This two-day program provides an in-depth treatment of the two key project management topics in the course title. You will learn details of scheduling that are seldom covered in most introductory programs but that are essential to creating a truly reliable plan for almost any non-trivial project. You will also learn a variety of techniques for measuring project progress in order to facilitate appropriate corrective action.
One of the key themes of this program is that control is all about moving the project in a direction that will satisfy your stakeholders and not about blind obedience to “the plan.” To illustrate the importance of flexibility and of being able to respond coherently to unexpected events, participants will compete as teams in Milestones: The Game of Projects™ to practice using Earned Value concepts to satisfy their stakeholders.
Key Learning Objectives
Upon completion, you will be able to:
- Explain the strengths and weaknesses of critical path analysis.
- Develop a properly resourced baseline schedule.
- Apply three proven approaches to reduce project duration.
- Recognize six common formats for status reporting.
- Use earned value metrics to manage project performance.
Detailed Topical Outline
Key concepts and definitions
The “Scheduling Wheel”
Review of basic concepts and terminology
Characteristics of work items, milestones, and dependencies
Sequencing a simple project: common errors to avoid
Displaying activity sequences: PDM and ADM
Discretionary constraints: PDM relationships, leads, and lags
Sequencing incremental or repetitive work
What to estimate?
Using range estimates
Converting effort into duration
Critical Path Method (CPM)
Performance Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
Convergence: Critical Path Analysis
Critical path assumptions and calculations
Probabilistic Network Analysis
Why it is useful: variable durations, merge bias, conditional branches
Basics of Monte Carlo analysis
Preliminary schedules and baseline schedules
Resolving resource conflicts
Optimizing the Schedule
Devaux’s Reduced Activity Gauge (DRAG)
Advanced Control: an Overview
What are we trying to control?
Objectives of progress measurement
Elements of project control
The four major baselines
Cost budgeting vs. cost estimating
Developing activity budgets
Scope change vs. scope creep
Change management and corrective action
Tools and techniques
Communications management plan
Integrated cost and schedule reports
Using earned value management: where it works, where it doesn’t
Earned value mechanics: baseline, actual, measuring progress
Milestones: the Game of Projects
Using Earned Value to forecast future cost and schedule performance
The impact of “lean staffing”
Responding to surprises