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Project Management Techniques and tools Move mouse over arrow to enter presentation
Project Planning What is a project? A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to achieve a particular aim and to which project management can be applied, regardless of the projects size, budget, or timeline.
Project Planning People undertake projects constantly: Decorating a room Planning a party Learning to drive Writing a piece of coursework Cooking a Sunday roast Organising a holiday
Project Planning In the workplace: Designing a new financial system Developing a system to automatically contact customers Designing and planning a new office building Installing a network Upgrading all of the computer hardware
Project Planning It doesnt matter how large or small the project is, or whether it is for a personal or business reason, it will need some planning in order for it to be successful.
Project Planning Imagine trying to cook a Sunday roast with no planning: The Yorkshire Puddings are put into the oven before the meat. You come to make the stuffing and realise that you forgot to buy the ingredients Your peas are overcooked and resemble green bullets You are serving up the food when you realise that you forgot to tell Auntie Mavis what time to arrive Your lovely meal has turned into a bit of a disaster
Project Planning You want to decorate the lounge and decide to make a start this weekend, but…. You forgot to strip the walls so most of the weekend is spent getting the old wallpaper off You didnt order enough wallpaper and find you are two rolls short. The shop is out of stock and the next batch is a slightly different shade. You bought white matt paint for the doors instead of white gloss You didnt work out the costs of things and you dont have quite enough money to buy all of the carpet you need – never mind – the sofa will cover up the hole! Somehow, the finished effect isnt going to be quite as you imagined.
Project Planning With a bit of planning before you started those projects, you could have saved yourself time, money and stress! The examples given were for small scale projects. Look at the potential for things to go wrong even with a little project. Imagine how many things could go wrong with a major project in the workplace? Imagine what the consequences could be of making mistakes in a multi-million pound project. And dont think that it doesnt ever happen …………
Project Planning Passport fiasco cost taxpayers £12m The cost of a passport could rise as a result of the chaos The National Audit Office says at least 500 holidaymakers missed their departure dates, following problems with a new computer system, which left the agency unable to issue passports on time. NEWS STORY
Project Planning Air traffic blur has Glasgow- bound flight heading to Wales Passengers on a flight to Glasgow nearly ended up in Wales because air traffic controllers could not make out the characters on their new computer screens….. NEWS STORY
Project Planning Government faces £1.5bn bill for IT failures The government's bill for failed IT projects has soared to £1.5bn since coming to power The figure is the total cost of cancelled or over-budget schemes over the last six years, according to the survey published in the trade magazine Computing. NEWS STORY
Project Planning The examples given were from real news stories about some major IT projects which have gone horribly wrong. Mistakes can be very expensive, they can even lead to bankruptcy or as you just saw, a potential disaster. The key to any successful project, no matter who it is for, no matter what the cost or value, is PLANNING. Without planning – things WILL go wrong!
Project Planning So what should you plan when you are embarking on a project? Project management can be broken down into four main areas: Budget Deadlines Systems Personnel Planning for these, will help to minimise mistakes
Budget It may be that extra budget has to be allocated or costs need to be cut back. All projects should have a fixed budget set right at the outset. The actual spending on the project needs to be constantly checked against the forecast of spending. Use of graphs with predicted spend graphed against actual spend. If the actual spend is starting to rise above the forecast, things need to be looked at again.
Deadlines When a business is going to embark on a project, they need to have some idea of how long it will take them to complete it. Large scale projects cannot be completed by just one person. Teams of people with the required skills are normally formed right at the start of a project. Generally, the more people that are allocated to a project team, the faster the project will be completed.
Deadlines The project will need to be broken down into different stages. Each stage will be set its own deadline. It is vital that the actual time which tasks take to complete are monitored and that this is compared against the projected time plan. That will enable the project manager to be alerted if the deadlines are starting to slip Teamwork is dependent on people keeping to their deadlines. If one team fails to complete their task on time, any delay can mean that the second team cant begin their work on time. This can have a considerable knock on effect on the final deadline
Introduction There are various techniques and tools which can be used to assist in ensuring that a project is carried out efficiently. This should have the effect of Ensuring that the project doesnt over run Delays are spotted quickly and steps taken to rectify them Keep within the allocated budget
Project Management Software Software that allows you to construct and build CPA, PERT and Gantt charts. Software allows lines of responsibility to be drawn and teams to be allocated. Deadlines and tasks can be set and monitored. Reports on all aspects of the project created – personnel, deadlines, financial.
Critical Path Analysis (CPA) The critical path of a project is the path from start to end – longest path in the project. Establishes all the tasks required to complete a project. Allows an overview of tasks and schedules and moves overdue tasks into the critical path allowing extra resources/monitoring of the task.
Critical Path Analysis
Planning and Monitoring Tool
Critical Path Analysis May be used as part of the decision making process Enables a firm to plan and monitor operations Time related – identifies the maximum time for an operation to be completed Identify potential problems in implementing operation Identifies where and when resources (including human ones) are needed
Critical Path Analysis Advantages Maximise efficiency in the use of time Improve efficiency and generate cost saving in the use of resources Beneficial to monitoring cash flow Disadvantages Usefulness may be limited in complex and large scale operations Necessity of having clear and reliable information Skilled management and team philosophy is essential
CPA – the Process Identify and prioritise the activities Identify which activities MUST be done before others EST – identify earliest start time LFT – identify latest finish time Identify the FLOAT – tasks which can be completed outside the critical path Identify the critical path – points connecting ESTs and LFTs (where these are the same)
Critical Path Analysis Nodes: Show the start and finish of a task 12 Node numbers showing order of activities in the left hand semi-circle of each node. 3 Earliest Start Time (EST) 5 Latest Finish Time (LFT) A 3 B 5 Arrows indicate the order of the tasks, the letter above shows the order, the time period below the arrow The Critical Path
Gantt Chart The ability to communicate is a definitive prerequisite for successful management of a project. Graphical displays such as gantt-charts usually make the information easy to identify and thus are the prime means for tracking cost. The gantt-chart is a mean of displaying simple activities or events plotted against time. An activity represents the amount of work required to proceed from one point to another. Events are described as either the starting or ending point for either one or several activities. Gantt-charts are advantageous in that they are simple to understand and easy to change. They are the least complex means of portraying progress (or lack of it) and can easily be expanded to identify specific elements that may be either behind or ahead of schedule
Benefits of Gantt Charts The benefits for project management, that gantt-charts can result in, include: Cutting project cost and reducing the time scale Coordinating and expediting planning Eliminating idle time Obtaining better scheduling and control for subcontractor activities Developing better troubleshooting procedures Cutting time for routine decisions, but allowing more time for decision making
PERT - Program Evaluation Review Techniques Shows relationship and dependencies between tasks.
Videos Some useful videos that will help you understand how project management and Gantt charts work: Gantt Charts in Excel Project Management Project Management Tutorial Gantt charts & PERT charts
Try it yourself! Here are some online Project Management Tools that you can try free. All sites have lots of information about the benefits of using PM software, so make sure you take some notes while you work. www. comindwork.com