Information – change the start date 6 Enter Project

Microsoft Project 2010 Practical Exercises Contents Microsoft’s Getting Started with Microsoft Project 2010 4 Practical 1 5 Introduction to Microsoft Project 5 Creating a New Project File 5 Create a blank Project 5 Enter Project Information – change the start date 6 Enter Project Properties – change the title and author 6 Enter holiday information 6 Enter the WBS 8 Add the numerical codes for the WBS. 11 Saving Project Files 12 Practical 2 13 Adding duration and predecessor/successor relationships 13 Adding durations 13 Adding predecessor/successor relationships 14 How scheduling works in Project 2010 17 Inserting Lags 17 Adding a milestone 20 Modifying the timescale 22 Displaying the critical path 23 Assessing the sensitivity of your schedule 23 Viewing the network diagram 24 Practical 3 25 Adding Resources 25 Create the resource pool 25 Assigning resources 26 Adjusting Resource Allocation 32 Identification of resource over-allocation 32 Dealing with over-allocation issues 33 Viewing the budget details 37 View the total cost 37 Generating weekly cash flow statements 38 Practical 4 39 Comparing actual progress with planned progress 39 Saving the baseline 39 Inserting a status report date 40 Entering information about actual progress 42 Viewing the Tracking Gantt chart 45 Viewing earned value 46 Viewing the start and finish variances 48 Viewing the CPI 50 Viewing the SPI 51 Practical 5 52 Generating Reports 52 Printing 53 Microsoft’s Getting Started with Microsoft Project 2010 There is a “Getting started with Microsoft Project 2010 training course” that you should view. It consists of four small “getting started” lessons. These lessons introduce you to Microsoft Project and illustrate the differences between automatic and manual scheduling. They also demonstrate some alternative ways of achieving the functionality you learn about in these practicals. (It will take ~30-40 minutes to watch all four.) You should be able to access the training course by opening Microsoft Project, clicking the Help (?) icon, clicking on “Training Courses” and finally selecting “getting started”. Alternatively, try the following link: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-help/create-a-new-project-RZ101831071.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA010355886§ion=2 Make sure that you watch all four training sessions before starting practical 2. Note: If you do not have a “Task Mode” column visible, as shown in the training sessions, it can be added by selecting “Task Mode” from the list of available columns in the “Add New Column” column. This column can be found after the “Resources” column. Practical 1 Introduction to Microsoft Project • If you have not done so already, create a folder for the course you are studying (e.g. COIS20008) and then create a subfolder within this course folder called ProjectPracticals. You will save the work that you do in practical 1 in the ProjectPracticals folder in a file called practical1. • Open Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project opens with a Gantt Chart view. In the first window on the left hand side you will see the task and duration columns. If necessary, expand this window (using the “split bar”) to view the start, finish, predecessor and resource columns. The window on the right hand side is a calendar that will display a Gantt chart view of your project. Along the top you will see the options available on the “ribbon” for the task “tab”. You will also see various other tabs – file, resource, project, view and format. • Explore the various options (e.g. if you click on the File tab you will see New, Save, Print, Help options etc.). • Click on the View tab. Observe that the Gantt chart option has been selected. • Try selecting some of the alternatives (e.g. Network Diagram, Track Usage). • Return to the Gantt chart view before you continue. • Click on a cell in the task column and then hover over an icon in the ribbon . You should see a pop-up window telling you the function of the icon. (e.g. the Network Diagram “display tasks represented as boxes ….”) As you can see Microsoft Project provides you with a large number of options and functions. These lab exercises will introduce the basic steps to allow you to develop a schedule, add resource information and track the progress of a project. Creating a New Project File Create a blank Project • Click on the File tab and Select New. You should observe that “Blank Project” is selected from the available templates. • Click the “create” icon that appears below the blank project on the right-hand side. Enter Project Information – change the start date • Click the Project tab and select Project Information. The Project Information dialog box will now be displayed. This allows you to set dates for the project, select the calendar to use etc. The start date will be set to today’s date by default. • Set the start date to Monday of next week. You achieve this by selecting the date in the calendar and then clicking OK. The Project Information dialog box will now disappear. (Note that the screen shots shown in this document will have different dates to your exercises. The screenshots in this document were created in 2011 and are only representative of what you should see.) Enter Project Properties – change the title and author • Click the File tab and select Info to view the project information on the right-hand side. • Click on the “Project Information” drop down box on the right-hand side (above the information about the start date etc.) • Select “Advanced Properties”. • Type New Billing System in the Title text box and type your name in the Author text box, then click OK. Enter holiday information • Click the Project tab and select “change working time” from the Properties group. • You will see the “change working time” window appear. The standard calendar (Project calendar) is the default. Note that it assumes a 5 day working week with 8 hour days and Saturday and Sunday as the non-working days of the week. To enter additional holidays etc., you must enter and name the exceptions in the exceptions tab of the table at the bottom of the window. For the purpose of this exercise, we will assume that you need to enter the Xmas and New Year holidays and that this company always takes 2 weeks of leave over Xmas and New Year. The holiday is to commence on the 24th of December and finish two weeks later (10 working days). • Enter the 2 weeks of Xmas holiday information in the table. Call the exception “Xmas vacation”. If you click on the drop down box in the start column, you will be able to use the calendar that appears to select the start date. You can set the finish date in a similar way. • Your dialog box should appear similar to the screen below, although the year may be different. Enter the WBS Assume that you have already worked out your work breakdown structure, resources, time estimates and predecessor/successor relationships for our example project. • Click on the “Task tab”. • Enter the following information in the “Task Name” column. New Billing System Requirements Analysis Information gathering Define Requirements Disk Storage Upgrade Purchase Install Software Modifications Database Changes Design DB Changes Modify DB Programs Design Programs Program A Code program A Unit test A Program B Code program B Unit test B Program C Code program C Unit test C Program D Code program D Unit test D Program R1 Code program R1 Unit test R1 Integration Integrate Test Advertising Brochure Design Print Mail Out • To delete a task click on the task, right -click the mouse and select “delete task” from the menu. Try this now with the Modify DB task. • To re- insert the Modify DB task, click on the “Programs” entry
that was below the modify DB task that you just deleted. Right-click the mouse and select insert task. A new blank task should now be available for you to enter the Modify BD task. Enter the Modify DB task. (Note that you could have used the undo arrow to get the modify db task re-inserted. There are undo and redo arrows available at the top of the Microsoft Project window if you make an error.) • The first level of the WBS is the project itself (i.e. the “New Billing System”). Use your mouse to select all the entries below the ”New Billing System” entry and then click on the “indent” (green arrow pointing to the right) icon in the schedule group on the Task ribbon. • Repeat this procedure to achieve the following project WBS structure: New Billing System Requirements Analysis Information gathering Define Requirements Disk Storage Upgrade Purchase Install Software Modifications Database Changes Design DB Changes Modify DB Programs Design Programs Program A Code program A Unit test A Program B Code program B Unit test B Program C Code program C Unit test C Program D Code program D Unit test D Program R1 Code program R1 Unit test R1 Integration Integrate Test Advertising Brochure Design Print Mail Out Notice that the entries with subtasks are in bold. This indicates that they are summary tasks. Their symbol on the Gantt chart also appears as a black line. The summary tasks also have a “collapse symbol” (-) on their left hand side. • Click on one of the collapse symbols and observe how this hides the subtasks beneath it. When subtasks are hidden, an “expand symbol” (+) appears to the left of the summary task name. • Click on the expand symbol and notice how it expands the summary task. Add the numerical codes for the WBS. • Select the “Outline Numbers” check box on the ribbon of the Format tab. You should now see the numerical codes on your WBS. If you have indented the hierarchical structure correctly, you should see the following result. Task Number WBS Number Task names 1 1 New Billing System 2 1.1 Requirements Analysis 3 1.1.1 Information gathering 4 1.1.2 Define Requirements 5 1.2 Disk Storage Upgrade 6 1.2.1 Purchase 7 1.2.2 Install 8 1.3 Software Modifications 9 1.3.1 Database 10 1.3.1.1 Design DB Changes 11 1.3.1.2 Modify DB 12 1.3.2 Programs 13 1.3.2.1 Design Programs 14 1.3.2.2 Program A 15 1.3.2.2.1 Code program A 16 1.3.2.2.2 Unit test A 17 1.3.2.3 Program B 18 1.3.2.3.1 Code program B 19 1.3.2.3.2 Unit test B 20 1.3.2.4 Program C 21 1.3.2.4.1 Code program C 22 1.3.2.4.2 Unit test C 23 1.3.2.5 Program D 24 1.3.2.5.1 Code program D 25 1.3.2.5.2 Unit test D 26 1.3.2.6 Program R1 27 1.3.2.6.1 Code program R1 28 1.3.2.6.2 Unit test R1 29 1.4 Integration 30 1.4.1 Integrate 31 1.4.2 Integration testing 32 1.5 Advertising Brochures 33 1.5.1 Design 34 1.5.2 print 35 1.5.3 Mail out Note that an alternative is to create a separate WBS column. If you scroll through the list of available columns in the column with the heading “Add a New Column” which should appear after the “Resource Names” column, you will find the WBS option. Columns can be rearranged, so this could be positioned before the “Task Name” column if required. Saving Project Files • Microsoft Project files can be saved with or without a baseline. The baseline allows you to track performance. However, as we are still developing our project file, we are not yet ready to save with a baseline. The default is to save the file without a baseline. • Save your file (without a baseline) by selecting “Save As” from the File menu and saving your file as practical1 in the folder you created earlier called ProjectPracticals. Practical 2 Adding duration and predecessor/successor relationships Adding durations • Open practical1.mpp file and save to a file called practical2.mpp. You now have a copy of your work to use in practica2.mpp. You will use practical2.mpp as the starting point for this week’s practical. • If it is not already open, open practical2.mpp by double clicking on the file. • Enter the task durations given in the table below. Note that the durations are only entered for specific tasks and not for deliverables/summary tasks. You will notice that as you enter durations for the specific tasks, Microsoft Project automatically calculates the totals for the summary tasks. The units we are using are weeks, but durations can be months, days or even minutes. Task names Durations New Billing System Requirements Analysis Information gathering 3 weeks Define Requirements 3 weeks Disk Storage Upgrade Purchase 11 days Install 3 days Software Modifications Database Design DB Changes 2 weeks Modify DB 1 week Programs Design Programs 3 weeks Program A Code program A 2 weeks Unit test A 1 week Program B Code program B 4 weeks Unit test B 2 weeks Program C Code program C 3 weeks Unit test C 2 weeks Program D Code program D 3 weeks Unit test D 2 weeks Program R1 Code program R1 2 weeks Unit test R1 1 week Integration Integrate 2 weeks test 1 week Advertising Brochures Design 2 weeks print 1 day Mail out 1 day Adding predecessor/successor relationships • Scroll out the left hand window (with the task name, duration etc columns) until you can see the predecessor column. • There are various options for entering the predecessor relationships. We will enter them by adding the predecessor task number into the predecessor column. (The “link” icon in the schedule group on the Task ribbon is another option you might like to experiment with in the lab.) It is possible that a task has more than one predecessor. In that case enter the list of predecessor task numbers separated by commas (e.g. 3,7,9). Enter the predecessor relationships shown in the table below: Task Number WBS Number Task names Predecessor (task numbers) 1 1 New Billing System 2 1.1 Requirements Analysis 3 1.1.1 Information gathering 4 1.1.2 Define Requirements 3 5 1.2 Disk Storage Upgrade 6 1.2.1 Purchase 4 7 1.2.2 Install 6 8 1.3 Software Modifications 9 1.3.1 Database 10 1.3.1.1 Design DB Changes 4 11 1.3.1.2 Modify DB 10 12 1.3.2 Programs 13 1.3.2.1 Design Programs 4 14 1.3.2.2 Program A 15 1.3.2.1.1 Code program A 13 16 1.3.2.1.2 Unit test A 15 17 1.3.2.3 Program B 18 1.3.2.3.1 Code program B 13 19 1.3.2.3.2 Unit test B 18 20 1.3.2.4 Program C 21 1.3.2.4.1 Code program C 13 22 1.3.2.4.2 Unit test C 21 23 1.3.2.5 Program D 24 1.3.2.5.1 Code program D 13 25 1.3.2.5.2 Unit test D 24 26 1.3.2.6 Program R1 27 1.3.2.6.1 Code program R1 13 28 1.3.2.6.2 Unit test R1 27 29 1.4 Integration 30 1.4.1 Integrate 7, 11, 16, 19, 22,25,28 31 1.4.2 Integration testing 30 32 1.5 Advertising Brochures 33 1.5.1 Design 4 34 1.5.2 print 33 35 1.5.3 Mail out 34 Note that the predecessor(s) must always be the lowest level in your WBS, i.e. a predecessor task must not be a “summary task”. • Observe the changes in the Gantt chart. It may be difficult to view the entire project at this point. One option is to use the scroll bar at the side and bottom of the Gantt chart. Another option to allow you to see an overview is to select “Entire Project” in the zoom group on the View ribbon. How scheduling works in Project 2010 The following notes are extracted from Microsoft Project “Help”. “Project 2010 introduces a new mode that gives users complete control over how tasks are scheduled — manual scheduling. Project can schedule tasks using two methods: manual scheduling and automatic scheduling. With manual scheduling, changes to factors such as task dependencies, constraints, and project calendars do not automatically adjust task dates. Tasks are manually scheduled by default. Project managers who are accustomed to automatic scheduling with past versions of Project can turn the manual scheduling feature off for specific tasks or for the entire project. Some projects, especially complicated ones, may require Project’s powerful scheduling engine to take care of scheduling for you. “ (Microsoft Help, 2
010) We will use the automatic scheduling in this course. • You will change to automatic scheduling in the next section. • Read Microsoft Project “Help” on “How scheduling works in Project” for more details about how you can use manual or automatic scheduling or a combination of both. Read this now. (Click on the icon that is a blue circle with a white question mark in it to open the Project Help window. Enter “How scheduling works” in the search text box and click on search.) Inserting Lags We have currently allowed 11 days for purchasing of the hardware. However, actually placing the purchase order is likely to take 1 day. The remainder of the time was to allow for shipment and delivery. We could add another task that is “delivery” to make this clearer or we could introduce a lag time between the purchase and the installation to allow for the delivery time. We will introduce a lag time now. • Change the duration for the purchase of the disk storage upgrade to 1 day. • Notice that when you reduce the time for the purchase, the installation is still scheduled to be in 10 days after the purchase. This is because we are still using the default scheduling which is to manually schedule tasks. • Change all the tasks to use automatic scheduling by using your mouse to select (highlight) all the tasks, followed by clicking on “Auto Schedule” in the tasks group on the Task ribbon. • Note that the disk storage upgrade now only takes 4 days and the installation is started immediately after purchase. This has been scheduled automatically according to its predecessor relationship. However, remember that we do want to introduce a lag time for the delivery of the new hardware. We will do that now. • Double click on the “install” disk storage task and select the predecessors tab in the pop-up “task information” window that appears. • Click on the Finish-to-Start(FS) relationship in the Type column and notice that there is a dropdown list associated with the type cells. • Open the drop down list and observe the different types of predecessor relationships. What are they? F-to-S, S-to-S, F-to-F, S-to-F, • What do the different types of relationships mean? Useful URL: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2008/07/29/back-to-basics-understanding-task-dependencies.aspx (Use the Microsoft Help function to read about the different types of predecessor relationships if you have not read about them already. Hint: Search for “predecessor” and click on the “About Linking Tasks” link. • The link between the purchase and install tasks for the disk storage upgrade is a Finish-to-Start relationship (the default). However, we wish to introduce a “lag time”, i.e. there is to be a delay between the purchase order being completed and the installation to allow for the delivery of the new hardware. Introduce this lag now by changing the value in the lag column of the task information window for the “install” task. Change the lag value in this column to 10 days. (If you no longer have this window open, remember that it can be opened by double clicking on the task.) • Observe the change in the Gantt chart. The time for the disk storage upgrade should now be 14 days again. (Use the undo and re-do arrows to check that you are achieving the desired result.) • Note that the predecessor column for the install task now has 6FS+10 days showing the predecessor relationship and lag. • To ensure that new tasks added to your schedule are automatically scheduled, you should click on “New Tasks: Manually Scheduled” on the bottom left hand corner and select “New Tasks: Auto Scheduled”. The change is illustrated in the images below: Changes to: Adding a milestone When the integration and testing is complete, the new “system is ready to go”. This is a milestone for the project. (We could have other milestones during the project, but this is the only one we will add for the purposes of these practical exercises.) • Insert a new task underneath the final “integration testing” task called “system ready”. If you have inserted the task correctly, it should be “1.5 System Ready “ and Advertising Brochures should now be 1.6 in the WBS. Use the indent/outdent arrows on the Task ribbon to make any necessary adjustment to your WBS hierarchy. • Make the predecessor of “system ready” the “integration testing” task. • Change the duration to 0 days. Notice the new milestone symbol that appears on the Gantt chart (a small diamond). • Now suppose that we want to mail the brochures out 2 weeks before the system is ready. Add the appropriate relationship between the “mail out” task the “system ready” milestone to work back 2 weeks to determine when the mail out task should take place. You will be able to view their relationship on the Gantt chart to check if it has been entered correctly. Modifying the timescale In some situations you may not want to use the default time scale used in the Gantt chart. For example, it can be useful to condense the Gantt chart to see the “big picture” better. In other situations it may be clearer if you expand the chart. • One way to view the whole project is to select the “Entire Project” from the zoom group on View ribbon. Note that if you select “Zoom …” from the drop-down list of zoom options, there are options that allow you to zoom to 1 week, 1 month etc. Experiment with some of these options now. • You can also modify the timescale by selecting the Timescale option from the Timescale drop-down list in the zoom group on the View ribbon. • There are three tiers that can be displayed above your Gantt chart. Experiment with the different “Timescale options” that you can select from the “Show” drop down box. This will clarify what is meant by the different tiers. (Try one tier, then three tiers and observe what happens on your Gantt chart.) • Return to the default which shows two tiers (middle, bottom). • Again in the Timescale window, select the “middle tier” tab and change the units to quarters instead of weeks. • Select the bottom tier and change the units to months instead of days. Notice how this has condensed your Gantt chart. • Set the middle tier back to weeks and the bottom tier back to days or select “Entire Project” from the zoom group. Displaying the critical path • Select the Format tab and click in the “critical tasks” check box in the bar styles group. • Observe that the tasks on the critical path are now displayed as red bars on your Gantt chart. • What tasks are on the critical path(s) for your project? The tasks should be: 1. Information Gathering 2. Define Requirements 3. Design Programs 4. Install/Code Program B 5. Unit Test B 6. Integrate 7. Integration Testing NOTE: All of these tasks have zero total slack. ______________________________________________________________ Assessing the sensitivity of your schedule The sensitivity of a schedule is a measure of how likely it is that the original critical path (or paths) will change when the project is underway. If the likelihood is high, then the schedule is very sensitive. The sensitivity depends on: a. The number of critical paths in the network. In general, the sensitivity increases as the number of critical paths increases. You have already identified the critical path or paths for your network. How many have you identified? Note that this question is not asking how many tasks are on the critical path (or paths), it is asking how many critical paths are in the network. 1 CP and b. The amount of slack the non critical tasks have – if there is a reasonable amount of slack relative to the non critical task durations, then these tasks are less likely to become critical, i.e. the network is mor
e likely to be stable (insensitive). The instructions to view slack are given below: • Click the arrow on Tables in the Data group on the View ribbon and select the “schedule” table. This allows you to view the “schedule table”. You should now see a table of the schedule with ES, EF, LS, LF, Free slack and total slack columns. • What is the slack for the non critical tasks? Ranges – 31 days (disk storage upgrade), 30 days (Database design and modification tasks) 15 days (prog A, R1), 5 days (prg D, C) etc. • What does this (and the number of critical paths) suggest about the sensitivity of the network? 1 CP and a reasonable amount of slack for non-critical tasks – suggests the network is not very sensitive (this is good). Remember, Free slack (FS) is the amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying its successor task(s). Total slack (TS) is the amount of time a task can be delayed without delaying the project. Tasks on a path can have the same TS, but different FS – i.e. the tasks on the path “share” the total slack, so if one is delayed it reduces the TS for the path and all the subsequent tasks on that path. However, if a task is not at the end of the chain its delay will delay the start of its successor, so by definition, the task (or tasks) not at the end of the chain will have no free slack. Free slack tends to show up in the last task at the end of a chain of non critical activities or in a single non critical activity. You can observe examples where tasks on the same path have the same TS, but only the task on the end of the chain has FS by looking at this in the schedule table. Give one example for this project. For example 1.3.2.2.2 Unit test A • Return to the default view of the task entries by selecting “Entry” from the list of available tables in Tables drop-down list. (The drop-down list is in the Data group on the View ribbon.) Viewing the network diagram • Select “Network diagram” from the “Task Views” group on the View ribbon. You should now see the network diagram view of the project. • It may be difficult to see the whole project. Select Zoom from the Zoom drop-down list in the Zoom group on the View ribbon and select “Entire Project”. • There are various options you can explore to modify the network diagram. For example, you can remove the “summary task” boxes, so that your network diagram is less cluttered (uncheck the Summary Tasks check box on the Format ribbon). You can also manually position the boxes. Select the layout option from the Layout group on the Format ribbon and you will see the various options available in the Layout window. Experiment with some of the options available on the Format ribbon. Practical 3 Adding Resources • Open practical2.mpp file (if it is not already open) and save to a file called practical3.mpp. You now have a copy of your work to use in practica3.mpp. You will use practical3.mpp as the starting point for this week’s practical. Close practical2.mpp Create the resource pool • If it is not already open, open practical3.mpp by double clicking on the file. • Go to the Gantt chart view (on the Task ribbon). • Select the “Resource Sheet” option from the View ribbon. In the table that is displayed, you should see columns for the resource name, type, material label, initials, group, max units, std rate etc. If this is not the table you see displayed, select Entry from the Tables drop-down list in the Data group on the View ribbon. • Add the information about the resources for the project. The resource could include both workers and materials such as equipment hire. In our example we only have to add the staff responsible for the tasks. The staff resources that are available for our example project are listed below. Enter them in the resource table now. Resource Name Type Max Units Std. Rate Accrue At Base calendar Programmer Work 200% $80,000/yr Prorated standard Analyst Work 100% $120,000/yr Prorated standard Hardware engineer Work 100% $110,000/yr Prorated standard Marketing specialists Work 100% $120,000/yr Prorated standard Purchasing agent Work 100% $75,000/yr Prorated standard Tester Work 200% $100,000/yr Prorated standard Senior Programmer Work 50% $120,000/yr Prorated standard Graphic Designer Work 100% $100,000/yr Prorated standard Admin Assistant Work 100% $50,000/yr Prorated standard printer Work 100% $60,000/yr Prorated standard 1. Note that: a. You enter the resource units into Microsoft Project as a percentage. The default percentage is 100%. 100% indicates that there is one of those resources available. If, as in the case of programmers, there are 2 available, you enter 200%. Similarly, if there was a full-time programmer and one part-time (or 0.5 time) programmer available, you would enter 150%. When you group resources together in this way it means that they are interchangeable, i.e. all programmers can do the same work, have the same skill level and get the same salary. If you need to make a distinction then you should enter the details of the different resources separately. b. It is easy to switch between hourly and annual pay rate. If you enter the numeric value/yr, the entry will be an annual pay rate. c. If you entered an hourly rate, then that group could qualify for overtime rates which would then be entered in the “Ovt rate” column. d. In the “Accrue at” column, there are various options available in the drop down list: start, prorated, end. Prorated means that the cost/payment is accrued on a day to day basis. Start means payment is required at the start. End means the payment is required when the work is complete. e. The calendar can also be changed for each resource entry. This would allow you to take into account the differences in availability of work groups or individuals in the project. Assigning resources • Return to the Gantt chart view and click the Resource tab. Note that there is an icon on the toolbar that is for assigning resources. (It has the appearance of the head and shoulders of two people.) • Click the “Information Gathering” task in your project (in the task list). You are now going to assign resource to this information gathering task. Click on the “assign resources” icon on the toolbar. In the pop-up window that appears you will see all the resources available for the project. • Select analyst and click on the assign button. The analyst is going to work with the marketing specialist on the information gathering task, so you must now select marketing specialists and click on the assign button again. Notice that although the number of resources have increased, the duration of the task has not been reduced. This is because Microsoft Project 2010 sets automatically scheduled tasks to “fixed units” that are not “effort driven”. (In previous versions of Microsoft Project the default setting was different.) If the task was effort driven, then the additional resource would have reduced the duration for the task accordingly. Microsoft Project uses resource and assignment information when calculating the schedule. It takes into account things such as: 1. The amount of work or overtime a resource is allocated. 2. The task type. o Fixed unit – “A task in which the assigned units [or resources] is a fixed value and any changes to the amount of work or the task’s duration do not affect the task’s units. This is calculated as follows: Duration x Units = Work” (Microsoft Help, 2010) o Fixed duration – “A task in which the duration is a fixed value and any changes to the work or the assigned units [that is, resources] don’t affect the task’s duration. This is calculated as follows: Duration x Units = Work.” (Microsoft Help, 2010) o Fixed work –“A task in which the amount of work is a fixed value and any changes to the task’s duration or the number of assigned units [or resources] do not affect the task’s work. Thi
s is calculated as follows: Duration x Units = Work.” (Microsoft Help, 2010) 3. Whether or not the task is effort driven. “If a task is effort-driven, as resources are added or removed on the assignment, the work remains constant for the task and is redistributed among the resources. For fixed-unit tasks, for example, one result is that if more resources are assigned, a shorter duration is required to complete the task” (Microsoft Help, 2010) 4. The resource calendar. You may have read the details about “How do resource assignments drive the schedule?” when you read the “How scheduling works in Project” article in Microsoft Help that was referred to earlier in these practicals. If not, read this now and experiment with the various options to make sure that you understand them. (To modify a task type, double click on the task, Select the “Advanced” tab in the “Tasks Information” pop up window and select the task type from the drop down list. Note that there is also a check box to allow you to select whether or not you want the task to be “effort driven”.) Try different combinations such as: – Fixed unit, effort driven o Add a new resource – what happens to the duration? o Reduce one of the resources to 50% – what happens to the duration? etc. Make sure that you understand the results. If you believe that Microsoft Project has modified your schedule in a way that does not correspond to the requirements for your project, you can override the duration etc. (Note that manually scheduled tasks cannot be set to effort-driven.) • If necessary, reset the default for the task you have been experimenting with to automatically scheduled and “fixed units” that are not “effort driven” • In our example, the information gathering task is to take 3 weeks (15 working days) with both the analyst and marketing specialist working on this together (and both allocated 100% to this task). Make sure that this is correct in your schedule. Always take care when you modify resource assignments. Check that the result is the desired duration and allocation for your project. You should also check that resources are not over-allocated. This will be discussed further in the next section. • Add the following resources to the project tasks. Note that the task durations are also given in the table. If necessary override the durations to correspond to the data in the table below. Also, note that there is an alternative method for adding a resource. You can select the resource from the drop down list of available resources that you observe when you click in the resource column for a particular task. Task names Durations Resources New Billing System Requirements Analysis Information gathering 3 weeks 1 analyst and 1 marketing specialist Define Requirements 3 weeks 1 analyst and 1 marketing specialist Disk Storage Upgrade Purchase 1 day (lag of 10 days for delivery introduced earlier) I purchasing agent Install 3 days 1 hardware engineer Software Modifications Database Design DB Changes 2 weeks 1 analyst Modify DB 1 week 0.5 senior programmer Programs Design Programs 3 weeks 1 analyst Program A Code program A 2 weeks 1 programmer Unit test A 1 week 1 tester Program B Code program B 4 weeks 1 programmer Unit test B 2 weeks 1 tester Program C Code program C 3 weeks 1 programmer Unit test C 2 weeks 1 tester Program D Code program D 3 weeks 1 programmer Unit test D 2 weeks 1 tester Program R1 Code program R1 2 weeks 1 programmer Unit test R1 1 weeks 1 tester Integration Integrate 2 weeks 0.5 Senior Programmer, 1 programmer test 1 week 0.5 senior programmer, 1 tester Advertising Brochures Design 2 weeks 1 graphic designer, 1 marketing specialist print 1 day 1 printer Mail out 1 day 1 admin assistance • If you do not wish to allocate 100% of a resource to a particular task (e.g. if you want the resource to work 50% on one task and 50% on another task for a particular period of time), it is possible to specify this. • Double click on the “mail out” task. You will see a “Task Information” pop-up window. • Click on the Resources tab. You can now adjust the units in the “Units” column. Try changing the units for the admin assistant now. Click ok and note any changes. • Change the units for the admin assistant back to their original value. Note that some of the tasks now have a red symbol in the “i” column to indicate that they use resources that are now over-allocated. You will learn about some techniques to help resolve those issues in the next section. Adjusting Resource Allocation Identification of resource over-allocation • Select the View tab and click on “Resource Sheet” in the Resource Views group. You should now see a view of the resource sheet. In this view, you should see the over- allocated resources displayed in red. Are any of your resources over-allocated for this project? (The programmers, analysts and testers should be displayed in red because they are over- allocated.) • To obtain more information about the over-allocation problem, select the “Resource Usage” option the Resource Views group. If you use the bottom scroll bar to view all the data (or zoom in/view entire project), you will be able to see where/when the various resources are over-allocated. Where/when does this project have problems with over-allocation of resources? [Tip: Check the information noted in red] • An alternative view that can be very useful is the resource graph. You can view the resource graph by selecting the “Resource Graph” option from the “Other Views” drop-down list. Try that now. Dealing with over-allocation issues There are various options for dealing with resource over-allocation: 1. It may be possible to overcome the problems by levelling the resources within existing slack. This does not extend the project duration, but because you have absorbed some of the existing slack [i.e. pushed a task later in the timeline], it may make the network more sensitive. 2. It may not be possible to overcome the over-allocation problem by using slack. In this situation, options include: a. extending the project duration; b. allocating additional resources to the project; c. making the existing resources work overtime. In our example, the analyst is over-allocated when he/she has to design the database changes and the programming tasks. • If necessary, return to the Gantt chart view. • Click the arrow on Tables in the Data group on the View ribbon and select the “Schedule” table. This allows you to view the “schedule table”. Observe that there are 6 weeks of slack for the “database design and changes” tasks, but 0 slack for the program designs. • Record the end date for your project here: this will vary depending on your start date and where holidays fall etc. – my duration at this point is 90 days (19/9/11 – 3/2/12) • Record the duration of the project (in days) here: 90 days • Click the Resource tab and select “Levelling Options” from the Level group. In the Resource Levelling window that appears, select “Level only within available slack” in the “resolving over-allocations section”. This option will attempt to resolve the problems without adding extra resources or extending the duration. Click the “level all” button at the bottom of the pop-up window. • After selecting the “level only within available slack” click the “level all” button at the bottom. You will find that you start to get warnings about the difficulties with the programmer and tester resources. (Remember that there was 0 slack for the programming tasks, so that you would not have expected to be able to resolve the issues by using available slack.) Select skip or skip all. • What affect has this had? (View the result in the “Resource Sheet” and on the Gantt chart.) How much slack is there for
the “database design and changes” tasks now? changed from 30 days to 15 days, note that some of the programming tasks now have their slack reduced to 0 and they will now appear on the list of critical tasks below What tasks are now “critical”? [additional tasks on the critical path are: code program A, unit test A, code program D, unit test program D, code program R1, unit test R1] The new critical path is: Information Gathering Define Requirements Code Program A Unit Test A Code Program B Unit Test B Code Program D Unit Test D Code Program R1 Unit Test R1 Integrate Integration Testing Note that this is now considered to be a “critical chain(s)”. This term was coined by by Eliyahu Goldratt who recognised that that a project network may be constrained by both resource and technical dependencies as is the case in this example. The term critical path tends to be associated with just technical dependencies, not resource dependencies. Record the end date and duration (in days) of the project now: [This will depend on the student’s start date] – However, the end date should not have changed! We were levelling using available slack. The over-allocation of the analyst should have been resolved using the available slack, but it was not possible to resolve the over-allocation of the programmers and testers. Have they changed? (Explain.) No, it has not changed – we were levelling using available slack. • You should find that the end date has not changed and that the over-allocation of the analyst has been resolved, but not the problem with the programmers and testers. We were able to resolve the over-allocation of the analyst using available slack, but not the problem with the programmers and testers. To resolve the other resource over-allocation issues we either need to extend the duration of the project or add extra programming and testing resources. For the purposes of this exercise, we will assume that the addition of extra resources is not an option and that we need to extend the duration. • Again Click the Resource tab and select “Levelling Options” from the Level group. The Resource Levelling window will appears. This time “untick” the “Level only within available slack” option. (Only “level manually scheduled tasks” should be ticked now.) • Click the “Level All” button. (Note that now we are not actually performing “ resource levelling” according to the text book definition because we are not levelling within available slack. According to the text book definitions, we are performing “resource constrained scheduling” where we are resolving resource over-allocation issues that arise because the number of resources are constrained. With resource constrained scheduling, we allow the duration of the project to be extended if that is necessary to resolve over-allocation when the number of resources are limited. In the text book definition of “resource levelling” we aim to achieve a “more even/more level” usage of resources without extending the duration of the project by only adjusting the scheduled time for a task “within the available slack”.) • What has happened? ES, EF, LS and LF dates have been changed for those tasks that are on the critical path, tasks on the critical path have probably changed, the resource over-allocation should have been resolved, but this time it has increased the project duration. • Is there still a resource allocation problem? No • Check the resource sheet and resource graph (for the programmers, analyst and testers). Are they over-allocated? They are no longer over-allocated • What has happened to the duration of the project now that you have performed resource levelling without the “level only within available slack restriction”? My duration has changed from 90 days to 115 days. Finish date has changed from 3/2/12 to 9/3/12 (this will vary depending on your actual start date) • What has happened to the critical path? Tasks highlighted as critical will have changed – may be some variation in answers (note: not strictly a “critical path” – see earlier discussion on critical chain) • When does the project finish now? (Record the project end date now) It should be a later date than before. Actual date will depend on student start date. • What is the project start date? It should not have changed – record the information here. It will depend on when the student commences the practical exercises. • What (if anything) has happened to the network sensitivity (have the number of CPs changed and has the slack of non critical activities changed)? If more critical activities and less slack for non critical activities, the network is more sensitive. Viewing the budget details View the total cost • Select the “Cost” table from the drop-down list of tables in the View ribbon. TIP: Do this by first choosing the VIEW tab (AKA ribbon) – Go to the “Data” section, and select from the drop-down listing under “Tables”: Cost • What is the total cost estimate for this project? $96,211.55 • What is the most expensive task? 1.3 Software Modifications ($49,615.39) is the most expensive summary task 1.1 Information gathering and 1.2 Define Requirements are the single most expensive sub-tasks in the entire project – each costs $13,846.16 • To view the costs associated with each of the resources select “Resource Sheet” from the “Resource Views” group and select the “Cost” table from the drop-down list of tables in the Data group on the View ribbon. This should allow you to view the cost associated with each of the resources. • What is the total amount estimated to be spent on programming staff in this project? • Programmer costs are $24,615.39 Generating weekly cash flow statements • Select the “Reports ” option from the Reports group in the Project ribbon. Double click on the “Costs” option and then double click on the “Cash Flow” option. You should now see a report showing you the weekly cash flow statement for your project. • Note that it is possible to customise this. For example if you wish to see a monthly cash flow statement, select the “Reports” option from the bottom for the Report menu and this time select the “Custom” option. Click on the “Cash Flow” report from the list of reports that you can customise and click on the Edit button. In the pop-up window, select months instead of months, click OK. Close the “Custom” window and then produce the cash flow report again. You should now see the cash flow statement in weeks. (Note that there were other options that could be modified in the Edit window.)

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