University of Chester

 

 

Faculty of Applied & Health Sciences

 

 

Individual Assignment Component III

 

Module Title:

 

Project Management and Managing Computer Based Organisation

 

Module Number:

 

CO6001

 

Submission Date:

 

21 January 2011 by 1300 via Sharepoint Submission

 

_________________________________________________

 
Instructions to candidates

 

Students should note that extensions may only be granted by Dennis Holman, Head of Department and that written evidence will be required. Late work is penalised at the rate of 10% per day. 

 

WARNING:  This is an individual assignment, and work handed in under your name is expected to be your own. You sign a disclaimer electronically that the material you are submitting is your own work.  If your lecturers suspect copying from any source (or even, working too closely together that results in near identical work being handed in), all students involved will be reported to the relevant authority (see sections on plagiarism and discipline in the University Modular Scheme Handbook and your Programme Handbook) and may be given a fail grade for the assignment or disciplined more severely. Your lecturers will be pleased to help with any problems that you have with the assignment. Details of all plagiarism offences are filed in student files, for future reference.

 

Student Name: Andrew Jones

Student Number: 0817804

Assessment Number: E15003


THE CAMPUS WEDDING

 

The table below shows the activities required to prepare for the wedding, the precedence relationships, and the expected times.

 

Activity

Description

Immediate Predecessor(s)

Normal Time (days)

Resources (persons)

A

Reserve church

1

1

 

B

Church notice wait

A

17

1

 

C

Decorate church

B

3

1

D

Prepare guest list

4

1

E

Choose invitations

3

1

 

F

Order and receive invitations

E

12

1

 

G

Address invitations

D, F

4

1

 

H

Take invitations to post office

G

1

1

 

I

Invitation lead time

H

10

1

J

Choose cake

2

1

 

K

Jack’s catering lead time

J

10

1

L

Jane’s travel from Croatia

10

1

M

Choose dress pattern

3

1

 

N

Order and receive lace

M

8

1

 

O

Sew dresses

N

11

1

 

P

Fit dresses

L, O

2

1

 

Q

Clean and press dresses

P

2

1

R

Get bridesmaids gifts

1

1

 

S

Rehearsal dinner

K, R

1

1

T

Wedding

C, I, Q, S

1

1

 

Section I

Please note the following:

         Adams-Jackson

         Treat April 1 as Day 0. Thus, Activity T (wedding) should begin on Day 21, which is April 22.

         Some activities can only be crashed on an “all-or-nothing” basis. For example, the family can spend £600 to crash an Activity (travel from Croatia) from 10 days to two days. The duration can either be 10 days or two days, but nothing in between.

1.      Based on the normal activity times, what is the earliest date that the wedding ceremony can be held?

We are implementing a 7 day working week.

By adding the normal times the wedding we get a figure of 106 days

Because tasks:

  • A
  • D
  • E
  • J
  • L
  • M
  • R

Have dependencies or more specifically do not have predecessors they can be started independently and simultaneously. Because they can be started independently we can build a critical path and project time line.

The wedding task T is the end goal of the project. Tasks A to S help us achieve T.

The table below, Table 1, details the tasks which can be started simultaneously to achieve T:

Tasks

Normal Duration (days)

Total Duration

A, B, C

1 + 17 +3

21 days

D

4

4 days

E, F, G, H, I

3 + 12 + 4+ 1 +10

30 days

J, K

2 +10

12 days

L

10

10 days

M, N, O, P, Q

3 + 8 + 11 + 2 +2

26 days

R, S

1 + 1

2 days

T

1

1 day

Table 1 Tasks with their normal duration

Utilising the critical path diagram, Figure 1, and the figures shown in Table 1, we can see that the tasks relating to the invitations would normally take 30 days; this gives an earliest normal start date the wedding could take place as the 1st May.


Figure 1 AOA Critical Path, Red line indicates critical path


2.      Determine the minimum-cost plan (crash schedule) that meets the April 22 date. (20 marks)

 

There are a number of activities that can be crashed in order to meet the project deadline; the least cost solution comes to a value of £260

By evaluating Figure 1, we can see that two processes significantly over run the projected end date of the project. These are the invitations tasks and the dress making tasks, so it is within these tasks that we have to look for time savings, crashes; but these come at a financial cost, it is our responsibility to keep these to a minimum.

In the invitations process we have to save at least 8 days, this is achieved by crashing two activities: the ordering and receiving of the invitations, saving 7 days at a cost of £35; and, addressing the invitations, saving 2 days at a cost of £50. Total cost £85, total time reduced by 9 days, thus enabling us to achieve the desired end date for the project.

In the dress making process we have to save at least 5 days, this is achieved by crashing three activities: the ordering and receiving of the lace, saving 3 days at a cost £25; utilising Mrs Watson for 1 day at a cost of £120 we save another day; and, cleaning & pressing the dresses at a cost of £30 saves 1 day. This reduces the timeline enabling us to meet the required project end date.

We can see from table 2

Activity

Normal Time (Days)

Crash Time (Days)

Crash Cost (£)

Order & receive invitations

12

5

35

Address invitations

4

2

50

Order & Receive lace

8

5

25

Sew Dress

11

10

120

Clean & press dresses

2

1

30

Table 2 Crashed activities

 


Figure 2 AOA Crashed, Red line indicates critical path


SECTION II

Prepare a brief report addressing questions below. In addition to the correctness of your answers, your write-up will also be evaluated on how well you communicate the responses, including any assumptions that you need to make. You do not need to repeat background material in your write-up – assume that the reader is familiar with the basic facts of the case. The write-ups will be evaluated on their content and presentation, including logic, organization, grammar, and spelling.

Case Questions

  • Several complications arose during the course of trying to meet the deadline of April 21 for the Adams-Jackson wedding rehearsal.
  • Because Mary Jackson was adamant about having the wedding on April 22 (as was Larry Adams, because he wanted her to be happy), the implications of each of these complications had to be assessed.
  • Based on the 22-day schedule developed above, explain how Mary and Larry can address each issue and still have the wedding on April 21. (Hint:  You may want to draw a new activity diagram based on the 22-day schedule.)

1.


 

 

On April 1, the chairman of the Vestry Committee at the church was left unimpressed by the added donation and said he wouldn’t reduce the notice period from 17 days to 10 days.

A call to Croatia revealed that the potential bridesmaid had several commitments and could not possibly leave the country until April 10.

Mother came down with the four-day flu just as she started on the guest list.

The lace and dress materials were lost in transit. Notice of the loss was delivered to the Jackson home early on April 10

There was a small fire at the caterer’s shop on April 8. It was estimated that the shop would be closed two or three days for repairs

There has been a postal strike on April lasting 5 days

explain what the effect will be on the project duration

This does not impact on the deadline of the 22nd we can offer more money to “crash” the lead time to ten days but that seems unnecessary.

This would mean that given the normal travel time from Croatia of 10 days that the wedding, according to the crashed plan, could not go ahead until the 23rd.

As Mother was tasked with starting the guest list on day 0 of the project, the 4 day flu will not impact on the target date.

Considering the crash diagram, Figure 2, the lace was already overdue by 2 days. Re-ordering the lace and dress material at a crashed rate of 5 days for delivery would mean the earliest delivery date would be the 15th which means that sewing the dresses would also have to be crashed to 6 days so that the wedding could take place on the 24th.

Although disturbing, the effects of the fire would not adversely affect the target date of the 22nd.

If the postal strike happened anytime up to the 7th of April there would be no impact on the target date.

If the strike happened on the 8th or 9th then the postal lead time would have to be crashed to 8 days to meet the 22nd deadline.

If the postal strike happened after the 11th then the earliest the wedding could take place would be the 25th.

describe what actions the family should take to ensure that the wedding occurs on April 22

Discuss the value of giving the church more money to reduce the lead time.

Consider changing the venue.

Consider having the wedding a year later.

The family could consider crashing Jane’s travel time from Croatia to 2 days, this then will have no impact on the deadline.

Mary could consider having another bridesmaid.

Jane could forgo the dress fitting process, but runs the risk of an ill-fitting dress.

Jane could not wear a custom made dress.

Despite the fact that the overall project deadline is not impacted, the Mother could prepare the guest list whilst being ill, after all it is here daughters big day.

The mother could work longer than normal to make up for any perceived lost time

The mother could translate the address file.

The family could consider changing the dress design so as not to incorporate the lace.

The lace and dress material could be sourced locally, but already Mrs Watson will have to work two extra days.

The family could hire dresses instead of custom making them.

The family could buy dresses off the shelf.

There is no need to take any action because of the fire.

The family could offer to help out either physically or by making a cash donation to ensure that it is only two days not three that the shop is out of action.

The family could consider an alternate provider for the cake and catering.

The family could consider utilising a courier service to deliver the invitations.

They could make the invitations via telephone or e-mail.

identify what the cost of these actions will be

Consider doubling the gift already made. This would cost an extra £100.

There would be the additional cost of hiring another venue.

There would be no additional cost to postponing the wedding for a year.

If the family choose to crash Jane’s travel the cost will be either £575 or £600.

An alternate bridesmaid would not incur extra costs

There is no financial impact for the mother having four day flu, unless she did not start the guest list straight away

Hiring Mrs Watson for an additional two days would cost £240, this is necessary because before being declared lost in transit the lace and dress material was already overdue.

There would be additional costs to hire or purchase off the shelf dresses, which would have to be investigated.

There is no direct financial impact for the fire, although if they choose to make a donation to the shop to ensure that it is only two days or choose an alternate supplier there is additional cost.

If the lead time for the invitations is crashed then there is the perceived cost of Aunt Ethel reducing her wedding gift by £200.

There is also the emotional cost of making the relatives “mad”.

The costs of using a courier service would have to be investigated.

 


Figure 3 Network diagram with additional crashes

Note: Each incident should be treated independently.


2.

i.        Two resources are no longer available to help with the wedding. Reallocate the resources (i) manually (ii) using Project 2010                              (20 marks each)

 

Working with Figure 4 which shows the project as originally planned we can see the effects of losing two resources in Figure 5, there is no significant impact on the completion of the project on time.

Figure 4 All of the resources available

Figure 5 Resource allocation with the loss of two resources

Figure 4 shows that with the loss of two resources, 2 and 7, the overall project remains unaffected; the tasks can successfully be re-allocated to resource 4

ii.      Explain what the effect will be if three resources are no longer available

(20 marks)

The loss of a third resource would adversely affect the project, meaning that it over ran in normal time by 8 days, although if the task L, Jane’s travel from Croatia, is crashed to two days then the wedding can go ahead as planned on the 22nd. We can see that from Section 2 part 1, Jane can not leave Croatia until the 10th, so if Mary Jackson is adamant that Jane be her bridesmaid then the family are going to have to agree the crash cost of between £575 and £600 pounds to reduce her travel time to two days. If Mary decides to replace Jane as bridesmaid then the loss of a third resource does not affect the project.

Figure 6 The loss of 3 resources


SECTION III

 

Activity

Description

Immediate Predecessor(s)

Optimistic Time (days)

Normal Time (days)

Pessimistic Time (days)

Resources (persons)

A

Reserve church

0.5

1

3

1

B

Church notice wait

A

14

17

20

1

C

Decorate church

B

2

3

5

1

D

Prepare guest list

2

4

5

1

E

Choose invitations

1

3

4

1

F

Order and receive invitations

E

10

12

14

1

G

Address invitations

D, F

3

4

5

1

H

Take invitations to post office

G

0.5

1

2

1

I

Invitation lead time

H

8

10

13

1

J

Choose cake

1

2

4

1

K

Jack’s catering lead time

J

9

10

12

1

L

Jane’s travel from Croatia

8

10

11

1

M

Choose dress pattern

1

3

4

1

N

Order and receive lace

M

5

8

10

1

O

Sew dresses

N

9

11

13

1

P

Fit dresses

L, O

1

2

4

1

Q

Clean and press dresses

P

1

2

3

1

R

Get bridesmaids gifts

0.5

1

2

1

S

Rehearsal dinner

K, R

0.5

1

3

1

T

Wedding

C, I, Q, S

0.5

1

3

1

 

1.      Construct a network diagram using

2.      (i) AOA manually and

3.      (ii) AON manually

4.      (iii) Project 2010 for the project.

 

Using the normal activity times,

 

a.   record the ES, EF, LS, and LF times for each activity, and

b.   identify the critical path(s) .                                                                (30 + 10 marks)

 


Figure 7 AOA diagram, Critical paths are shown in red

Figure 8 AON diagram, Critical paths shown in red

Figure 9 Gantt chart for the project

For the Project 2010 Network diagram please see the included project file called Section III.mmp The size of the network diagram when zoomed to fit a single page makes the content unreadable.


 

5.      Mary Jackson’s father has been told that his heart surgery is on April 22. What is the probability that the wedding can go ahead on April 21? On April 20?           (60 marks)

 

Activity

Description

Immediate Predecessor(s)

Normal Time (days)

Optimistic Time

Pessimistic Time

Mean Time Expected

Variance

Standard Deviation

A

Reserve Church

1

0.5

3

1.3

0.17

0.42

B

Church notice wait

A

17

10

20

16.3

2.78

1.67

C

Decorate Church

B

3

2

5

3.2

0.25

0.50

D

Prepare guest list

4

2

5

3.8

0.25

0.50

E

Choose invitations

3

1.5

4.5

3.0

0.25

0.50

F

Order and receive invitations

E

12

5

14

11.2

2.25

1.50

G

Address invitations

D, F

4

3

5

4.0

0.11

0.33

H

Take invitations to post office

G

1

0.5

2

1.1

0.06

0.25

I

Invitation lead time

H

10

8

13

10.2

0.69

0.83

J

Choose cake

2

1

4

2.2

0.25

0.50

K

Jack's catering lead time

J

10

9

12

10.2

0.25

0.50

L

Jane's travel from Croatia

10

2

12

9.0

2.78

1.67

M

Choose dress pattern

3

1

4

2.8

0.25

0.50

N

Order and receive lace

M

8

5

10

7.8

0.69

0.83

O

Sew dresses

N

11

6

13

10.5

1.36

1.17

P

Fit dresses

L, O

2

1

4

2.2

0.25

0.50

Q

Clean and press dresses

P

2

1

3

2.0

0.11

0.33

R

Get bridesmaids gifts

1

0.5

2

1.1

0.06

0.25

S

Rehearsal dinner

K, R

1

0.5

3

1.3

0.17

0.42

T

Wedding

C, I, Q, S

1

0.5

3

1.3

0.17

0.42

 

 


SECTION IV

Reflect on the assignment in about 500 words

What Project have you been working on?

The Jackson – Adams Campus Wedding.

I feel that the project at times presents a number of no win scenarios just to challenge my learning and implementation skills. It has been a complex technical project that I feel realistically that I have failed to deliver successfully. Although with the benefit of hindsight and having completed as much of much of the assignment as I am going to: it is all achievable: the eureka moment arrived too late in the project, time has run out; although, I now feel able to successfully complete the project and that the project is a fair test of my understanding, reasoning and technical skill.

Although in the context of a wedding, which I have been hung up on – previously not seeing the relevance, the project is really just a series of tasks, some of which are dependant, and a series of problems that have to be thought through. My own lack of enthusiasm has cost me a significant number of marks that with better planning I would have attempted and gained.

The projects tasks have required me to learn and implement a number of project management tools: the creation of Activity on Arrow and Activity on Node diagrams, resource schedules and although exceptionally poorly attempted variance analysis.

What have I learnt after doing the Project?

How to integrate word, excel, project in to a coherent word document. The project has been both immensely challenging and hugely rewarding. It has cemented my understanding of project management techniques by ensuring that I have learnt and implemented the delivered material. I have struggled in a number of areas whilst doing the project, and I feel have underperformed as a result, this is because I have did not allow enough time to complete all of the tasks to the level of detail that I would have liked to. This I suppose is a good example of several areas of project management: risk, time and contingency planning.

If I were to approach the project again I would not rest on my laurels and allow time to pass by without completing task for the assignment, as the saying goes “time and tide wait for no man”. I would spend more time learning the intricacies of Project 2010, rather than battling with it to produce the desired results. I would not let my own narrow focus affect the generation of solutions; I was foolish in my approach by treating the project tasks and problems as concrete and rigid, although this is a psychological issue that I suffer with.

I have learnt that I have had a significant opportunity with this project to produce a solid piece of work and have failed to do so. “What better way to appreciate opportunity than by squandering it”. I am disappointed with myself for failing to properly plan, which after all is what the entire module is about.

You could use the headings (i) What Project have you been working on? And (ii) What have I learnt after doing the Project? Please note that your Assignment is the Project

                                                                                                                        (40 marks)