Posts tagged with “Project Management”
The Critical Path Method is the longest path of planned activities to the end of the project. It shows the the earliest that tasks can start and show the latest they can be completed. The critical path is the activity that will hold up the project.
An example of Critical Path
In the example below, the critical path is the Frame -> Electrical -> Drywall, as it will take the longest time. The total is 17 days.
Frame (3days) ------> Plumbing (8 Days) -----\ \ -wait--> Drywall (4 days) \----> Electrical (10 days) -------------/
Shorten/Change critical Path
It is possible to change the critical path however, if you wanted to double the number of electritians, you could speed up the process. Now the Critical path has been moved from Electrical to Plumbing. The total is now 15 days.
Frame (3 days) ----> Plumbing (8 Days) -----\ \ ---wait--> Drywall (4 days) \--> Electrical (5 days) ---/ \-> Electrical (5 days) --/
There are a number of things that you have to wait for when completing a project. This can help you identify which one need additional resources. This information would become useful if you had a deadline and knew how much money each phase was. This also illustrates how certain activities can be completed at the same time.
Much of this information was derived from Wikipedia
Shit happens, there is no disputing that, and when it does happen, it is a good idea to have a method for dealing with this change in effort required to fix the shit. The process is called a change request.
The purpose of a change request is to let the client know that their changes to the project at this phase is going to cost them money. As a PM, you have managed, quoted and scheduled based on a set of requirements and baseline assumptions. But when these requirements are changed, you have to rethink the project plan and assumptions
- Do we need additional information? Do another discovery meeting?
- Will this increase the BA work? What extra analysis will this create?
- What are the new gotchas?
- How does this affect the Project Plan? Are time lines affected? Is precedence affected?
- How much is this going to cost the Client?
All comes back to the client
Hopefully your client understands that a change in their mind will increase their cost. This is why it is important to set up expectations when you start a project. In the proposal or contract it is important to clearly state something like
A change in the requirements that occurs part of the way through this process may result in additional effort, delay project and increase cost of the project. Any changes in requirements will be recorded in a Change Requirements document.
Ensuring your client understands this before commencing on the project will save you trouble when there is a problem in the future.