Good project management is especially important with virtual teams.
Virtual teams face challenges that make project management especially important.
One way that project management differs from management of more traditional activities is because of the limited lifetime of projects.
Projects have lifetimes that are typically shorter than other business endeavors.
Once a project is approved and underway, project managers are only responsible for effectively managing time and costs which, if done well, will assure project completion on time and on budget.
Managers also are responsible for assuring performance targets are met.
Matrix organizations transfer control of workers to project managers for the duration of the project.
In matrix organizations, workers are shared by functional and project managers.
Some organizations use a matrix organization to integrate the activities of specialists within a functional framework.
The matrix organization is useful in integrating specialists into projects.
The project computing algorithm requires both a forward and backward pass.
Both passes are necessary to find critical path activities.
A hierarchical (vertical) listing of what must be done during a project is called matrix.
This is called the work breakdown structure.
An advantage of Gantt charts in project management is that they identify which activities can be delayed without delaying the overall project.
Gantt charts cannot show sequential relationships.
A Gantt chart is built using established precedence relationships.
Gantt charts cannot show sequential relationships.
The higher the node number, the longer the activity will take.
The higher the node number, the later the activity will occur.
The probability of occurrence of risk events is lower near the beginning of a project and higher near the end of the project since very few activities remain.
The probability of occurrence of risk events is higher near the beginning of a project.
The costs associated with risk events tend to be lower near the beginning of a project, and higher near the end of the project.
This is true even though the probability of occurrence of risk events is higher near the beginning of a project.
Although PERT and CPM were originally developed for somewhat different types of projects, they are now nearly identical in terms of analysis and procedures.
PERT and CPM are commonly used to refer to the same approaches.
The network diagram describes sequential relationships among major activities on a project.
Network diagrams depict sequential relationships.
The path in a network with the average length of time to completion is called the critical path.
The critical path is the path that has the largest duration.
The sum of times of the longest path in a network indicates expected project completion time, and the activities represent the critical activities.
These are definitions of the critical path and the critical activities.
Path probabilities are calculated by dividing path mean by path standard deviations.
Path probabilities are calculated by subtracting the path mean from the specified time, dividing by the pat standard deviation, then referring the resulting z-score to the standard normal distribution.
The main function of dummy activities is to clarify relationships in network diagrams.
Dummy variables are used to ensure that precedence relationships are maintained.
The earliest finish time for an activity is equal to the latest finish time minus the activity time.
Early finish is equal to the early start plus the activity time.
The latest starting time for an activity is equal to the latest finish time minus the activity time.
This is how late start times are computed.
The earliest finish time for an activity is equal to the latest finish time minus the activity slack.
The difference between late finish and early finish is the activity slack.
Many activities have slack time; if we add these slack times together, this represents the potential improvement in early completion for the project.
Not all slack times are independent of one another.
If two consecutive activities on the same path each have two days of activity slack, this means that each of them can be delayed by two days without delaying the project.
Likely only two days total slack are available for these two activities.
The task of identifying risks should involve everyone associated with the project.
A clearer picture of risk is gained with broad inputs.
Most likely time generally is more than optimistic time.
Most likely time is never less than the optimistic time, but it can be equal to the optimistic time.
Activities not on the critical path have a slack time equal to zero.
Critical path activities have slack time equal to zero.
If two consecutive activities have shared slack, this means that each of them can use only half of the slack without delaying completion of the project.
This means that between them only the total amount of shared slack can be used.
Deterministic networks use three time estimates – shortest, most likely and longest – for each activity in order to best determine the activity’s estimated time.
Probabilistic networks use these time estimates.
Slack time is equal to LS-ES or LF-EF.
This is how slack time is computed.
Project management software eliminates conflicts when there are shared resources.
Project management software simply points to conflicts, it does not eliminate them.
The standard deviation of the critical path is equal to the sum of the standard deviations of all of the activities on the critical path.
The standard deviation of the critical path is equal to the square root of the sum of the variances of all of the activities on the critical path.
The total cost of crashing any one activity should never exceed 20% of the total cost of the original project.
The total cost of crashing any one activity should not exceed the value gained by shortening that activity’s duration.
If the expected length of a path is more than 2.5 standard deviations less than a desired project completion time, the path would not be a factor in assessing the probability of finishing the project on time.
Usually a path is not considered a factor unless its expected length is more than 3 standard deviations less.
In order to determine the probability of timely project completion, it is sometimes necessary to take into account paths other than the critical path.
This is especially true of non-critical paths have relatively large standard deviations.
The probability that the project will go beyond the desired time is equal to one minus the joint probability that all paths will be completed within the desired time.
This is how this value is calculated.
A disadvantage of activity-on-node diagrams is the occasional need for dummy activities.
Dummy activities are not needed in activity-on-node diagrams.
Simulation can be used for cases in which network activity times are dependent.
Simulation is valuable in these circumstances.
Project managers are sometimes able to reduce indirect project costs by increasing direct costs.
Speeding up project activities might be more costly, but the indirect cost savings might be worth it.
Only activities on the critical path are initial candidates for crashing.
The first activity to be crashed must be on the critical path.
The optimum project length in crashing occurs where the cumulative cost of crashing equals savings in the indirect costs.
Beyond this point, additional crashing is not worth it.
In PERT, the expected project duration will never exceed the expected duration of the critical path.
In PERT, the expected project duration is found by calculating the expected duration of the critical path.
In PERT, the path with the fewest activities is referred to as the critical path.
In PERT, the path with the longest expected project duration is the critical path.
Project management differs from management of more traditional activities mainly because of:
A. its limited time frame
B. its unique, defined set of activities
C. (a) and (b)
These are the primary reasons that project management differs from the management of more traditional tasks.
Which of the following would probably not involve the use of PERT?
writing a poem; Developing a work breakdown structure would be next to impossible.
Once a project is underway, the project manager usually is not responsible for effectively managing:
project priority; The project’s priority is not the project manager’s responsibility.
Which of the following is not a form of risk reduction in project management?
scenario analysis; Scenario analysis can be used to fashion risk reduction approaches, but it doesn’t actually reduce risks.
A sequence of activities that leads from the starting node to the finishing node is called a _______.
Which of the following is not typically treated as part of a project life cycle?
maturity; projects do not have maturities as in product life-cycles.
A hierarchical listing of what must be done in a project is called:
work breakdown structure (WBS); The WBS is a hierarchical listing of what must be done in a project
A method used for establishing a logical framework for identifying the required activities for the project is called:
Work breakdown structure; the WBS is a hierarchical listing of what must be done in a project.
A popular tool for planning and scheduling simple projects, and for initial planning on more complex projects, is the:
To _____ an activity means to shorten the time it will take.
Crash; Crashing an activity means speeding it up.
Concerning PERT and CPM:
These are two different names for essentially the same technique.; PERT and CPM have grown to be largely interchangeable terms.
The advantage(s) a precedence diagram has over a Gantt chart is(are):
its ability to reveal relationships among activities.
B. it can easily show networks.
C. (a) and (b).
Precedence diagrams reveal activity relationships and clarify networks.
In a project network the critical path is the sequence of activities which has the:
longest time; The critical path is the longest path in the project network.
Which of the following is not true about the use of dummy activities in project networking?
They are used in activities-on-nodes (AON) network diagrams.; Dummy activities are not used in AON networks.
Shortening activity durations is called:
Crashing; Crashing an activity shortens its duration.
Activity 7-8 is directly preceded by two activities—activity 5-7 and activity 6-7. Activity 5-7 has an expected time of five and an ES time of six. Activity 6-7 has an expected time of seven and an ES time of seven. Activity 7-8 has an expected time of 10. The ES for activity 7-8 is:
14; Use the computing algorithm.
Which of the following is determined as a direct result of computing the earliest starting and finishing times for the activities of a project network?
expected project duration; The largest value in the EF column is the project’s expected duration.
A node has one entering activity, a, and two leaving activities, b and c. Given the following information, determine the latest starting time for activity a: EFb = 15, EFc = 17, LFb = 24, LFc = 27; activity times are a = 4, b = 6, c = 8.
14;; Use the computing algorithm.
In project network analysis, “slack” refers to the difference between:
latest and earliest times; Slack is the difference between latest and earliest times.
Activity C has an early start time of 8, an early finish time of 12, a latest start time of 13, and a latest finish time of 17. Its slack is:
5; Use the computing algorithm.
Given this information about activity 3-4: ES = 10, EF = 15, LS = 16, and LF = 21, we can determine that the amount of slack associated with the activity is:
6; Use the computing algorithm.
In the probabilistic approach to project network analysis, the time estimate annotated “tm” for any activity is the:
most likely time; The most likely time is denoted tm.
The basis for use of the beta distribution in PERT is:
its adaptability.; The beta distribution works well across a variety of circumstances in project management.
When developing probabilistic estimates of project duration, it is necessary to know which of the following?
the mean and variance of every activity; Even non-critical path activities can shape a project’s duration if they have large variance.
A PERT/CPM activity has an optimistic time estimate of three days, a most likely time estimate of eight days, and a pessimistic time estimate of 10 days. The expected time (in days) of this activity is:
7.5; Use the weighted time estimates formula.
Activity 4-5 in a network diagram has an optimistic time estimate of five days, a most likely time estimate of seven days, and a pessimistic time estimate of 10 days. Its expected time is approximately:
7 ;Use the weighted time estimates formula.
There are four activities on the critical path, and they have standard deviations of 1, 2, 4, and 2 days. The standard deviation of the critical path is:
5; Square the standard deviations, add them up, and then take the square root.
There are four activities on the critical path. Coincidentally, their standard deviations are all equal to 4. The standard deviation of the critical path is therefore equal to:
8; Square the standard deviations, add them up, and then take the square root.
The project management strategy of injecting additional resources in order to reduce the length of the project is called:
In “crashing” a project, a manager will generally focus on activities which:
are on the critical path and are the least costly to crash; The manager must take care to consider critical paths that emerge as the project is shortened.
At which point does crashing of a project cease?
when the cost to crash equals or exceeds the benefit of crashing; At that point, additional expenditures do not pay off.
Which of the following are advantages of PERT?
(I) It is visual.
(II) It is automatically updated.
(III) Activities that need to be watched closely can be identified.
D. I and III
PERT provides valuable information regarding which activities need to be closely watched.
Which of the following are limitations of PERT? (I) Time estimates may include a fudge factor.
(II) Important activities may be overlooked.
(III) It is an after-the-fact analysis.
I and II
PERT analysis is done before the project is begun.
Which of the following is not a limitation of PERT and similar project-scheduling techniques?
They force the manager to organize and quantify information., Forcing the manager to organize and quantify information is a benefit, not a limitation.
Gantt charts are most closely associated with
Gantt charts can be useful in project management.
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