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MPM210-1501A-04 : Introduction to Project Management Phase 4 DB - Coursework Example

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Program/project evaluation and review technique (PERT) is a statistical tool which was designed to represent and analyze activities/tasks that are involved in finishing a given project. It was developed by the navy in the 1950s for measuring success and progress of projects…
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MPM210-1501A-04 : Introduction to Project Management Phase 4 DB
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Introduction to Project Management Techniques Introduction to Project Management Techniques Program/project evaluation and review technique (PERT) is a statistical tool which was designed to represent and analyze activities/tasks that are involved in finishing a given project. It was developed by the navy in the 1950s for measuring success and progress of projects. PERT is applied in the decision-making process to save time in achieving a project’s goal. Factors that influence success with PERT method are time, specifications on technical performance and resources. According to Ahuja et al (1994), time is used as a common denominator which measures the knowledge on uncertainties concerning the future of the project such as inflation.
PERT processes data that represent significant events in a project through the use of a computer. Also, it estimates the time of completing an activity and the start of the successive activity. As such, it gives an estimate of the earliest and latest finishing of an activity and the maximum resources that should be allocated to any critical activity. PERT assists in monitoring and controlling a projects activities by determining the maximum and minimum time and resources to assign to a project. When these limits are exceeded, it signifies that there is a problem with the project that needs to be corrected.
Like all other processes, PERT has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of using PERT include its ability to show dependency among activities. Additionally, PERT makes visible the critical activities and earliest and latest finish and start time of a critical event. Moreover, a projects duration is also reduced due to the elimination of overlapping of activities and organization of the projects data. The disadvantages include; possibility of numerous activities and dependency of individual projects. It is also unsuitable for small projects, and lastly there is a lack of a timeframe on the technique’s charts makes it difficult to show a project’s status.
Critical path method (CPM) was designed by Morgan R. Walker and James Kelly in 1950s. CPM is an algorithm that schedules a set of the activities of a project. The basic technique involves the construction of a projects model, that contains all the activities needed to complete the project, time required for each activity, dependency relationship of events, and logical points such as deliverables and milestones. These values are used to calculate the longest path of the planned activities. The earliest and latest starting and finishing line of the activities along the critical path are also determined. The process identifies the critical activities and non-critical activities that may be delayed without affecting the projects duration. A critical path can be defined as a series of events that results in the projects longest time frame (Burke, 2013). It indicates a projects shortest completion time. A project may have several near critical paths called sub-critical paths.
CPM tools allow a user to select logical end points of a project and thus identify its longest series of activities that are dependent (Munns & Bjeirmi, 1996). The tools display the critical path as a cascading waterfall that flows from the start point to the logical end point of the project. The advantages of CPM is the ability to view the independent relationship between a project’s activities, Determination of the maximum resources to be used on a project; time saving due to elimination of idle activities and clear organization of work that leads to efficiency and effectiveness in project performance (Moder & Phillips, 1964). The disadvantages include the fact that a lot of time is used in drawing CPM charts and identifying critical paths for large projects (Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). It may be time-consuming to develop CPM charts for larger projects; arithmetic errors may also occur in calculating critical paths and affect the success of the project.
Gantt charts are a type of bar charts developed by Henry Gantt to illustrate a project’s schedule (Kerzner, 2013). The charts show the starting and finishing dates of project’s elements i.e. breakdown structure of work of the project. The charts also show the dependency relationship among activities. The charts are used to indicate the status of the schedule by shading the percentage of completed work. The charts are applied to scheduling generic resources and their use in a project. They are also used for employee scheduling at workplaces (Norden, 1970). Advantages of Gantt charts includes the ability to view complex projects, proper organization of work/thoughts, helps one set realistic time frame of a project, and they are highly visible. The major disadvantages are that the charts may become too complicated to understand/ construct, the length of bars dont indicate the quantity of work; they also require constant updating that may be tedious.
References
Ahuja, H. N., Dozzi, S. P., & AbouRizk, S. M. (1994). Project management: techniques in planning and controlling construction projects. John Wiley & Sons.
Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques.
Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Moder, J. J., & Phillips, C. R. (1964). Project Management with CPM and PERT.
Munns, A. K., & Bjeirmi, B. F. (1996). The role of project management in achieving project success. International journal of project management, 14(2), 81-87.
Norden, P. V. (1970). Useful tools for project management. Management of Production, 71-101.
Stevenson, W. J., & Hojati, M. (2007). Operations management (Vol. 8). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Read More
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