Proj 592 project cost and schedule control all discussions devry

PROJ 592 Project Cost and Schedule Control All Discussions

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Week 1

Week 1 DQ 1

WBS Construction (Graded)

Designated discussion topics in this class are based on a project scenario titled “Indoor Theme Park Project.” Click here to download the project scenario. Keep the document for further reference in later discussions.How would you start the process of constructing the WBS for our Indoor Theme Park Project? Who should be a part of the process? How do we manage the process to get a good WBS?

 

Week 1 DQ 2

Project Cost Estimates and Assumptions (Graded)

Review the “Indoor Theme Park Project” scenario. Click here to download the project scenario. We will now turn our attention to developing costs and assumptions for our project. What assumptions do we need to make to make? What areas do we need to develop specific new information, and what areas can use existing information? Where would you be likely to obtain this information? What modifications might be necessary to make the information fit our new project?

 

Week 2

Week 2 DQ 1

Week 2: Financial Plan – Discussion

Cost Components (Graded)

This week we will continue to use the Indoor Theme Park Case from the Week 1 Discussion, in which we discussed the project cost components and our estimate assumptions. This week we will discuss some of the “hidden” project costs and their importance in our project budget. Here are some questions we will address during our discussion this week. Define overhead costs in relation to a project, and explain why it is important to the project manager. Referencing the Indoor Theme Park project case, how should overhead be estimated for the new theme park project?

How is estimating done in your company, and how are overhead costs included?

 

Week 2 DQ 2

Week 2: Financial Plan – Discussion

Estimating Processes (Graded)

The process that is used for budgeting is as important as the source of the details of the cost estimates. There are two fundamental processes: Top Down performed by upper management, and Bottom Up performed by representatives of the project team that will be doing the work. Describe the two processes. Which do you favor and why?

 

 

Week 3

Week 3 DQ 1

Week 3: Scheduling Networks – Discussion

Project Schedules (Graded)

Forget about cost estimation and budgets this week; now we get to play with the third and greatest element of our triple constraint — TIME. Project scheduling follows one of Parkinson’s laws: “Everything takes as long as it takes.” We will explore the elements and functions we must consider when developing the project schedule?We have developed a complete WBS that we feel truly defines the scope of the project, and it is well organized. We have reviewed some available resources, including some outside sources; however we must first build a schedule baseline.

How do you get started? What methods help in scheduling?

Is there the same kind of team process involved as in building the WBS?

What are your most important considerations when building a project schedule?

Must you first consider deadlines? What kinds of scheduling constraints are common?

Remember, you each don’t need to address all the questions. Use them to build a discussion amongst all of us.

 

Week 3 DQ 2

Week 3: Scheduling Networks – Discussion

Sensitivity Analysis (Graded)

A “what-if analysis” is a common term for sensitivity analysis; does this sound more familiar?

What is your understanding or experience with analysis of project schedules?

When doing a sensitivity analysis, what factors could be variables, and which should be constants?

This is an important part of building a viable project schedule: understanding what can change and still be acceptable, and what can change that may become a problem.

 

Week 4

Week 4 DQ 1

Week 4: Advanced Scheduling and Crashing – Discussion

Resource Allocation and Leveling (Graded)

This week we discuss the advantages of resource leveling to increase the efficiency of our schedule and our resource utilization. During our discussion we will address several questions, including:

  • How much detail should be demanded by the project manager in resource assignments?
  • What factors might intervene between the plan and its execution to disrupt the resources assigned to the project?
  • How can the PM reduce the potential effect of these factors and obtain resource commitment as the project is implemented?

 

Week 4 DQ 2

Week 4: Advanced Scheduling and Crashing – Discussion

Advanced Schedule Techniques (Graded)

This week we were introduced to some advanced scheduling techniques, including CPM, PERT, and TOC (or CCPM). Throughout the week we will address the following questions:

  • Do you think these will help you as you continue your project management career? Why?
  • Where have you used them or seen them used?
  • Were they effective? Why or why not?

 

Week 5

Week 5 DQ 1

Week 5: Project Monitoring and Control – Discussion

Earned Value Calculation (Graded)

This week we are introduced to Earned Value techniques. Why is this method any different than just comparing the traditional budget to date with the expenditures to date? After reviewing the EV technique and calculations, does the method have any use when monitoring a project?

 

Week 5 DQ 2

Week 5: Project Monitoring and Control – Discussion

Project Monitoring and Control & EV (Graded)

Project Monitoring and Control may not use the Earned Value method, but it must use some method. Does the organization for which you work, or one with which you are familiar, use Earned Value? If it does, briefly describe the system and discuss any changes or improvements you would make. If not, what does it use?If you don’t have any experience using a project monitoring system, you will get a chance to hear from classmates who have. Feel free to ask questions and make comments. You can also do research to provide some background for participation.

 

Week 6

 

Week 6 DQ 1

Week 6: Cost and Schedule Management – Discussion

Forecasting Project Completion Cost (Graded)

We have introduced concepts in the earned value management system that allow us to forecast what it will cost to complete our project (Estimate To Completion, or ETC). We then use ETC to calculate the total actual project cost (Estimate At Completion, or EAC). In your own words, explain what ETC and EAC are and how the project team uses this information to ensure project success.

 

Week 6 DQ 2

Week 6: Cost and Schedule Management – Discussion

Project Control (Graded)

Calculating variances, indexes, and forecasts would seem to make the decisions easy, but we know that the numbers don’t manage the project. We do. We accept that we have to make new projections based on how the project is performing and then decide what we will do to make it meet the requirements in the end. So how will you as the project manager use this information to ensure project success at completion? Will you be successful? What might get in your way? Does it matter where you are in the project timeline?

 

Week 7

 Week 7 DQ 1

Week 7: Project Management Communication and Information Systems – Discussion

 Project Communications (Graded)

Good project communication starts with a communications plan. This document is sometimes overlooked because the project manager feels like he or she knows how, when, and what to communicate so that he or she does not need to take the time to document it.

  • What do you think of this action (or lack of action)?
  • Have you experienced the use of a good communications plan?
  • Have you experienced the result of the lack of a communications plan?

 

Week 7 DQ 2

Week 7: Project Management Communication and Information Systems – Discussion

PMIS Applications (Graded)

With focus on Budget and Scope control, how would you develop an information system for the Indoor Theme Park Project? Briefly describe the essential elements you would include, and the information flow between the project manager and the project team, including contractors. Include how to communicate exceptions and changes.

  • Briefly describe the PMIS in your organization, or in one with which you are familiar.
  • Does the system provide adequate information to proactively control the project?
  • What improvements would you suggest?
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