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Project Management Chapter 8

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35 Questions

What are the two techniques used for project analysis?

CPM and PERT

What does CPM stand for?

Critical Path Method

What was the original difference between CPM and PERT in terms of time estimates?

CPM used deterministic estimates, PERT used probabilistic

How are activities represented in PERT?

As arcs or arrowed lines

What was the approximate time period when CPM and PERT were developed?

Late 1950s

What is the result of merging CPM and PERT?

A new technique called CPM/PERT

What are project networks used for?

For a variety of projects, such as construction of a building, development of a drug, or installation of a computer system

What is the advantage of using the AON convention?

It is the convention used in Microsoft Project software

What is a network path in a project network?

A sequence of connected activities that runs from the start to the end of the network

What is the critical path in a project network?

The longest path in the network

What determines the minimum project completion time?

The longest path in the network

What is the purpose of analyzing the critical path?

To determine the minimum project completion time

What is the assumption of the CPM/PERT method regarding activity times?

They are statistically independent

What is the purpose of computing the variance for project duration (vp)?

To make probabilistic statements about the project

What distribution is assumed for the network mean and variance in CPM/PERT analysis?

Normal distribution

What is the formula used to compute the Z value in probability analysis?

Z = (x - μ) / σ

What is the shaded area in Figure 8.17?

The probability that the project will be completed in 30 weeks

What is the benefit of using the normal distribution in CPM/PERT analysis?

It enables the computation of probabilities of project completion

Why is the assumption of normal distribution justified in CPM/PERT analysis?

Because the central limit theorem states that the sum of means of the activities along the critical path will approach the mean of a normal distribution

What is the primary purpose of a Gantt chart in project management?

To visualize the project schedule and identify delays

What is a limitation of using Gantt charts in project management?

They are only suitable for small projects with few activities

What is the primary goal of project control?

To minimize project deviations from the plan

What is time management in the context of project management?

The process of ensuring the project schedule does not slip

What is a possible consequence of shifting resources to accelerate critical activities?

The project cost is pushed above the budget

What is the term used to describe the process of shifting resources from one activity to another to accelerate the project schedule?

Time-cost trade-off

What is the primary purpose of monitoring project progress?

To minimize deviations from the project plan

What is the benefit of using a Gantt chart to monitor project progress?

It provides a clear visual representation of the project schedule

What is a key requirement for EVA to work effectively?

Compartmentalizing project work into small packages

What is a drawback of using EVA?

It is difficult to measure work progress

What is the primary difference between CPM and PERT in terms of activity time estimation?

CPM uses a single estimate, while PERT uses multiple estimates

What is the advantage of using CPM/PERT over the Gantt chart?

It shows precedence relationships between activities

What is the representation of activities in a PERT network?

Arcs, or lines with arrows, between circles called nodes

What is the primary difference between CPM and PERT in terms of network drawing?

CPM uses nodes to represent activities, while PERT uses arcs

What is the name of the technique that is commonly used today, which is a merger of CPM and PERT?

CPM/PERT

What is the name of the network used in CPM/PERT?

CPM/PERT Network

Study Notes

Project Management Overview

  • Project management involves the analysis and planning of projects, such as building construction, drug development, and computer system installation, using network techniques like CPM/PERT.
  • CPM stands for Critical Path Method, and PERT is Project Evaluation and Review Technique, both of which were developed in the late 1950s.

Gantt Chart

  • A Gantt chart is a visual display of a project schedule, showing when activities start and finish, and where extra time is available or delays occur.
  • It can be used to monitor progress and identify ahead-of-schedule or behind-schedule activities.
  • However, it has limitations, such as difficulty in showing precedence relationships between activities, especially in larger projects.

Project Control

  • Project control involves monitoring progress to minimize deviations from the project plan and schedule.
  • If deviations occur, corrective action must be taken, which may involve shifting resources to accelerate critical activities and making time-cost trade-offs.
  • Earned Value Analysis (EVA) can be used to measure project progress, but it has drawbacks, such as difficulty in measuring work progress and requiring considerable time for data measurement.

CPM/PERT

  • CPM/PERT is a network technique that uses a single estimate or probabilistic time estimates for activity times.
  • It was originally two separate techniques, CPM and PERT, but have merged into a single technique.
  • CPM/PERT has advantages over Gantt charts, such as clearly showing precedence relationships between activities.

AOA Networks

  • A CPM/PERT network can be drawn using AOA (Activity-On-Arc) or AON (Activity-On-Node) conventions.
  • Both conventions have minor advantages and disadvantages, but AON is popularly used in Microsoft Project software.

The Critical Path

  • A network path is a sequence of connected activities from the start to the end of the network.
  • The longest path in the network is the critical path, which determines the minimum project completion time.
  • The critical path is the minimum time in which the project can be completed.

Probability Analysis

  • The CPM/PERT method assumes that activity times are statistically independent and can be summed to get an expected project time and variance.
  • The network mean and variance are assumed to be normally distributed, allowing for probabilistic statements about the project.
  • Probability analysis can be used to determine the probability of completing a project within a certain timeframe.

This quiz covers project management, including project analysis and network techniques such as CPM. It explores how networks are used in projects like building construction, drug development, and computer system installation.

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