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Copyright 2002-03 Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Schedule Development Using Microsoft Project Jeff Oltmann President Synergy Professional Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2002-03 Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Schedule Development Using Microsoft Project Jeff Oltmann President Synergy Professional Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Schedule Development Using Microsoft Project Jeff Oltmann President Synergy Professional Services

2 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Why Care About Schedule Development and Control? v A good schedule helps project planning... – Assess confidence in hitting key dates (or not) – Find clues to risks or potential problems – Determine project robustness v And execution – See early warning of upcoming trouble – Assess flexibility to fix problems v Good software helps – Easier to create and revise large schedules – Reduces errors (calculate a 100 node network by hand!) – Allows fast evaluation of many alternative scenarios – Provides a tracking framework

3 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Why Care... v But software in the wrong hands is a dangerous weapon... – “Many software programs that do exist suggest planning a project in ways that do not conform to proper project management methods - eg first make a list of tasks and then assign them to calendar dates and the project plan is finished.” - Mulcahy, PMP Exam Prep p.97, 2002 – Accelerates mistakes v YOU must control the software by understanding scheduling theory and processes

4 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Case Study Approach v Schedule development for Project FuzzyWave – Fictional project to upgrade a microwave with fuzzy logic – Use Microsoft Project to apply theory to FuzzyWave u But for safety we will remain in control at all times v Examples comply with PMBOK 2000 (IEEE std) v How rigorous should you be?

5 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Project FuzzyWave Charter v Management objectives for FuzzyWave – Update existing microwave with fuzzy logic controller and sensors – Imposed milestones: u Start no earlier than January 2, 2004 u Power on first prototype within 10 weeks of start u GA before July 1, 2004 – Resource Constraints: u 1 senior engineer and 2 junior engineers for duration u Up to 3 staff months from external electronics designer u Marketing and manufacturing each contribute 25% FTE – Must use company’s standard development lifecycle

6 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Project FuzzyWave Charter v Project FuzzyWave Deliverables – Fully tested microwave, including fuzzy software – Design documentation – Support of manufacturing preproduction – Training for customer service – Standard marketing collateral v ZoomAlong Scope Statement – Not reproduced here – Can a scope statement be agile? u Balancing flexibility and control u Agile change control process u Customer acceptance vs. conformance to specifications

7 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Congratulations - You Got the Job! v The boss wants to know the ship date already – Stop! Don’t write that task list yet! v Value of creating a work breakdown structure – Forces definition of “what’s in and what’s out” – Identifies redundancies and gaps – Promotes communication and buy in with team and stakeholders – Solid basis for time and cost estimation processes – Valuable in practice, though hard to do in class v A good WBS... – Is a hierarchical decomposition of the work, not a flat task list – Identifies ALL work to be performed by the project – Is created with the help of the team – Lowest level tasks have meaningful deliverables that can be estimated and tracked

8 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services WBS Top Level

9 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services WBS Level 2

10 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services WBS Level 3

11 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Demo 1 WBS and Activity List v Demonstrate – Import of WBS – Example activity list u How to estimate roughly how many tasks should be on the list u Estimate durations u Note: task durations should be no more than 2 weeks

12 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Network (Precedence) Diagrams v Now can we assign dates and be done? v Activity on node (AON or PDM) diagrams – Nodes (boxes) represent activities – Arrows represent dependencies – Most common (used by Microsoft Project) v Activity on arrow (AOA) diagrams – Arrows represent activities – Nodes represent dependencies – Dummy arrows may be needed to show some relationships v Network tips – High path convergence indicates high risk – Don’t allow dangling tasks – Networks for real projects may have hundreds of activities

13 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Dependencies v Fast review - types of dependencies – Finish to start (FS)AON and AOA – Start to start (SS)AON only – Finish to finish (FF)AON only – Start to finish (SF)AON only – Lag is a delay imposed on a dependency (eg FF with 7 day lag) v Sources of dependencies – Hard: required by the nature of the work u eg. must build the foundation for a house before walls – Preferential: preferred but possible to change u eg. wiring goes faster if plumbing is completed first – External Tip: reduce confusion by avoiding SS, FF, SF and implicit lag

14 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Demo 2 Task Sequencing v Demonstrate – Adding a task to the network diagram – Sequencing several design tasks in the network diagram – Changing links in network view – Compare Network and GANTT views u advantages and disadvantages of each

15 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Evaluation Methods v Critical Path Method (CPM): u Single duration estimate per task u Calculates path lengths by adding durations u Float shows which tasks have least scheduling flexibility u Easiest, most common, least accurate method v Program Eval and Review Technique (PERT) u Duration estimate is mean of triangular distribution where D = (P + 4M + O) / 6 u Better than CPM at accounting for uncertainty in estimates v Simulation (eg Monte Carlo) u Simulates effects of many duration scenarios on network u Can account for path convergence Trivia: GERT

16 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Key Attributes for CPM v Critical path (CP) – Longest network path and shortest project duration – Shows where to focus attention – Multiple critical paths may indicate higher risk v Start and finish dates – ES and EF: earliest dates that a task can start and finish – LS and LF: latest start and finish dates that don’t delay end date – D = EF - ES + 1 = LF - LS + 1 v Slack (S) or float – Amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying the project finish date (total slack) – S = LF - EF = LS - ES Slack gives flexibility. Lack of slack indicates risky schedule. Tip: Slack gives flexibility. Lack of slack indicates risky schedule.

17 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Example CPM Calculations v Forward Pass - calculate ES and EF v Reverse Pass - calculate LS and LF v Calculate Slack v Identify Critical Path Start End D ESEF LSLF S 4 __ 5 11 __

18 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Completed CPM Calculations v Forward Pass - calculate ES and EF v Reverse Pass - calculate LS and LF v Calculate Slack v Identify Critical Path Start End D ESEF LSLF S

19 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Demo 3 Network Calculation v Demonstrate – Task list with duration and resource assignments – Calculated network diagram u Point out critical path and CPM attributes – GANTT view – Resource histogram u Did we meet resource limits from the charter?

20 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Fixing a Schedule Problem v End date does not meet charter requirement v Fast tracking parallelizes CP tasks – Usually increases risk – Can increase cost v Crashing adds resources to CP tasks – Identify lowest cost places to add resources – Shift resources from tasks that have slack or use outside resources v Must have network diagram – Critical path – Locations of slack time – Dependencies

21 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Demo 4 Schedule Pull In v Demonstrate – Shorten critical path by fast tracking – Shorten critical path by crashing

22 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Schedule Tracking and Control v Don’t let your schedule get dusty! v Regularly gather status and compare to baseline – 50/50 method – Enforce regular team reporting habits v Look for warning signs – Watch critical path AND areas with little slack – Beware of tasks with long durations – Watch for overdue starts and finishes – Check on work that should be starting or finishing soon v Take corrective action – Use the network diagram to explore options – Monitor effectiveness of corrective action – Update baseline, including Microsoft Project files v Communicate!

23 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Demo 5 Reports v Fast forward to 1/20/03 v Demonstrate – Marking items partly and fully complete in network view – Tracking GANTT for team – Milestone report for management (Reports / Overview / Milestone) – Critical tasks (Reports / Overview / Critical) – Should have started (Reports / Current / Should / )

24 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Advanced Aspects v Handling multiple projects – shared resources in MS Project Server – tradeoffs vs multiple Project files v Tracking earned value v Completion buffer (Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints) v Groupware and integration – integration – integration with other programs (databases, Excel) – plug ins v Comparison to other scheduling programs

25 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Conclusion v Good scheduling skills are a crucial tool in your project management toolbox v Software will amplify your schedule development capabilities for better or worse v Call me with your questions or thoughts Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services (503)

26 Copyright Jeff Oltmann Synergy Professional Services Questions and Answers


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