TK3333 Software Management Topic 7: Schedule Control
Contents Perform the steps in the project control process Determine the effects of actual schedule performance on the project schedule Incorporate project changes into the schedule Calculate an updated project schedule Control the project schedule
Real World Example Vignette: Internal Revenue Service The US IRS has been upgrading its IT infrastructure and business applications. The $8 billion project includes the new Customer Account Data Engine (CADE). CADE is almost three years behind schedule and 40% over budget. Reasons for delay: poor communication, lack of accountability, managers and system users were not consulted, IRS gave contractors little direction, and they gave approval to protocols without testing them. Requirements were not met with new system designs. Improvements made by the IRS: accountability established, employees are given specific tasks, and managers and system users are providing more input. Through better project management, the IRS hopes the system upgrade will be completed as soon as possible.
Real World Example Vignette: Nike Rebounds In 2000, Nike implement a new demand-planning supply chain system, called “i2.” It didn’t work because of a glitch, and Nike lost $100 million in sales. “i2” was built in a hurry. It resulted in too many or too few orders for many products. This fragmented Nike’s supply chain, instead of centralizing it. Nike fixed their failed project by: increasing efforts to fix the software problems with i2, implementing a test plan, and requiring extensive employee training. The company decided to continue using the i2 for its clothing sales. They applied the mistakes they made with i2 to their new project, an enterprise resource planning system for sneaker orders.
Project Control Process The key to effective project control is to measure actual progress and compare it to planned progress on a timely and regular basis and to take necessary corrective action immediately. Establish a regular reporting period. During each reporting period, collect: – data on actual performance – information on any changes to project scope, schedule and budget If changes are incorporated, a new plan must be established. Refer the process flow pg. 211
Effects of Actual Schedule Performance Actual finish times (AFT) of completed activities will determine the earliest start and earliest finish times for the remaining activities. E.g. If Activity 1 delays by 3 days, the subsequent activities that rely on it will delay 3 days (i.e. 3 days later from the original schedule ES and EF)
Incorporating Project Changes into the Schedule Changes might be initiated by the customer or the project team, or they might be the result of an unanticipated occurrence (e.g. disaster, people ill or resign etc.). The degree of impact may depend on when the changes are requested. – Requested early may mean less impact on cost and schedule When the customer requests a change, additional costs might need to be charged. – Discuss and get approval
Updating the Project Schedule An updated project schedule can be calculated based on actual finish times of completed activities. – ES and EF for the remaining uncompleted activities are calculated by working forward. – LS and LF for the uncompleted activities are calculated by working backward Project management software can assist.
Approaches to Schedule Control: Four Steps 1)Analyse the schedule to identify areas that need corrective actions 2)Decide what corrective actions should be taken, if any 3)Revise the plan to incorporate the corrective actions 4)Recalculate the schedule to evaluate the effects of the planned corrective actions
The schedule analysis should identify: – The critical path – Any activities that have a negative slack – Paths with slippages (slack got worse from previous schedule) To accelerate project progress, attention should be given to the paths with negative slack. – The most negative slack is the top priority A change in the estimated duration of any activity will cause a corresponding change in the slack for that path. – Corrective actions must reduce the duration estimates for activities on the negative slack When a path of activities has negative slack, focus on: – Activities that are near term. – Activities that have long estimated durations. Approaches to Schedule Control
Reducing the Estimated Durations Apply more resources. Assign a person with greater expertise to perform or help with the activity. Reduce the scope or requirements for an activity. Totally eliminate some activities. Increase productivity through improved methods or technology.
Approaches to Schedule Control Reducing durations of activities usually results in an increase in costs or a reduction in scope. The key is to effectively address paths with negative or deteriorating slack values as soon as they are identified.
Schedule Control for Information Systems Development Common necessary changes during IS development projects: – Changes to input screens – Changes to reports – Changes to on-line queries – Changes to database structures – Changes to software processing routines – Changes to processing speeds Read an IS example pg. 222
Project Management Software The software allows various control functions. The percent complete for each task can be entered. Changes to the duration estimates can be entered. The software will automatically revise the project schedule and the corresponding network diagrams.
Trade-offs Eliminating negative slacks by reducing durations of activities normally involve trade-offs (i.e. increase in costs or reduction in scope). Time-cost trade-off methodology is used to determine the shortest project completion time by crashing the activities (reduce duration) that result in the smallest increase in total project cost. Shorten the duration, one time period at a time, crashing only those on critical path and have the lowest acceleration cost per time period. Assumptions: Each activity has ; Normal time and cost estimates Crash time and cost estimates Duration can be accelerated by having more resources Relationship between time and cost is linear
Trade-offs Normal time The estimated length of time required to perform the activity under normal conditions. Normal cost The estimated cost to complete the activity in the normal time. Crash time The shortest estimated length of time in which the activity can be completed. Crash cost The estimated cost to complete the activity in the crash time. See example pg. 229-232
Thank You Question? Next (06/04) : – Resource Considerations
Group Project Phase 2 Given that the proposal that you prepared in Phase 1 has won the bid. Now, you are required to produce a detailed Project Plan that contains the following: – Project Constraints – Work Breakdown Structure – Responsibility Matrix – Activities Required to Complete the Project – Resources Required to Complete the Project – Time Estimates for Activities – Cost Estimates for Activities – Gantt Chart/PERT Chart – Discussion of ES, EF, LS, LF, slack, project duration – Discussion of the Critical Path Hints: How your project scope will be accomplished on time and within budget (what, who, how long, how much, when, where).