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Understanding project management techniques - Coursework Example

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Understanding project management techniques
The company, ‘ABC’ plans to upgrade their 400 systems with Windows 7 where the staff systems presently have Windows XP. The systems are distributed at 30 different locations around London…
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However, the few who work from home need to make available their systems at local centers for upgradation and another 10 percent of the systems with JAWS screen reader software need special skills to upgrade to Windows 7. Every project poses problems to project managers and a structured method to problem-solving is required to expose and handle the problem as well as expose other unknown problems that expose the project to risks (Walker, 2011). This project can be effectively managed through use of the most relevant project management tools and techniques. Planning, designing, implementing, monitoring, and completion are the different stages through which the project needs to be taken through successfully to upgrade all the 400 systems of the company. The tools that are available and which can be used for the project will be identified; evaluated and relevant tools and techniques will be used to understand the same. Tools like: Gantt chart, logic network, PERT chart, product breakdown structure and work breakdown structure are some of the tools that will be evaluated for use in this project. Further, risk management in the project will also be discussed for implementation.
A Gantt chart is a frequently used project management tool that provides a graphical representation of a planning and coordinating schedule and also helps track specific tasks of a project. It is a horizontal bar chart serving as a project control tool. The horizontal axis of the chart represents the total time span of the project while the vertical axis represents the various activities or tasks. The horizontal bars can represent the sequences, time and the timing of the tasks. Gantt charts give the status of a project at any given time, but do not represent the interdependcies in the project which is a major drawback when it is important (Whatis.com, 2000). Sub-tasks of a particular task can be viewed using a Gantt chart as small manageable sub-tasks with their dependencies as arrows are illustrated along with other parallel processes, timeline of the project and the progress is tracked with the chart. With tools like OpenOffice, the progress of a task can be tracked in terms of percentage with the dependencies of the sub-tasks also being documented; a Gantt chart automatically gives the start date of the task based on the dependencies (Louarne, 2003). A Gantt chart is also called a Bar chart where the bars represent the tasks and its length represents the time to complete the task (Bureau of Energy Efficiency, 2011). A Gantt chart is created by determining the necessary activities (roles), listing the man-hours required, responsibilities and the throughput time. a disadvantage with Gantt charts is that project that are too complex cannot communicate effectively through this chart as the interdependencies cannot be well developed using such a chart (Russell, 2010). All the tasks, sub-tasks, resources, schedules, etc. will be needed to be sorted out and represented using a Gantt chart for easy tracking of its progress. b) Logic Network As Gantt charts lack the convenience of representing interdependencies between events and activities within a project to give updated information on the project operations at any given time, networks of logic are constructed for this purpose. Valuable information for project planning, creating master plans by integrating plans, scheduling, resource management and timeline is made ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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