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The important aspects of project planning - Assignment Example

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The important aspects of project planning

As per the network diagram, the project duration is 50 days. Accordingly, the project needs to start on November 30, 2008 at 4p.m.
Critical activities are those, which when delayed will affect the overall project duration, and therefore determine the shortest time required to complete the project. All other activities are non-critical. The critical activities for this project are "Obtaining passport" and "Obtaining visas".
Though the project manager should primarily focus on the critical activities, she should also monitor activities with low slack as these have the potential of becoming critical.
The manager would benchmark the planned time with other similar projects completed. In case historical data is not available, the project manager would evaluate the probabilities associated with each activity duration to arrive at the "Most Likely", "Optimistic", and "Pessimistic" project durations.

The WBS for the project is given in Table-3.
Table -3
Activity Description
Obtain passport
Obtain application form
Print photographs
Fill up application form
Submit application form
Courier passport
Receive passport
Obtain visas
Obtain application form
Print photographs
Fill up application form
Submit application form
Courier passport
Receive stamped passport
Visit travel agent to obtain brochures, fares, etc
Study brochures
Study destinations
Plan itinerary
Plan locations to be visited
Plan duration of stay at each location
Plan mode of transport
Calculate costs
Car hire cost
Air travel cost
Hotel costs
Boarding costs
Other costs
Shopping costs
Activity cost
Miscellaneous costs
Obtain bank loan...
The manager would benchmark the planned time with other similar projects completed. In case historical data is not available, the project manager would evaluate the probabilities associated with each activity duration to arrive at the "Most Likely", "Optimistic", and "Pessimistic" project durations.
The advantage of network is that the interdependencies between various activities are captured effectively. CPA allows the project manager to focus on the critical activities and allocate resources efficiently, and helps deciding which activities to "crash". Its disadvantage is that it is complex, and unlike other planning tools like Gantt chart is not easily interpreted by everybody.
A work package is a subset of a project that can be assigned to a specific party for execution (Work Package 2009). Such work packages are identified as sub-levels of the WBS. For example, Colin can entrust the Level 1 activity of obtaining bank loan to a family member, who can execute this work package a separate sub-project.
The analysis is important as it allows the project manager to plan, monitor and control the project. It also forms as an important Management Information System (MIS) tool for the senior management. The analysis also allows estimation and allocation of scarce resources. ...Show more


The activity durations were reviewed with three respondents, their individual opinions recorded, and the arithmetic average of the durations taken (see Table-1). The duration for obtaining passport was changed on the basis of Home Office (Identity and Passport Service), UK information.
Author : vschoen
The important aspects of project planning essay example
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