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Project Management (PERT/CPM)

PERT Analysis 

Consider a small project given by the following precedence diagram and the table of times that follows the graph.

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The Solution:

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The project completion time is estimated to be 41 days with a standard deviation of 4.9 days. The estimated activity time and its respective standard deviation are shown in the table above. Task B and D has activity slack of 18.5 days without interfering the overall project completion time. Slack is basically the additional available time to complete an activity. For instance, the manager may decide to delay those activities with slack and shift resources to those critical activities to ensure overall project stability. Slack is important for resource planning purposes especially when project managers often faced with resource constraint in managing projects.

The Project Management analysis is divided into 2 categories of Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Model (CPM) analysis. The PERT is a statistical technique used in project management to analyse and represent task involved in completing a project. This analysis provides project managers important information such as expected activity time, activities variance and standard deviation, potential activities slack, project’s completion time and project’s standard deviation. Such information is important for planning purposes.

On the other hand, the CPM analysis is used to identify project’s critical path so that crashing analysis can be perform. The project’s critical path is a very important element in project management as it dictates the overall project completion time. Any delay in the critical path may result in delay in the project completion time. As such, it is of importance that any activities the lies in the critical path to be given utmost priorities. Meanwhile, Crashing analysis is done to evaluate the merits of reducing the overall completion time against the potential costs incurred for not completing the project at the desire time. Let’s consider the following example on how these analysis works.

CPM Analysis

The CPM analysis is used to identify project’s critical path so that crashing analysis can be perform. The project’s critical path is a very important element in project management as it dictates the overall project completion time. Using the previous example, the critical path is identified.

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The critical activities are A,C and E and the path is shown with bolded line along with their respective activity time.

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