Management of a project brings about a lot of difficulties for the project manager. One of the regularly encountered difficulties is in the arena of Time Management. As any practicing project manager can attest, time is one particular of the most critical project constraints regularly encountered in exercise. The other two project constraints are project spending budget and project scope. Time constraint can be especially challenging when buyer imposes a predetermined goal completion date even prior to the project planning commences or is still in-progress. And to compound this even further, the buyer imposed goal date is generally forward of the prepared completion date. So, what is a project manager supposed to do underneath these types of situation?
Undertaking Time Crunch: Dealing with Options
Undertaking managers should diligently think about all attainable solutions that can support in matching the prepared project completion date to buyer specified completion date when the latter date is before than the previous date. As a starting up point, project manager can decide if program compression approaches can assist in assembly the goal date, and if that isn’t going to operate then negotiate two attainable alternatives with project sponsor(s) and vital stakeholders:
Reduce selection of targets/deliverables for the project. This decreases scope which in convert assists in lowering operate and thus can assist to make the goal date achievable, or
Negotiate to change the goal completion date for the project to at least match the prepared completion date.
Prior to escalating the subject to sponsor and/or vital stakeholders, it is recommended to check out if program compression can assist. Schedule compression involves two approaches-Crashing and Rapid-monitoring. Crashing involves assignment of added methods to tasks in get to support in completing them quicker. Rapid-monitoring involves accomplishing a number of tasks concurrently primarily if they have no immediate dependency on one particular a further and can be completed in parallel. Now, crashing does maximize project value due to the employment of added methods and for this project manager should acquire into thought the project spending budget alongside with contingency reserve to make certain project expenditures does not exceed accessible funds. Note that a project manager can utilize equally the approaches in the exact project if needed.
Undertaking Community Diagrams
In get to make a decision on the program compression technique and which tasks really should be brought underneath the purview of which program compression technique, project manager should use the project’s network diagram also identified as Community Logic Diagram. Let’s now comprehend the position that Undertaking Community Diagram (PND) or Community Logic Diagram (NLD) can enjoy in helping project managers undertake program compression. PND can be of two forms: Activity-on-Arrow (AOA) and Activity-on-Node (AON). Activity-On-Node (AON) PNDs are also identified as Precedence Diagramming Approach (PDM). In this article, I will concentrate on AONs or PDMs as they are extra common and regularly used in exercise and in program these types of as Microsoft Undertaking.
PDM/AON & CPM: Understanding Advantages
AONs are developed based on pursuits or tasks received from the project’s Perform Breakdown Structure (WBS). Although WBS offers a number of information these types of as which tasks when concluded can supply which project deliverable, it does not incorporate associations or dependencies concerning tasks. Dependencies concerning tasks are possibly graphically depicted or explained in tabular format for a PND. This can help in knowing the form of partnership concerning tasks and in what sequence they really should be done. In addition, PNDs can have many process sequences and every these types of sequence from start off of project to end defines a specific path in the PND. The delineation and knowing of all paths in a PND are critical as it lays the groundwork for pinpointing prepared period of the project as very well as all those tasks which straight impression the project’s completion date and thus are unable to be delayed. A very specific strategy known as Important Route Approach (CPM) is used for PNDs like AONs in get to decide the pursuing:
- Prepared project completion date
- Early start off and end periods for every process in the PND
- Late start off and end periods for every process in the PND
- Accessible Slack or Delay time for every process and the project alone
- One or extra significant tasks and paths in the PND
Arming oneself with all the information earlier mentioned can enormously support in pinpointing the pursuing:
- Which tasks can be delayed and which tasks are unable to be delayed
- Review dependencies to decide which tasks can be completed concurrently in get to undertake rapidly-monitoring if needed
- What is the prepared total period of the project?
It should not be hard to comprehend now that PNDs these types of as AONs is an critical software in a project manager’s toolbox to use in get to handle time constraint difficulties or simply undertake program planning for a project. Understanding of this very critical software alongside with software of network assessment procedure known as Important Route Approach (CPM) is a expected ability even when it is completed applying robust scheduling program like Microsoft Undertaking. This is simply because the true process dependency established up even in Microsoft Undertaking should be completed by the project manager and it is generally needed to go outside of the defaults used by the program. It is then and only then that the software’s correct electric power of becoming able to crank out what-if scenarios can be utilized to the max which certainly are unable to be completed by generally relying on program defaults. In addition to process dependencies, tasks can be established to have lead or lag periods as very well. Direct time is when a successor process is permitted to have a head start off and can get started prior to completion of the predecessor process, and Lag time permits for the successor process to be delayed from starting up by a outlined time right after the predecessor process completes.
Aside from becoming valuable in exercise, anyone who aspires to get licensed as a PMI’s Project Management Qualified (PMP) or Certified Affiliate in Project Management (CAPM) will have to know all the basics pertaining to PNDs and use of CPM in get to put together very well for the critical Undertaking Time Management information region. In this transient article I have centered on extolling the benefits of PDMs/AONs as they can noticeably support in management of project schedule and its constraint relevant difficulties. I would like to really encourage all audience new to this matter to seek advice from any project management reserve that addresses the basics of this matter in a thorough fashion, and start off applying them in their projects.