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Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2014
31 Pages, Grade: 1.0
Task I – Critterhouse Limited
1.1 Network Diagram
1.2 Determination of the timing of activities and the total float
1.3 Determination of the project duration and the critical path
1.4 Calculation of the earliest date of completion
1.5 Effect on the duration of the project caused by rescheduling
1.6 Limitations of network diagrams
Task II – Ross Limited
2. Project Management Foundation
2.2 Initiating Stage – Defining and Authorizing the Project
2.3 Project Manager (PM) – Skills and Competencies
2.4 Project Team – Teambuilding
3. Project Life Cycle
3.1 Initiation Phase - Objective Setting
4. Project Planning
4.1 Stakeholder analysis
4.2 Work Breakdown Structure
5. Project Cost Management
5.1 Resource Planning
6. Risk Management
6.1 Risk identification
6.2 Risk analysis- Quantitative and Qualitative
6.3 Risk Response Planning
6.4 Risk Monitoring and Control
7. Ensuring a successful project execution- Project controlling
1. Network Diagram
2. Basic Skills of a Project Manager
4. Organizational Chart
5. Gantt Chart
6. Checklist of Cost Management Factors
7.Low- Medium- High Risk Matrix
8.Probability Impact Matrix
Figure 1: Network Diagram Activity including the timing
Figure 2: Critical Path
Figure 3: Project Life Cycle
Figure 4: Expectations of Stakeholder
Figure 5: SMART based on University of Sunderland (2005)
Figure 6: Stakeholder Analysis
Figure 7: Work Breakdown Structure
Figure 8: Project Planning Process, retrieved from : A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge
Figure 9: Created by author based on: A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge. (2000). 1st ed. E-book] Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute Inc., p.89. Available at: http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~cagatay/cs413/PMBOK.pdf [Accessed 28 May. 2014].
Figure 10: Major Risk Categories for an effective Risk Management, retrieved from: (Managing Projects - SIM 335, 2005)
An activity-on-node network, which is based on the essential methodology can be found in Appendix 1.
The timing of the activities is determined in days (starting at day zero) including the earliest start time (EST), earliest finish time (EFT) as well as the latest start time (LST) and the latest finish time (LFT).
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1: Network Diagram Activity including the timing
The EST, is the earliest possible starting time of an activity/node. It is calculated by using a forward pass through the network (Field and Keller, 1998, p.191). The EFT is the latest time at which all the previous activities need to be completed, therefore it is the EST plus the Duration (D). Hence, the EFT of the last node will then be exactly the EST of the next activity. If two activities run parallel the following EST will be the latest (highest in days) finish time of the previous, because activities cannot continue before all the preceding activities have been finished.
The LFT is the day all the previous activities have to start latest, so that the overall project will not be delayed. It is calculated using the backward pass (Field and Keller, 1998, p.193). It is the same as the EFT if the total float is “0” or later than the EFT (EFT + total float). By subtracting the duration from the LFT, one will get the LST. Activities with a difference between the EST and the LST have a float, which means they have “… excess time available for an activity in addition to its estimated duration” (Field and Keller, 1998, p. 194). This time a task can slip without delaying the project. (Managing Projects - SIM 335, 2005) The total float (TF) is the excess time available for each activity and is determined by the difference between the EFT and LFT subtracted by the duration. TF= LFT – EFT – D. The whole total float is 14 days.
The Project Duration can be determined by summing up the total duration of all activities on the critical path (without float). If there is more than one activity at the same time, only the duration of the longest, parallel activity is added. The total duration of this project is 82 days.
A sequence of activities which have no float (float = 0) form the critical path. For the example given the shown graphic makes up the critical path.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 2: Critical Path
If there is any delay on these activities the whole project will be hindered or delayed. Those activities need careful monitoring.
On the critical path the EST and LST as well as the EFT and the LFT of each node are equal. Activities, which have a Total float higher than zero, are on the secondary path and non-critical activities.
The whole project will have its earliest finish time covering a period of 82 days, independent of its start date. Based on the assumption that a 5 day working week is considered, the project duration (82 days) will be divided by 5 to determine the duration in weeks. That equals 16 weeks and 2 days. Continuing, these will be added to the start date of the project, the 1st August 2014 the earliest date of completion will be the 24th November 2014.
1.5.1 A 1 day delay during activity P
A delay of 1 day relevant for activity P will lead to the entire project being one day delayed, since it is on the critical path and has a total float of zero.
1.5.2 Activity Q is delayed 1 day
The delay of activity Q does not have effects on the project’s finish date as it is not positioned on the critical path and is given a total float of 2.
1.5.3 A 4 day delay during activity N
As activity N is on the critical path and has a total float of zero subsequently the whole project will be set back by 4 days. Activities that follow N will only be able to start with a 4 day delay which will shift the project duration to 86 days in total.
As time is a critical factor for a project a clear visualisation of the duration for the project and its individual activities is essential, but not satisfactory given in the network diagram as it is only showing the timings in days. Hence it bears no relationship to the real time project scheduling because there are neither actual dates nor holidays, which is becoming more of a problem when the number of project participants and activities increases. Participants might also have difficulties understanding the diagram immediately and therefore need to be briefed. Besides, one might lose the overview very quickly in bigger and more complex network diagrams due to the lack of visible reference. In addition a clear Work Break down Structure is needed. Furthermore neither the budget nor the person dealing with a certain activity is apparent, which makes having an overview of the whole project difficult as well as planning the Resources sufficiently. The biggest limitation though is that milestones, the achievement of subsidiary goals, are not integrated. Updating the diagrams manually will require professional IT-Software, which is not only expensive but will also raise the question whether changes in timing being made within the diagram can be processed without a review of the total network, due to its interrelations.
Ross Limited, as a SME company, is supplying specially trained occupational health nurses. The company provides their service to over 400 organizations in various industrial settings. Ever since the company was founded they have demonstrated remarkable growth and within the scope of expansion the company is now realising a new administration office in the North of England. Ross Limited has decided to hire a project manager in charge of opening the second office who will coordinate all contributions to the project and will be able to make the best use of the company’s resources and help achieve the objectives.
“Those who do not do their homework do not graduate.”
As the project is at present in the feasibility stage, the stage where most value can be added trough creativity and experience (Successful-project-management.com, 2014), the expertise of the project team is vital. Conducting a feasibility study for the project might be of help to “…confirm that the proposed business cases is feasible, but also to prioritize the business cases so that the most viable can be carried out first.” (Burke, 2013) It should include the client’s corporate requirements, evaluation of internal and external constraints together with a cost benefit analysis and possible risks and uncertainties. For Ross Limited’s present project this would mean to carry out a meaningful market analysis in consideration of the differences of political, ecological, social, technical, economical and legal factors (PESTEL) between Scotland and North England. Generating a break- down of the whole business case into smaller parts- considering personnel resources, the budget and scenarios which are potentially acceptable solutions is of help (Field and Keller, 1998). The feasibility study will then provide a basis for the project participants and will help decide whether or not to proceed, will help to evaluate the alternatives and the handling of problems. The precise planning of the project is carried out in the project planning phase.
Projects are customized solutions and are therefore dealing with uniqueness, uncertainty and risk. Precisely for this reason, “Project Management requires the use of many skill sets and involves tasks of limitless variety” (Heerkens, 2014). In addition to the basic skills for managing a project defined by Richman (2012) which can be found in Appendix 2, multiple other skills are needed for a successful management of a project such as “…flexibility, resourcefulness, ability to negotiate, personal drive and a large measure of common sense” (University of Sunderland, 2005). Apart from delegating tasks the PM needs to be able to rely and trust others in order to get things done. To handle diverse personalities into a unified team a smooth working relationship must be cultivated and requires the PM’s ability to persuade and influence as well as to coach, mentor and motivate the staff (Heerkens, 2014). At best, he enables each individual within the project team to concentrate on their personal core competencies, ultimately resulting in better productivity and results for the project. The best competency mix of a PM includes Cognition Competencies (Analysing & Reasoning), Personal Effectiveness (Result & Safety Focus) Management Qualities (Planning & Organizing) and Leading Others (Acts as a role model to others). A professional PM never loses sight of interpersonal aspects as well as the environmental aspects and pays attention to details without getting wrapped up in them. “The best project manager is both a specialist and a generalist” (University of Sunderland, 2005).
The Planning and execution of the Project lies mainly in the hands of the Project Team. The PM is to force discipline into atmosphere of creativity- without destroying the creativity. (Stessen, 2014)
An effective project team requests a symbiosis between “hard” and "soft" skills, personalities and attitudes to achieve good project results. As People are one of the most important resources and the complexities of this project require a well-organized team the PM is responsible for the careful selection of team members and experts. Therefore several techniques may be used:
Competency based interviewing skills
Behavioural Event Interviewing
Besides the competencies of the team members, special attention should be placed on a well-balanced interpersonal mix of the team. Just before the integration phase teambuilding needs to be focused on. This can be simply done by developing a code of conduct for the team meetings as well as regular status reports (Heerkens, 2014) that will be compared to the mutual expectation. The team comprises specialists in:
Design and Architecture of new premises
A diagram and an organizational chart which shows how the project team should be structured is shown in Appendix 3 and 4.
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