Activity on Node- Project Management
For completing the entire plan, total 11 activities are required. The table below shows the complete project plan and includes all the activities with its immediate predecessor activity and time taken by each activity
On the basis of the above project plan, AON network diagram is drawn below:
The above chart is AON (Activity on Node) network diagram for the given project plan. To determine the critical path, we need to calculate earliest start, earliest finish, latest start, latest finish and slack for each activity. The chart table below shows each of the characteristics for all the activities.
- Earliest start (ES) is the earliest time that an activity can begin.
- Latest start (LS) is the latest time that an activity can begin without delaying the overall project.
- Earliest finish (EF) (= earliest start time + activity completion time) is the earliest time that an activity can be finished.
- Latest finish (LF) (= latest start time + activity completion time) is the latest time that an activity can be finished without delaying the overall project (Engwall, 2012).
Thus, the critical path of the entire project is shown in the network diagram drawn below and is highlighted by double arrows
There are various advantages of PERT for the selected project. The first advantage of PERT is that this technique helps manager in critically planning their entire project so that they can evaluate all the factors that can impact the progression of the project. When the manager of the project decides to draw the network diagram, he will properly analyze the entire project from start to finish and in that way can do better project planning. The technique of PERT can be significantly helpful for this project in forecasting. With the help of this tool the manager can effectively predict the future and changes that he needs to mend in the project (Sharma, 2006). Thus, he can pre-plan for the future and can take corrective step at correct time. Since the manager will locate all the trouble spots early enough, he will have ample of time to apply corrective actions and preventive measures so that the project can be complete on time without affecting the quality of final outcome. Another benefit of PERT for this project is that, with the help of this technique, manager of the project can effectively present bagful of data in a highly ordered manner (Punmia and Khandelwal, 2002). Everyone knows that a manager of a big project has to deal with lot of data and to analyze it to draw relationship between them and to present it graphically so that all the resources attached to the project can understand their role and responsibility easily that will help them in completing the entire task in effective manner. One more advantage of this technique is that it forecasts the future in most accurate way. By using this technique the manager of the present project will determine the time through 3 ways estimation and thus will ensure to minimize the uncertainties and there will be high degree of accuracy in time forecasting (Schwable, 2006).
To complete the proposed project in given time and in an effective way so as to get the desired outcome it is essential to have an effective communication among all the participants. Communication is a key to success for all the big projects. If there is lack of communication among all the participants, delay in one activity will have its consequences on all the other activities. Moreover, the participants will not be able to understand their exact role and responsibilities as their tasks cannot be communicated to the effectively (Schwable, 2006). PERT technique helps in this also. It improves the communication process of the project. This technique provides a shared ground to all the participants such as designers, project manager, researchers, contractors, etc. since all the participants share common ground, they properly understand each other roles and thus can communicated properly. Another importance of PERT in the project is that it will highlight the areas which require greater attention or that should be done on priority basis (Punmia and Khandelwal, 2002). Since all the tasks are prioritized, participants know where they have to concentrate more and which tasks they need to perform on priority basis. Thus, the manager of the proposed project have an opportunity with him that he can shift the attention of the participants on the tasks or activities that are critical for the project and hence can complete the entire project on time.
Another advantage of PRET technique is that it will provide exact information regarding budget and time to the manager of the proposed project (Punmia and Khandelwal, 2002). This is done as manager evaluates all the events and activities independently as well as in combination. For example, in the present case, since it is a new product development, thus, research and development are key activities for this project. Thus, manager can mark research and analysis as a critical activity and then will work on other activities. The manager can determine the time and budget required for research and development activities and then can plan accordingly (Schwable, 2006). PERT technique not only helps manager in determining the critical activities and events, it also helps project manager to establish coordination among all the departments. Coordination of various departments is a key to success for a big project like this. If all the departments will be in sync, the project will complete in given time and budget. On the other hand, if any of the department goes out of sync, it will create problems for remaining departments as activities of all the departments are interlinked with each other and if a delay occurs in any of one department, the entire project will get delayed. It may be possible that to meet the deadlines, project manager many compromise with the quality of the final outcome required (Schwable, 2006). In that case, though the entire project will complete on time but the quality of the final product will get affected. Thus, this technique integrates all the departments and improving decision making and planning. Finally, with the help of PERT manager of the proposed project can align all the activities in a proper sequence specifying critical and sub critical paths. Critical path is the path that shows the longest sequence of activities and helps the manager in determining the time the entire project will take in completion. Manager can apply different permutation and combination activities so as to select the most suitable sequence (Punmia and Khandelwal, 2002). This will minimize the project uncertainties, wastage and duplication of efforts. Moreover, manager can also apply what if analysis using PERT technique on the project. This will help the manager in determining those activities which are associated with high amount of risk and needs greater attention (Sharma, 2006). Thus PERT is very beneficial for the project manager and helps him in delivering project in time with desired quality.
After applying PERT technique on the proposed project it was determined that the critical path for the project is A - C - E - G - H - I - K and the project completion time is 24 weeks. Moreover, it was also found that there is only a single critical path for the given project. Finally, it was also found that PERT is very useful and beneficial technique for the project manager of the proposed project as it will help him in decision making, completing project on time and with desired quality, improving communication, bringing coordination and minimizing wastage and duplication of efforts (Sharma, 2006).
Engwall, M. (2012). PERT, Polaris, and the realities of project execution. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. 5(4). pp.595-616.
Punmia, C. B. and Khandelwal, K. K. (2002). Project Planning and Control with PERT & CPM. Firewall Media.
Schwable, K. (2006). Introduction to Project Management. Thomson Course Technology.
Sharma, C. S. (2006). Operation Research: Pert, Cpm & Cost Analysis. Discovery Publishing House.