addition to its estimated duration” (Field and Keller, 1998, p. 194).

All floats are shown in the following table:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Example on the node C:

Latest finish time: 8 Earliest start time: 4 Duration: 1 Total float: 8-4-1 = 3

1.3 Exercise 3

As already mentioned in 1.2 there is no float on the critical path and the earliest and latest start time and the earliest and latest finish time are identical. The critical path is marked blue in the network diagram

The project duration is calculated by adding all activity durations on the critical path.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The project duration is 70 days.

1.4 Exercise 4

If the project starts on the 5 April 2010 the earliest date it can be completed - using a 5 day working week - will be the 9 July 2010. You have to add 70 days without consideration of Saturdays and Sundays. It needs 14 weeks (70/5=14) to complete the project. That would be 96 days (14*(7)-2=96) weekends included. The last weekend is not added because the project will be done on Friday, 9 July 2010.

1.5 Exercise 5

a) A 1 day delay during activity H would not impact the duration of the whole project because activity H is not located on the critical path but on the secondary path. Activity H has a total float of 4 days and therefore even if there is a 1 day delay there is still enough time to complete this activity on time. It just would have a significant impact on the whole project if there would be a 5 days delay. A 5 days delay would impact the duration of the whole project because the activity would be finished 1 day (5 days-total float 4 days = 1) too late.

b) In case that activity R is completed 1 day before schedule the project would be done 1 day earlier because activity R is on the critical path. The project would need 69 days to complete and the earliest date it can be completed would be 8 July 2010.

c) A 2 day delay during activity C would not impact the duration of the whole project because activity C is not located on the critical path but on the secondary path. Activity C has a total float of 3 days and therefore even if there is a 1 day delay there is still enough time to complete this activity on time.

1.6 Exercise 6

The network diagram is a tool that enables planning and controlling of the project progress. Through the structure of a network diagram the project manager can see which activities must be carried out in sequence and which can be carried out parallel. A delay on the critical path leads to a delay of the whole project. Therefore the project manager has to make sure that the activities will be done on time because there are no floats on the critical path.

Advantages of a network diagram:

- graphic presentation of the project progress
- presents logical relationships among the activities
- significant time and cost savings through optimized planning processes
- helps to ensure that a project is completed on time
- shows the impact of appointment changes
- defines a critical path; easy calculation of the total float on the secondary paths
- helps to set milestones easier

If a project is complex enough a network diagram is a helpful tool to plan and control a project. For smaller projects using a bar chart is rather recommended.

2.1 Executive Summary

Project Management is all about planning, organizing, and managing the resources in order to have a successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. Every project is unique and the conditions affecting planning and implementation are different every time. The starting and a finishing date are clearly determined before the project is executed.

This report describes the important figures who take place in the project such as the project manager (PM) and his team as well as describing project tools and steps which are necessary to take to execute the project properly. The PM is responsible for the overall success of the project. He has the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of the project. He sets up a team which he will lead throughout the project. The team consists of experts who fulfill the requirements to execute the project successfully. Furthermore planning is an important part which relates to the use of schedules such as a Work Breakdown Structure to plan and subsequently report progress within the project environment. Referring to this, the feasibility study will show if a project is technical and financial feasible and has to be done before a project starts. Moreover cost is one of the three pillars supporting project success or failure, the other two being schedule and performance. A project that goes “over budget” will most common not achieve the goals of the project because stakeholder run simply out of money. Therefore it is very important that cost are calculated and controlled during the project which is a part of the PM's duties. During the project duration, many risks and problems occur, which could influence the quality and the cost of the project in a positive or negative way. Therefore it is important to determine all possible risks as early as possible to avoid future conflicts. At the end of the project the PM has to develop a so called close-out plan which finalizes all activities across of the project management process to formally close the project.

2.2 Introduction

The SME Company Lax is specialized in the supply of stationary, and office related items. The company mainly provides their product to organizations such as universities, banks, large retailers, and large corporations who require large scale stationary orders.

Currently, the company has a small sized head office (1,600 square meters) employing 5 administration staff, and 15 operational employees (consisting of mainly sales staff). To ensure sustained profitability of their business the company plans to expand. As a part of a strategy of expansion the company wants to move to a larger premise (3,600 square meters) creating a new head office. Additionally they are planning to introduce a “new one stop shop” in this new head office which is targeted at smaller scale organizations in the local community.

The company has hired Alexander Berger (project manager) who is responsible for the opening of the new head office on time and within budget. He has written a report which will outline the activities required to successfully manage this project of opening a new base.

All information is based on the distance learning package.

2.3 Findings

2.3.1 Project Manager

The project manager is responsible for the overall success of the project. He manages the overall schedule to ensure work is assigned and completed on time and within budget.

“A project manager's key role is to ensure that the team succeeds, and since projects are by their very nature interdisciplinary and cross many organizational lines, routine does not exist and choices have to be made frequently and quickly.” (Field and Keller, 1998)

He has to set up a project support team which he has to lead and motivate throughout the project.

“People management is the most important element of project management. All project management is about working with people: it is people who get things done, Alexander Berger - Managing Projects - 6 not objectives, not plans, not machines and not schedules - though all these are important.” (Field and Keller 1998, p.225)

According to Richman (2001), a project manager must have the following basic skills to succeed:

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People skills

The PM needs to have the ability to communicate with people at all levels and provide valuable information related to the project status in a timely and effective manner. He has to set up clear goals and motivate and persuade others. Moreover he has to manage conflicts confidently and quickly and delegate task. Throughout the project he has to be authoritarian in order to lead the team successful.

Project management skills

He must be able to estimate costs, prepare budget plans and execute a project. Furthermore he has to represent the project to the public and all stakeholders.

Knowledge of organization

The PM has to identify himself with the corporate culture and also need to understand the organization inside out for the purpose of understanding exactly the needs, personalities and desires of his colleagues.


Excerpt out of 34 pages


Managing Projects
University of Sunderland
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
824 KB
Project Manager, Feasibility Study, Cost Management, Project Risks, Netzplan, Stakeholder analysis, Planning and monitoring, Network diagram, University of Sunderland, SIM335
Quote paper
Alexander Berger (Author), 2009, Managing Projects, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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