Course Project: Week 3
Congratulations! You have just completed the project charter and scope statement. Now that you know what needs to be done, as the Project Manager, you are now ready to begin planning your project schedule.
This week, you will have two deliverables to complete for the project.
- Using MS Project, create a project schedule and align resources – 35 points
- Analyze project schedule and resource allocation: two essay questions – 20 points
Please provide these two deliverables (MS Project file and MS Word document) to the Week 3 Dropbox. Please refer to the course Syllabus for your due date.
To help guide you through these deliverables, please follow the three step process below.
Step 1: Update MS Project with Resource Information
Project Schedule Instructions
The following steps should be followed when setting up your Course Project with Microsoft Project 2010:
- Set the basic project information
- Open MS Project 2010
- Click on the File button (top left), select save as and enter the file name as (your name) cp1. For example: SmithJanecp1.mpp
- Click on the Project tab and select Project Information. In the Project Information dialogue box, set the start date of your project.
- Leave other dates as is. Click on OK.
- Set basic Gantt chart format (use also for tracking Gantt chart view)
- Right click on the mouse in the gray area of the Gantt chart on the right side of the screen where the dates in month and days are for the menu and select Timescale.
- In the Timescale dialogue box:
- Select the Middle Tier tab set Units to Quarters
- Select the Bottom Tier tab set Units to Months
- Click on OK.
- Setup the default task units to weeks
- Click the File tab, and then click Options.
- In the Project Options dialog box, click Schedule.
- Under Scheduling options in this project, set the following:
- New tasks created select Auto Scheduled
- Duration is enetered in select Weeks
- Default task type select Fixed Duration
- Click OK to close the dialog box.
- Set up the Resource Sheet.
Once you have set the defaults, we are ready to move on. If you have not done so already, you need to create the project’s work packages and activities from the Project’s WBS. Once this is done, insert your project name, deliverables, work packages, and activities in the column Task Name in MS Project.
- Enter the task durations in the Duration Column.
- Enter the predecessor(s) for each task in the predecessors column. If there is no duration or predecessor listed, leave the column blank. Note: If you do not see the Predecessors Column, move the vertical line between the Entry Form and the Gantt Chart to the right to reveal the column. Click on the line and drag to move it. Columns can be expanded or contracted individually to accommodate information the same way column width is adjusted in MS Excel.
Analyze your Schedule and Network Diagram
To see the network diagram, click on View, then select Network Diagram. Activities on the Critical Path are outlined in red, while non-critical path activities are outlined in blue. You will need this information to answer the essay question in Step 3.
Step 2: Allocate Resources
Resource Allocation and Assignment Instructions
Once you have the WBS created in MS Projects, you need to assign resources to each activity. Remember only assign resources to activities, not other items on the WBS. Before you can do this, you need to create a resources sheet in MS Projects. To create a Resource sheet, click on View, Resource Sheet. Enter the Resource name, whether it is a human resource, a cost, or a material. Once this is finished, one can tied these resources to individual activities. Don’t worry about costs, as that is next week’s work.
To assign your resources to the aligned tasks in MS Project, follow the steps below:
Assign Hourly Resources and costs to the tasks that you have already entered.
- Choose View – Gantt Chart. Place active window on the first task.
- Click on the Double Headed Icon on the upper tool bar (Assign Resources), or click Alt-F10.
- In the resource assignment window, select the appropriate resource for each activity.
- Repeat for all resources and activities according to the Resource List above.
Analyze your Resource Allocation and Assignments
There are several methods to check for over-allocated resources:
- Click on View, Resource Sheet – resource(s) in red color are over-allocated.
- Click on View, Resource Usage – resource(s) in red color are over-allocated resource(s) by date.
- Click on Project, Reports. A dialog box appears, click on Assignments then Select. Then click the report for Overallocated Resources and then Select to print or view.
- Remember with resources you need to assign how much time (by a percentage) each resource will be allocated to each activity. Simply lowering a given percentage may clear an over-allocation, but in real life this is not possible. One must come up with a better method do clear resource over-allocations.
You will need this information to answer the essay question in Step 3.
Step 3: Answer the Following Essay Questions
Answer the Following Essay Questions
Now that your project schedule has been created and your resources have been allocated, please analyze your results and answer the following essay questions. In your analysis, be sure to identify the critical path and relate any time reduction opportunities to specific activities in the WBS.
Essay Question #1: Now that you have created a WBS and resource loaded schedule in MS Projects, what is your critical path? Does this critical path make sense? Do your predecessors make sense? How accurate are your durations? What could be done to improve the accuracy of your durations?
Essay Question #2: Are there any resources over-allocated? If yes, during which month(s) and what are some ways this might be addressed? Do not simply lower the percentage allocated to an over-allocated activity.
Using your own words, I am looking for a two to three page essay report that addresses the essay questions above. Remember, the report must be to a level of clarity and depth that would be readily understood by the executive management; in other words do not repeat the questions, avoid a simple Yes or No answer. Do support your analysis with both in-text citation and references from the textbook, PMBOK® Guide or other juried sources. Include a cover sheet and a reference page. Use APA style format, double-space, one inch margins, Times New Roman, and 12 point font size.
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