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Assignment 2

157.246: Project Management and Systems Implementation

PURPOSE............................................................................................................................................................................1

INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT.....................................................................................................1

INTRODUCTION TO MICROSOFT PROJECT..........................................................................................................2

FORMAT OF THIS ASSIGNMENT...............................................................................................................................3

USING MICROSOFT PROJECT IN PC COMPUTER LABORATORY..................................................................3


FILE SAVE AND BACKUP REQUIREMENTS...........................................................................................................................3
STARTING MICROSOFT PROJECT..............................................................................................................................................4
THE PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT................................................................................................................4
PROJECT BACKGROUND..........................................................................................................................................................4
SETTING THE PROJECT START DATE........................................................................................................................................4
SETTING DEFAULT VALUES......................................................................................................................................................5
Set Current Date ........................................................................................................................................................5
Set the Calendar.........................................................................................................................................................5
Set the Working Time.................................................................................................................................................6
Set the Project Calendar............................................................................................................................................7
Set the Gantt chart bar display...................................................................................................................................8
ENTER TASKS IN THE SCHEDULE..............................................................................................................................................8
DURATIONS AND MILESTONES..............................................................................................................................................10
Set Milestones...........................................................................................................................................................10
Set Durations............................................................................................................................................................10
DESIGNATING TASKS AND SUB-TASKS.....................................................................................................................................11
SETTING MILESTONES...........................................................................................................................................................15
Formatting the Deliverable......................................................................................................................................16
DELIVERABLE #1: INITIAL GANTT CHART..............................................................................................................................17
DELIVERABLE #2: REPORT...................................................................................................................................................19
CREATE A RESOURCE LIST....................................................................................................................................................20
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF RESOURCE APPLICATION.....................................................................................................................22
TASK CONSTRAINTS.............................................................................................................................................................23
To change the relationship between the tasks with lag and lead times:..................................................................23
ALLOCATING RESOURCES TO PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT.................................................................................................24
Entering resources for each task..............................................................................................................................24
Entering and changing unit percentages..................................................................................................................26
SLACK TIME......................................................................................................................................................................27
BUDGET............................................................................................................................................................................28
DELIVERABLE #3: RESOURCE MANAGEMENT .........................................................................................................................29
TRACKING PROGRESS................................................................................................................................................30
UPDATING THE PROJECT SCHEDULE........................................................................................................................................31
DELIVERABLE #4: FINAL GANTT CHAT AND BUDGET REPORT..................................................................................................32
SUMMARY.......................................................................................................................................................................32

ASSESSMENT..................................................................................................................................................................32
ASSESSMENT .....................................................................................................................................................................33

Project Management Assignment Page 1 of 37


PURPOSE
This assignment is designed to provide you with practical experience in applying project management
concepts. Specifically, the objectives of this assignment are:

 To learn fundamental skills in the use of project management software – in this case, Microsoft
Project.
 To produce key elements of a project management plan, including the adjustment of a project
proposal to fit within a schedule.
 To practice some professional communication skills as you write a memorandum to the Project
Manager to explain your project plan and make recommendations for action.

You will follow this approach in completing this assignment:

 Learn to use the application. Use this assignment and the on-line tutorial to learn how to use
Microsoft Project.
 Apply what you learn from the tutorial to prepare a project plan then adjust that project plan to meet
the adjusted requirements.
 Prepare a memo that describes your revised project proposal. This will challenge your ability to
explain and justify complex program changes in a brief memo with specific recommendations for
action.
 Finally, submit your assignment by the due date.

Microsoft Project will help you plan, manage, consolidate and communicate information about your projects
efficiently, by combining the critical path method of scheduling with a graphical environment. It is used to
construct Gantt charts, PERT (Project Evaluation Review Technique) charts and different types of both Task
and Resource reports.

You are expected to work through this assignment in your own time, using either the PC computing
laboratories or your home computer. If you have questions or problems with the Microsoft Project software
or in completing the assignment, you should ask the tutor for assistance in the allocated lab times.

INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT


At its core, project management is simply the planning, organizing and managing of tasks and resources to
accomplish a defined objective, usually with constraints on time and cost. Most projects, whether they are
large and complex or small and simple, can be planned by breaking the project into small, easily manageable
tasks, scheduling the tasks, and then tracking the tasks as work progresses.

Project management helps you answer questions such as:


 What is to be done?
 Who will complete the task?
 When must it be done?
 How much will it cost?
 What happens if work isn’t completed on time?

Typically, project management involves three major activities:

• Planning the project and creating a schedule


This includes defining the tasks and their duration, setting up relationships between tasks, and, if you are
tracking resource usage, assigning resources. ALL later phases of the project are based directly on the
information you provide when you first plan your project.

• Managing changes
This is an ongoing process that begins once you create a schedule and the project starts, and ends when
the project is complete. It includes tracking and adjusting your schedule to reflect changes that occur as
Project Management Assignment Page 1 of 37
the project progresses.

• Communicating project information


This is a very important process that involves communicating project information to clients, project staff,
and management.

Project management software is productivity software that will assist you in each of these steps. Many
professionals find it is among the most productive tools in their skill set. Some Information Systems
professionals will find it essential to their jobs while many others will use it only on an occasional basis.

INTRODUCTION TO MICROSOFT PROJECT


Project management software such as Microsoft Project helps you achieve your project goal on time and on
budget. Computer software can significantly aid in project management as a tool for recording, calculating,
analysing, consolidating and presenting project details. However, it is important to note that the software
cannot produce or even guarantee a successful project plan, any more than a word processor can produce or
guarantee a successful novel.

Despite this, Microsoft Project assists you to develop a better plan. It does so in the following ways:
 MS Project requires you to specifically define the tasks in the project, making you think more carefully
about project details.
 MS Project makes projections easier to calculate and more reliable. Based on the data you enter, the
software will calculate a schedule that will show the various dates and the resources required to perform
specific tasks.
 MS Project helps you detect inconsistencies and problems in the plan. It will detect when resources are
scheduled for more hours than are available or when deadlines cannot be met.
 MS Project helps you communicate the plan to others as you can generate printed reports that make the
"selling" of the plan to upper-level management, who must approve the plan, an easier task. Likewise, it
is easier to communicate the plan to supervisors and workers, which simplifies securing their approval
and co-operation.
 MS Project helps you track progress and detect potential difficulties once the project is underway. You
can replace projected dates for the scheduled tasks with actual dates, as tasks are being performed. The
software revises the schedule and the new projection will provide you with advance warning of potential
delays (if any) so that you can take any required corrective measures.

Project management involves more than just opening a blank document and typing a list of tasks. There are
"housekeeping" chores to be done and choices to be made about how to calculate the project schedule.
However, Microsoft Project does not have rigid requirements about the order in which you deal with these
preliminaries. You can begin by jotting down some ideas about tasks that you think might be required, and
you can later adjust the scheduling calendar, enter the basic project information, revise the calculation and
display options, and define the resources. In fact, you can execute all of the previous steps in any order.

Finally, be aware that this assignment introduces you to the basic principles of project management and MS
Project, but the assignment does not use the full capabilities of the software.

Project Management Assignment Page 2 of 37


PRE-ASSIGNMENT LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Before beginning the assignment itself you need to acquire some knowledge about project management and
some practical skills in the use of Microsoft Project.

1. Read Appendix A of your text book. This will introduce you to many of the terms used in this assignment
(e.g., Gantt chart).
2. Read through this assignment in its entirely. Do not be concerned about absorbing details of the
assignment; focus on learning the vocabulary (e.g., calendar, milestones, Gantt chart) and information in
the boxes.
3. Go through the Microsoft Project on-line tutorial (see directions below). Note that some procedures you
will be required to do in the assignment rely on knowledge you have acquired from this on-line tutorial.
4. As you proceed through the assignment, on-line help should be consulted first before asking the tutor for
help.

You will use a number of buttons and toolbars in completing the assignment, for example, the Formatting
toolbar. A portion of the Formatting toolbar, with labels for each of the buttons, is shown below:

outdent indent show hide


subtasks subtasks

FORMAT OF THIS ASSIGNMENT


A two-phased approach has been used in writing this assignment.

 You are given information on how some procedure is undertaken or some technique is used. Detailed
explanation of terms or concepts is in boxes. The knowledge you acquire from this information will
be used in this assignment.
 The specific instructions to complete the assignments are shown in Courier font.

You might need to read and practice the exercise sections (italics).

USING MICROSOFT PROJECT IN PC COMPUTER LABORATORY

File SAVE and BACKUP requirements

You are strongly recommended to regularly save your work and back up your work when working on this
assignment.

You can use your own H: drive (or My documents folder, if using your home PC) to store your working
files. It is strongly recommended that you keep a separate backup file on a separate media store (CD or Flash
drive, for instance).

Project Management Assignment Page 3 of 37


Starting Microsoft Project

1. In the computer labs, click Start ProgramsMicrosoft OfficeMicrosoft Project.


2. For help, click HelpMicrosoft Project Help

Note (before you start):


To guard against data loss it is wise to regularly save your work.

Save your work using the Save As command under the File menu, ensure you have selected the
appropriate drive in the drives box on the "Save As" screen. In the File Name box, give this file an
appropriate name (e.g., Palmers_D1).

THE PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT

Project background

Palmers Golf Course is a two-year-old signature golf course based in Auckland. Being unique, the number of
memberships is increasing and putting strain on the existing information system.

The current system is used only by Accounts Department to process Accounts Payables and Receivables.
With the steep increase in the memberships, Bookings and Maintenance the Human Resource department is
getting overwhelmed with the paper work. Therefore, there is a need to add these functions to a new system.

You are the Project Leader for SoftSystems Ltd., which has been contracted by Palmers Golf Course to
undertake this project. You need to advise how to develop the new system in a tightly constrained time
period. Specifically, you have been advised that the project can start no earlier than Mon, 7th January 2008
and must be completed by Thu, 22nd May 2008.

You report to Ms Smith, the Project Manager for SoftSystems Ltd, who liaises with Palmers Golf Course.
You will report your progress and plans of the project to Ms Smith.

Setting the Project Start Date

Click on Project on the menu bar, and then go to Project Information.


Set the project start date to Mon, 7th January 2008. Do NOT enter finish
date. Click OK.

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Setting default values
 Set Current Date

The computer's internal clock initially determines the date listed in the Current Date text box.

To access the Current Date, click again on Project, then Project


Information.

The current date box appears. Changing this date box has several implications:
• The date determines the location of the dashed (current) date line on the Gantt chart timeline.
• The Current Date appears in the header of the Project Summary standard report. You can also display the
Current Date in headers or footers on other reports.
• You can use the Current Date to track the progress of the project, specifically to record the progress of all
tasks scheduled to be in progress or finished as of the date in the Current Date text box.

For this assignment, you will, initially, leave the Current Date as defined by the computer clock, please
check that it is correct.

Note: The Massey PC computer laboratories sometimes revert to a United States date setting (mm/dd/yy). If
an inappropriate New Zealand date (dd/mm/yy) is entered, you will receive a "Current Date not Valid"
message. Use caution with all such dates (e.g., you may enter 10/5/07 and mean 10 May 2007, but the
computer may interpret it as 5th October 2007).

Click OK, to close the Project Information box.

Click on File, Properties then Summary tab and in the Title box type
PALMERS GOLF COURSE. This names the project, which will then appear on your printouts. You should
also enter your name (Author) and other optional data.

 Set the Calendar

The calendar in this assignment should match the New Zealand calendar by the addition of non-working
days. Setting a new calendar can be done either (a) by modifying the standard calendar or (b) by creating a
new base calendar. You will do the latter (b).

Microsoft Calendars

Microsoft Project can support a large number of projects including large, complex projects, which are
usually broken down into sub-projects. Changing the working days on the standard calendar affects all
projects, with potentially unanticipated consequences. Therefore, each project should have its own base
calendar.

• Microsoft Project contains an internal standard calendar that defines the default working and non-
working days used for scheduling tasks in your projects. It assumes five working days per week,
Monday - Friday, eight hours of work per day (including an hour off for lunch). The default schedule is
8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm. No statutory holidays are set in the original standard
calendar.

• The standard calendar forms the basis for the base calendar, which applies to all resources in a project. It
would recognise special dates or circumstances that apply to a specific project. In this assignment the
base calendar will account for statutory holidays.

• The Base calendar is the basis for resource calendars, which apply to specific resources (groups of
people, material, equipment, facilities required to complete a project). Each resource has its own
calendar, which is linked to a designated base calendar (by default the standard calendar). A resource
Project Management Assignment Page 5 of 37
calendar inherits all the elements of its base calendar. It can be edited to record the days and hours when
the availability of the resource differs from the normal working times such as holidays, differing hours of
work on particular days, or availability of special equipment.

Microsoft Project uses the base calendar and the resource calendars to schedule the start dates for tasks.
When Microsoft Project schedules a task, it notes the earliest possible starting date, based on when the
predecessors to the task will be completed. If resources are required, Microsoft Project consults the resource
calendars to find when they are available and the task is scheduled to start on the next available working
hour for the assigned resources. If no resources are assigned, the project's base calendar is used to schedule
the start and finish of the task.

In this assignment, a group of senior secondary students who are undergoing work experience training will
be made available to assist you in this project. They will be available two afternoons per week. The resource
calendar for these students would initially show them as having the same hours as the base calendar but
would be modified to increase the number of non-working days and show afternoon working hours only.

 Set the Working Time

* * * Practice exercise starts here. At completion, Exit WITHOUT saving * * *

Working Time specifies the hours of work on a working day. As a practice exercise undertake the following
steps so that, (a) you know how to change working hours in a calendar and (b) observe the protection that the
software has in place to safeguard against invalid entries.

1. Select Tools then Change Working Time.


2. Scroll to January 25th 2007 on the Standard Project Calendar.
3. In the top From text box enter 09:00.
4. In the top To text box enter 13:00.
5. In the middle From text box enter 12:00.
6. In the middle To text box enter 17:30.
7. Click OK to see if these times are accepted. If not, why not?
8. Re-enter the original hours (08:00; 12:00; 13:00; 17:00).
9. Scroll to the 4th of February 2007. Select the From text box to change the working hours. Note the box
is grayed out; therefore it is impossible to change the hours of work on a non-working day.
10. Exit the Change Working Time window by clicking the Cancel button.

* * * Practice exercise ends here. At completion, Exit WITHOUT saving * * *

Note:
• The software checks all time entries for consistency. Each successive time must be later in the day than
the preceding time text box.
• You must use the top From and To text boxes first, only then can you fill the bottom pair. You cannot
leave the top work period row blank.
• You can restore default working hours by clicking on the default button.
• To change more than one day at a time, hold down the ctrl key and click on non-contiguous days; or hold
down the shift key and click to select a block of days. Now your time entries will affect all the selected
days.
• Use either the 24-hour clock, or the 12-hour clock using am and pm suffixes to enter times. If you enter a
time without using an am or pm suffix, the computer uses the first instance of the time following the
Default Start Time. If that is 8:00 am then 3:30 without a suffix is assumed to be 3:30 in the afternoon
and a pm suffix is attached.
• The separator between hours and minutes follows the American standard of a colon ( : ), not a full stop.
• A shortcut hint: on the hour, enter 10 for 10:00 am, and 5 pm for 5:00 pm.
• Noon is entered as 12:00 pm and midnight as 12:00 am.
• To remove a work period delete both the From time and the To time for the period.

Project Management Assignment Page 6 of 37


 Set the Project Calendar

You will now create a calendar for this project by accounting for the extra non-working times reflected by
statutory holidays.

1. Go to Tools on the menu, then to Change Working Time.


2. Click the New button at the bottom.
3. The "Create New Base Calendar" box appears. Enter ‘Palmers
Calendar’ in the Name text box.
4. Choose the Create New Base Calendar button and click OK.
5. We will only change holidays, (non-working days) on this calendar.
Scroll to Mon 28th January 2008 (Auckland Anniversary Day), then click
on the non-working time button. Repeat this process for:
• Wed 6th February 2008 (Waitangi Day)
• Fri 21th March 2008 (Good Friday)
• Mon 24th March 2008 (Easter Monday)
• Fri 25th April 2008 (Anzac Day)

6. Check the calendar and ensure you have made no errors when entering
the non-working days. Click OK.
7. Choose Timescale from the Format menu and select the Nonworking
Time tab. Click on the Calendar pull down menu and select Palmers
Calendar. Click OK.
8. Within the Project Information box from the Project menu select
Palmers Calendar from the Calendar pull down menu. Click OK. This
assigns the Palmers Calendar as the base calendar for this project.

Setting a Finish Date

The Project Information box (choose Project, Project Information) can give you a global view of the whole
project and you can do "what if" type scenarios from this box. For example, you could enter either a start
date or a finish date in the Project Information box to function as an anchor point for scheduling the tasks in
the project. If you enter the start date, Microsoft Project schedules the first task in the project to begin at that
date and calculates the project's finish date based on that starting date. If you enter the finish date, Microsoft
Project schedules the tasks at the end of the project first and works backward. The final task is scheduled to
end by the finish date; the task that precedes the final task is scheduled to end in time for the final task to
begin, and so on. You cannot specify both a start date and a finish date.

Most projects have a deadline. If you don't intend to assign resources or you do not need Microsoft Project to
help you reconcile resource overloads, you can safely schedule the project from a fixed finish date. Most
projects also have limited resources. If you want the program to help you adjust the schedule to resolve
resource overloads (levelling) you must schedule the project from a fixed start date. This is the approach you
will adopt in the assignment.

Project Management Assignment Page 7 of 37


 Set the Gantt chart bar display

Click on the following in sequence to set the Gantt chart bar display:

1. Format menu
2. GanttChartWizard
3. Next >
4. Select Critical Path then Next >
5. Select Resources and dates then Next >
6. Select Yes, please to show link line between dependent tasks then
Next >
7. Format It
8. Exit Wizard

What did this do? Now when tasks are added to the Gantt chart the bars will be coloured red if they are on
the critical path and when duration and links are added to the project you will be able to readily identify on
the screen what tasks lie on the critical path. When the project actually gets underway, you will be using a
different Gantt chart display to highlight any variances between ‘planned’ and ‘actual’ activity on the tasks.

Enter tasks in the schedule

The first step in creating your schedule is to enter task headings and tasks. With the Gantt chart on the
screen, begin by typing a list of tasks or events that need to be done in order to move the project forward,
preferably in the approximate order they will happen. Tasks entered are assigned the default duration of one
day (1d). It is easy to delete and insert tasks and to relate tasks so that each task will be scheduled
appropriately.

1. In the first field in the Task Name column type PALMERS GOLF COURSE
PROJECT
2. Press Enter.
3. In field #2 enter, Initial Study
4. Continue entering these task headings, one in each Task Name field:
Feasibility Study
Requirements Analysis
Requirements Specification
System Design
Coding & Testing
System Testing

Now is a good time to save your work using the Save As command under the File menu, ensure you have
selected the appropriate drive (e.g., H:) in the drives box on the "Save As" screen. In the File Name box,
give this file an appropriate name (e.g., Palmers_D1_EnterTasks).

Note:
• If you wish to make corrections you can use the white Entry Bar. Make the corrections and press enter or
click on the tick button.
• To delete tasks, select the task and use the Delete key. If you inadvertently delete a task immediately click
the Undo button on the toolbar.
• Here and below, do not be concerned about not understanding what this means. This project information
is about various stages of systems development project, but it is not necessary for you to understand
systems development terminology to carry out this assignment.

Project Management Assignment Page 8 of 37


Select the Feasibility Study task. Then either use the Insert key on the
keyboard or choose New Task from the Insert menu. This enters a blank
line above the current task.

Repeat until there are three cells between "Initial Study" and "Feasibility Study". In the three blank cells
enter:
Study Existing System
Carry Out Interview(s)
Prepare Documentation

Continue by inserting the relevant number of blank lines below each task heading and then enter in the
following:

Under "Feasibility Study" enter:


Identify Problems
Understand and Analyse Problems
Estimate Project Cost
Assess Project Risk
Propose Solution
Task Scheduling

Under "Requirements Analysis" enter:


Investigate Current Environment
Investigate and Define Requirements

Under "Requirements Specification" enter:


Prepare Specifications
Prepare Use Case Diagram
Prepare Data Dictionary
Prototyping

Under "System Design" enter:


Design New System
Design Test Plan

Under "Coding & Testing" enter:


Coding
Unit Testing
Integration Testing
Update Data Dictionary

Under "System Testing" enter:


Hardware & System Testing
Acceptance Testing
Prepare Documentation

Some of the Task Name information is not completely visible in the field. To view the full field, place the
cursor on top of the vertical line to the right of “Task Name” in the dark grey title area. Its shape will change
to a thin vertical line with two arrows. You may "drag" the line and view the enlarged Task Name field.

As you progress with your work, you’ll need to regularly save the project. In the File Name box, give this
file an appropriate name (e.g., Palmers_D1_EnterTasks).

Although there will be places in the assignment where it is recommended that you save your data, you
should use common sense and save more regularly. Don’t forget to have a backup file saved too.

Project Management Assignment Page 9 of 37


Durations and Milestones

With your tasks entered, you are now ready to enter duration for each task in the Duration field. Duration is
an estimate of how long it will take to complete each task. Enter durations by using a number followed by a
letter to indicate the unit of measure: days (d), weeks (w), hours (h), and minutes (m). The default duration is
1d.

Note: Here and below, do not be concerned about calculating the duration yourself. For this project, we are
giving you the durations that should be used throughout the project.

A vital part of project management is to place "milestones" in order to identify significant events in your
schedule or to measure the progress of your project. A milestone is created by declaring it as a task of zero
days duration. Microsoft Project displays the milestone symbol on the Gantt chart at the start of that day. To
the right of the milestone symbol is the start date for the task, such as:

 Set Milestones

You are to add milestones, which are the dates project deliverables are due. To enter the first milestone:

1. Insert a blank task line above Task 13 Requirements Analysis.


2. Type "Deliverable to Project Manager".

Repeat this process one more time at the end of the project, after “Prepare Documentation”.

 Set Durations

The durations shown in the Gantt chart on the next page are to be entered in the Duration column.

1. Select the Duration field for the first task.


2. Type a number for the duration length followed by the duration unit
abbreviation.
3. Press the enter button or the tick mark.
4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to enter durations for all the tasks in your
project.

Having completed all the duration entries plus adding the two milestones, your Gantt chart should look
similar to the chart below with "PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT” as Task 1 and "Initial Study”
as Task 2.

Project Management Assignment Page 10 of 37


This Gantt chart shows it will take 10 working days (2 weeks, there are 5 working days per week), as defined
by the duration of tasks 26 and 27, to complete the project (the red bars). By definition, these are the critical
paths and are shown in red on your screen. However this assumes each task is independent and running in
parallel with each other, starting at the same time and same date. Nothing could be further from the truth and
it is time to change the Gantt chart to reflect this.

Designating tasks and sub-tasks

To show the structure of the project, that is the hierarchical nature of task headings and subtasks, the
subtasks are indented to the right of the task heading.

To do so, select the subtasks and click the Indent button (right pointing
arrow on the Formatting toolbar) or choose Outline from the Project menu
and then choose Indent.

Select tasks 3 - 5 and indent them.

Project Management Assignment Page 11 of 37


Note that the Task Summary "Initial Study" has become bold, its Gantt Bar has changed shape and colour
and the length of the bar is now the same as the longest duration of the subtasks.

Continue indenting the subtasks associated with:

Feasibility Study, Requirements Analysis, Requirements Specification, System Design, Coding & Testing,
System Testing. To check on the structure, it is helpful to show all of the subtasks by clicking on the +
symbol on each Task Summary, as shown below. On completion your chart should look similar to that
below.

Now it is necessary to make all the tasks part of the project. To do so, indent all Task
Summaries so that they become a sub-task of PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT.
Note how the PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT Summary Bar now takes on the duration of the
longest Task Summary (10 days) as shown below. Pay attention to [+] and [-] in front of the project tasks.

Project Management Assignment Page 12 of 37


Now is a good time to save your work using the Save As command under the File menu. In the File Name
box, give this file an appropriate name (e.g., Palmers_D1_Indent).

Establishing Relationships between Tasks

The next step is to link the tasks in sequence and see how long it will take to finish the project. When you
link one task to another, you establish a relationship between tasks and specify a sequence of events.

When a task begins after the previous task finishes, this is a finish-to-start relationship. The finish-to-start
relationship is the most common and is the default one in Microsoft Project.

A finish-to-finish relationship is one in which both tasks finish at the same time.

A start-to-start relationship is one in which both tasks start at the same time.

The least common relationship is a start-to-finish relationship in which the completion of one task depends
on the start of a later task.

A task that must start or finish before another task is called a predecessor task. A task that depends on the
start or finish of a preceding task is called a successor task.

As a general guideline, link sub-tasks to sub-tasks within a group and then link Summary Tasks to other
Summary Tasks.

* * * Practice exercise starts here. At completion, Exit WITHOUT saving * * *

The two buttons for creating links and breaking links are represented by the two "chains" shown in the
Standard toolbar.

To create a link:
1. In the Gantt chart select the tasks you want to link in the correct order i.e. predecessor before successor.
2. Click the Link Tasks button on the toolbar, or choose Link Tasks from the Edit menu.

To remove a task relationship:


1. In the Gantt chart, select the tasks you want to unlink.
2. Click the Unlink Tasks button on the toolbar (the "broken" chain), or choose Unlink Tasks from
the Edit menu.
To change the type of relationship (between two tasks):
1. Select the second sub-task of already linked sub-tasks.
2. Click the right button of the mouse to open a drop-down menu.
3. Click on Task Information.
4. Click on the Predecessors tab.
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5. Click on the Type field (for example, "Finish-to-Start (FS)").
6. Click on the downward arrow above the information, this will open a drop-down menu.
7. Click on the new type of relationship (e.g., Finish-to-Finish).
8. Click OK. Note how the bars for the task and its predecessor now have the same finish date.

* * * Practice exercise ends here. At completion, Exit WITHOUT saving * * *

You will now create links on the PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT. Later you will be called upon to
shorten the duration of the project due to the consequence of either a completion date requirement or the
amount of resources used. Normally there is a third consideration, the cost, but this is beyond the scope of
Deliverable #1.

Select tasks 3 - 5 inclusive and link these in a Finish-to-Start


relationship.
Note:
• The bars are now red because they are currently the critical path.
• The duration of "Initial Study" is the sum of all linked subtasks and equals 10 days (3 days + 2 days + 1
week [which is equivalent to 5 working days]).

Complete linking the tasks by linking them in a Finish-to-Start


relationship:
Link tasks 7 - 13 inclusive
Link tasks 15 - 16 inclusive
Link tasks 18 - 21 inclusive
Link tasks 23 - 24 inclusive
Link tasks 26 - 29 inclusive
Link tasks 31 - 34 inclusive

Tasks 9 and task 10 can go in parallel so they both finish at the same
time (a finish-to-finish relationship). Change the finish-to-start
relationship to finish-to-finish relationship as discussed above.

In order to show the total duration of the project it is necessary to link the Task Summaries. Select a
Task summary; click on hide subtasks button (a - (minus) symbol in the
Formatting toolbar) and all its subtasks will become hidden thus making
the next Task Summary become adjacent.

Repeat this process through the rest of the project so that only the Task Summaries are displayed. Select
all Task Summaries then click Link (finish-to-start) button. This method
summarizes the project at the Task Summary level, which is useful for reporting purposes. Click on the
show all tasks button (+ + button) to restore the full Gantt chart
display.

Do NOT link the PALMERS GOLF COURSE PROJECT Task to the other Task Summaries.

Now you should analyse and format the chart to give an overall view. Note that the duration of the project is
now 110 days, all tasks are on the critical path, and your Gantt chart is spread over 6 or more pages. To get
an overall view of the project, select Zoom from the View menu, then Entire Project.

Project Management Assignment Page 14 of 37


Looking further at the Gantt chart shows that the milestones have shifted due to their relationship with their
predecessor. The duration of the whole project is "task-driven". To check the global project information,
view the Project Information box in the Project menu. This will show you the project start date and the
project finish date as well as the name of the calendar in use (Palmers Calendar). With a starting date of Mon
7th Jan 2008, the project would conclude on Thu 12th June 2008. This finish date is completely
unsatisfactory as the project due date is Thu, 22nd May 2008. Click cancel.

Setting milestones

The final date will be set by the milestone at the end of the project (Task 34).

To adjust the milestone, double click on the task to display “Task Information”.
1. Then click on the “Advanced" tab.
2. In the “Constraint Type” change to "Must Finish On" by using the
pull down menu.
3. Then change Constraint Date to the required date of Thu 22nd May
2008 for that milestone.
4. Click OK.

If the date is earlier than the one shown prior to changing, a ‘Planning Wizard’ screen will come up advising
of the difficulties being encountered with this deadline. For the purposes of this assignment, the date is not
negotiable, therefore click on the last option, "Continue, A Must Finish On
Constraint will be set". Click Ok. Another screen will now come up advising of a
scheduling conflict. Select, "Continue. Allow the scheduling conflict". Note how on
the Gantt chart the time folds back to the milestone. This means that the duration of the project will have to
be shortened. This will be addressed shortly.

Project Management Assignment Page 15 of 37


To meet an organizational deadline, the milestone at task 13 must set to
Wed 13th February 2008. Note again there is a problem with this milestone being achieved as shown
by the "fold back" in the Gantt chart.

Despite these changes, note that the total duration for the project as shown on Task 1 remains the same at
110 days. What has just happened? See column “Finish Date” (down two columns from Duration column).

We still have MS Project scheduling the entire project on finish date of Thu 12th June 2008 (showing 110
days). However, the last milestone 34 “Deliverable to Project Manager” has to be handed in on the Thu,
22nd May 2008 (the date specified by the Project Manager, Ms Smith). From now on in the assignment we
are going to use the Thu, 22nd May 2008 date and milestone as a critical path to bring the project in on time.
This will happen in Deliverable #3. For now you have finished Deliverable #1 Initial Gantt Chart,
however, keep going to get the necessary paperwork to hand in.

 Formatting the Deliverable

The following formatting steps are required for the first deliverable (such as inserting footers). Microsoft
Project will enter the project start and finish dates for you automatically.

To set footers:
1. Choose Page Setup from the File menu
2. On the Page tab, choose Landscape orientation.
3. Click on the Footer tab.
4. In the Alignment box, select Left tab and type Project Start Date:
then select Project Start Date from the General drop-down menu
below, then click on Add button.
5. Select Centre tab, delete the page number field and type your name.
6. Select Right tab and type Project Finish Date: then select Project
Finish Date from the General drop-down menu below, then click on
Add button.
7. Click on OK to save these footer settings.
8. Check footer details using Print Preview.

To view the Gantt chart so that the whole project fits on one page: View, then Zoom, then click
on Entire project, then OK.

Click on Page Setup: select the Page tab: in Scaling, adjust to 80%
normal size; go to View tab, tick "Fit timescale to end of page"; click
Print Preview button to check that the chart takes one page and shows
the columns listed for Deliverable #1. You may need to continue
adjusting the % of scale to get the best fit.

At this stage you have completed the creation of a schedule. You have done a lot of work on this project and
it would be a very good idea to save your work. It also would be a good idea to make a duplicate of this file
Project Management Assignment Page 16 of 37
at this time, (e.g., save as Palmers_D1_Duplicate)

Deliverable #1: Initial Gantt Chart


Microsoft Project file: Palmers_Deliverable_1

The first Deliverable in this assignment is a copy of the one-page Gantt chart with the columns Info
(Indicators), Task Name, and Duration. The footer includes the fields Start Date, your name and Finish
Date, as specified. All the tasks and subtasks are listed with correct durations; no misspelled words;
milestones correct; and tasks linked. Be sure to print preview to ensure you have one page and that the
footer is formatted correctly.

Deliverable #1: Initial Gantt Chart………………………………………..……………………..4 marks

Project Management Assignment Page 17 of 37


Deliverable 2: Report

This report is written as a memorandum (memo) to Palmers Golf Course Project Manager and shall be
completed after you have carried out Deliverable #3. Hence, Deliverable #3 printouts provide the supporting
documentation for this memo. As you undertake Deliverable #3, make notes of issues to discuss when you
write this memo. In Deliverable #3, you address the problems of how to bring the project on time and within
the staffing budget. In this memo, you explain your actions and make recommendations to the Project
Manager.

Ms. Smith, the Project Manager, has been away from the office for two weeks while you have been
preparing the project management documents. Now, just as Ms. Smith is returning, you must attend an
object-oriented programming course in Wellington during the week that project decisions have to be made.
Your task is to explain your proposed project adjustments with sufficient detail and clarity so that Ms. Smith
can make decisions without needing to consult with you. You will want to include some attachments to
this memo (Deliverable #3).

You may assume that Ms. Smith knows the scope of the project including what tasks are required and the
duration (i.e., the state of the project at the first Deliverable). You must:
• Confirm to her that the project is now scheduled to be completed on time and with the available resources
(e.g., briefly explain the Gantt chart in Deliverable #3).
• Explain the allocation of resources you made to bring the project in on time. The staff resource graph in
Deliverable #3 can help you explain crunch weeks when staff are fully employed and slack times. Don't
forget the students.
• Anticipate questions Ms Smith might have and address them.
• State clearly the actions that are required. Ms. Smith is a busy person and wants her staff to conclude
memos with specific action items and recommendations.

Note: Remember the memo is to be written after Deliverable #3, not Deliverable #4. Thus, don’t
discuss issues that are raised in Deliverable #4.

Furthermore, the organisational ethos is for memos to be limited to 2 pages. Exceed this limit and you risk
Ms. Smith's displeasure as well as loss of marks on this assignment.

On the next page is a memorandum format that you MUST follow. Why? Most organisations have adopted a
specific format for internal memoranda. If you follow the format, your communications will be recognised as
part of the organisation and, initially, granted a certain degree of credibility with the persons to whom the
memo is sent. Deliverable #2 in this assignment must follow this memo style. Of course, the memo should
include complete sentences, logical paragraphs, verb/subject agreement, correctly spelled words and all the
other requirements for professional written communications.

• All margins should be 2.54 cm (1 inch) except for the top margin of the first page, which should be
1.5 cm (second page = 2.54 cm). Since this is a memorandum, no header or footer is required.
• The memo heading should be in a sans serif font such as Helvetica (or Arial). The company name
(SoftSystems Ltd) is in all caps, bold, centered and 18 point. The division (Information Systems in this
case) should be mixed (title) case, bold, centered and 14 point. Use the sample as a template; overlap it
with your memo to ensure that you meet the specifications.
• The address information (To, From, Date, Subject) should be as shown below (block letters, bold font,
etc.) in a serif font such as Palatino (preferred) or Times, and font size 11. Address the memorandum to
Ms. Smith from you, and include the details below. A line separates the address information from the
body of the message.
• The body of the message should be in Palatino (or Times) and font size 11. Reflect the professional
communication standards that have been specified in the previous professional communication
assignments. This includes proper punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, no misspelled words, etc.
Include a brief introduction (what is this memo about, why you are writing rather than reporting in
person), the project's status, an explanation of your actions and a list of recommendations and/or action
items as a conclusion. Remember to be gracious, polite and professional. This is written to your boss so
you know her well. Remember to thank people who have helped you in bringing the project in on time.

Project Management Assignment Page 18 of 37


SOFTSYSTEMS LTD
Information Systems Division

MEMORANDUM TO: Ms.Smith – Project Manager


FROM: [Add Your Name] – Project Designer
DATE: [Add Date Submitted]
SUBJECT: [Add Appropriate Subject]
_____________________________________________________________________________

[Add Report Message]

Deliverable #2: Report

Write and print the memorandum, following the specifications listed above. The memo must be formatted as
detailed in the assignment and in the sample memo above. Both content and presentation will count in
awarding marks.

Deliverable #2: Report................................................................................................................. 5 marks

Project Management Assignment Page 19 of 37


Deliverable 3: Resource Management

Adding Resources to the Project

People and equipment are the resources that do the work in your project. With Microsoft Project, you can
assign resources to tasks and then use the software's tools and views to manage these resources and the
overall project more efficiently. It will ensure you have sufficient people and equipment to meet your
schedule and create work schedules for resources.

Assign resources when your goal is to:


• Track the amount of work done by the people and equipment assigned to the tasks.
• Ensure high accountability and understanding of the project – responsibilities for the implementation of
tasks are made clear and the risk of tasks being overlooked is decreased.
• Have greater flexibility in planning when and how long tasks take to complete.
• Monitor those resources that have too little or too much work assigned.
• Keep track of resource costs.

If you do not enter resource information, Microsoft Project calculates your schedule using just task duration
and task relationship information (i.e., task-driven scheduling in the Gantt chart you have created). This
assumes unlimited resources are available to complete the tasks, which is not a very realistic view of project
management.

Resource assignments affect the length of time it takes to complete a task; this is called resource-driven
scheduling.

Create a resource list

You need to create a resource list. While assigning resources, this will save you time. The software assigns
the amount of work specified for a task to a resource. Scheduling depends on the resource's work schedule,
or resource calendar and other task assignments. For example, if you assign a one-day task to a resource and
the resource works full-time, then the resource will be scheduled to work on the task for the equivalent of a
full day, starting with the earliest available unscheduled time that meets the task constraints. Once a resource
is assigned to a task, the resource name appears next to the task bar on the Gantt chart.

In this project you will assume that your company staff will consist of a Chief Programmer, a Senior
Programmer, three Programming-Analysts and a Programmer. Three secondary school students are
also able to work on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons only, excluding any public holidays. They will
provide unskilled assistance but would benefit by getting work experience training. They will have an
unimaginative title, Student. Also, Client will be used in some tasks.

If you haven’t already done so, Open Palmers_Deliverable_1.mpp.

To create a Resource List:


1. From the View menu, choose Resource Sheet.
2. In the Resource Name column enter the title of the Staff member.
3. In the Max. Units column, enter the number of resource units available
for this resource (default is 100 % per each one unit). For example to
use 3 Programmer-Analysts you should key in 300%.
4. Click the right mouse button to bring up the Resource Information
dialogue box. Select Working time tab. Click the list button for
Base Calendar and choose Palmers Calendar, which you created
previously, then click OK.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 for each of the staff titles, except the student.
6. Repeat steps 2-3 for the three students.
7. Due to the students working Wednesdays and Thursdays only, it will be
necessary to create a new calendar, let's call it the "Students
Project Management Assignment Page 20 of 37
Calendar". To do so, follow instructions to create a new calendar as
described earlier in "Set the Project Calendar" section (Page 8). The
Students Calendar inherits the characteristics of the Base Calendar.
Ensure that you click on "Make copy of Palmers Calendar" when you
create it. Show working hours are Wednesday and Thursday for a start
time of 1:00pm and a finish time of 5:00pm. Monday, Tuesday and Friday
are to be made non-working days.
8. Repeat step 4 for student, choosing Students Calendar.
9. For each Staff, enter the standard $ rate as shown below.

Your Resource Sheet should look like this:

Return to the Gantt chart by choosing Gantt chart from the View menu.

Assigning and removing a resource

In your Gantt chart, you now have a project of known duration, even though it does not yet meet time
constraints. It currently assumes that one person is working full-time on the project; this is the default value.
This person is operating on the same calendar as the project base calendar (e.g., the project is using the
Palmers Calendar, a resource using the Palmers Calendar is the default). When you allocate one staff to a
task, the duration will not change. Should you allocate a resource using a different calendar (i.e., a student)
then the duration will change.

By assigning resources (people or equipment) to tasks, you can make sure you have enough resources to
accomplish the tasks in your project. You can assign one resource, a part-time resource, multiple resources,
or multiple units of the same resource to a task. The software displays the unit percentages next to the
resource name by the task bar on the Gantt chart.

You can also change the resource quantities allocated to a task. In this case, for resource-driven tasks the task
duration will change when you change the number of units for the same resource assigned to a task. This
enables you to reduce the amount of time required to complete a task to meet a deadline. There are
safeguards in the software to stop you from entering more resources units than you have available – you will
be warned of over-allocation.

How to assign resources: There are several ways of assigning resources. The method you will use is to
employ the Resource Pool just created. It will be helpful to use the Resource Management toolbar that
contains the Resource Assignment button as well as other buttons related to working with resources. Bring
up this toolbar by entering through the View menu and then Toolbars. Select Resource Management.

Select a task on the Gantt chart and then open the Assign Resources box by clicking on the Assign Resources

button. In the Assign Resources box select a resource and click on the Assign button. If more than one
unit is needed, enter the quantity in the Units field beside the resource name. Remember that you are not
restricted to integers.

Project Management Assignment Page 21 of 37


Assigning a resource to several tasks: Select the tasks in the Gantt chart (using the ctrl key to select the tasks
that are not adjacent), and then in the Assign Resources box select the resource and then the Assign button.

Changing the number of resources used on a task: To decrease or increase the number of resources allocated
to a task, double click on the task, which opens the Task Information box, then on the Resources tab. Select
the Units field and change the figure.

Removing a resource assignment: Select the task on the Gantt chart, click the Assign Resources button on
the Toolbar. Select the appropriate resource and click on the Remove button.

Practical example of resource application

You are going to do some "what -if" tests to see the impact of resources on the duration of a task as well as
changing some durations. Start with a just-saved file (i.e., save your work before beginning these tests).

* * * Practice exercise starts here. At completion, Exit WITHOUT saving * * *

On the Gantt chart, select Task 26, Coding. This task currently has duration of 2 weeks. Likewise, on the
Gantt chart note the duration of the Task Summary Coding & Testing (24d) and also the total project time
for Palmers Golf Course Project (110d). Double click on task 26 and from the Task Information box note
that the start and finish dates are Thu 23rd April 2008 and Wed 7th May 2008 respectively.

Allocate to this task the resource of one student (“OK” then “continue and allow the scheduling conflict” if
asked). Note how the Gantt bar has now extended and also the Task Summary and Palmers Golf Course
Project duration times have increased. Clicking on the Task to produce the Task Information shows the
finish date has changed as well.

Obviously this resource allocation is not good for the project but it does demonstrate how the Resource
Calendar created for the students is automatically taken into account when those resources are allocated to
a task.

Re-enter the Resource Assignment box and increase the Students assigned from one (100% units) to four
(400% units). You have now allocated more students than are available. To see this graphically
demonstrated, click on View, Resource Graph. In the left-hand window, click on the right-arrow to open the
Students box. Note how the title is in red, which shows there is an over-allocation. In the right window, drag
the horizontal scroll bar until the date of around 1stMay 2008 is displayed. You will then see the student
allocation in blue as well as the over-allocation in red. A similar view is in Resource Usage, under the View
menu. Against Student you will see the total work time (80 hours). Drag the cursor until you can see the time
allocations on 1st May 2008 and you will see, in red, 16 hours per day over 4 days.

As this is not a successful task allocation, firstly reduce the number of students employed on the task to 1.
Then remove the students completely from the task by clicking on the Tools, Assign Resources, click on
Student then on the Remove button. Check on the Gantt chart that the duration for Task 26 has been restored
to 2w.

* * * Practice exercise ends here. At completion, Exit WITHOUT saving * * *

Project Management Assignment Page 22 of 37


Task constraints

One aspect of project management is determining lead and lag times. Microsoft Project assumes all new
tasks can start immediately after the preceding task has finished. However, in real projects some tasks can
start while another is in progress (lead time) and in other situations there may need to be some time between
the finish of one task and the start of the next (lag time). Microsoft Project cannot do this for you; this is your
responsibility as Project Planner.

Lead and Lag Times in Projects

Lead time: The amount of overlap between the completion of one task and the start of its successor. For
example, you might want to start moving furniture into some offices while carpet is still being laid in other
offices.

Lag time: The amount of delay between the completion of one task and the start of its successor. For
example, a lag time of two days might be required between painting a room and laying carpet.

These are the instructions to perform when changing the relationships between the tasks with lag and lead
times added.

Choose the correct successor task and then double click on that task. Select the Predecessors tab, click on
"Finish-to-Start (FS)" in the Type field, click on the downward arrow above to open the drop-down menu,
select the type of relationship required then click in the Lag field to the right if required and enter the
amount, then OK. For lead time, enter the number prefaced with a minus sign.

 To change the relationship between the tasks with lag and lead times:

(Use the instructions above to carry out the tasks below)

Firstly, double check that the following successor tasks have the finish-to-start relationships:

• Task 3 must precede task 4


• Task 4 must precede task 5
• Task 7 must precede task 8
• Task 8 must precede task 9
• Task 10 must precede task 11
• Task 11 must precede task 12
• Task 12 must precede task 13
• Task 15 must precede task 16
• Task 18 must precede task 19
• Task 19 must precede task 20
• Task 20 must precede task 21
• Task 23 must precede task 24
• Task 26 must precede task 27
• Task 27 must precede task 28
• Task 28 must precede task 29
• Task 31 must precede task 32
• Task 32 must precede task 33
• Task 33 must precede task 34

To further expand your Project Management skills, set tasks 26 and 27 with a finish-to-
finish relationship on a one-day lag. Note how the “Coding & Testing” Task Summary has reduced by nine
days (from 24 to 15 days) as task 27 (ten days) now runs in parallel with task 26, minus a one-day lag.
Repeat this process for tasks 19 and 20.

Project Management Assignment Page 23 of 37


Also, set the relationship between task 3 and task 4 with a start-to-start
relationship.

Note: Tasks 3-13 should now be coloured blue and the duration time for the project should be 94.5 days.

Now would be a good time to SAVE your file with these new task constraints before allocating resources in
the next step. In the File Name box, name this file (Palmers_D3_Lead_Lag_Times).

Allocating resources to Palmers Golf Course Project

Make a backup copy of your file BEFORE you start assigning resources and rescheduling tasks to fix the
over-scheduling problem you currently have. As you perform multiple changes of resource allocations, the
software does not keep the original duration and you may have to revert to the saved backup copy.

It is important to grasp the concepts of task allocation as this procedure, if misunderstood, can lead to much
confusion and incorrect results. Microsoft Project does not know if a task needs 1 employee or 10 employees
to undertake the task. At this stage we are going to decide how many staff it is going to take to perform a
task.

 Entering resources for each task

You can adjust each task one-by-one, but if you want to allocate the same number of staff to a number of
tasks, highlight the tasks (use the ctrl key), then select Assign Resources from the Tools menu and make the
assignment.

Enter the following resources for the following tasks. Only these
resources must be entered. Go to Tools, Assign Resources, to enter in the
following resources, all at 100% (the window can stay open to assign all
the resources). While assigning the resources, if the planning wizard
window pops up – choose the option Continue, Allow the schedule conflict.

Task 3 Programming Analyst, Chief Programmer


4 Client, Chief Programmer
5 Senior Programmer, Programming Analyst
7 Programming Analyst
8 Programming Analyst
9 Senior Programmer, Chief Programmer
10 Senior Programmer, Chief Programmer
11 Senior Programmer, Programming Analyst
12 Senior Programmer
15 Senior Programmer, Programming Analyst
16 Programming Analyst, Chief Programmer
18 Programmer, Senior Programmer
19 Student, Programmer
20 Student
21 Programmer
23 Programming Analyst, Senior Programmer
24 Programmer, Senior Programmer
26 Programmer, Programming Analyst
27 Programmer, Programming Analyst
28 Programming Analyst
29 Student, Senior Programmer
31 Senior Programmer, Programmer
32 Programmer, Client
33 Senior Programmer, Programming Analyst
Project Management Assignment Page 24 of 37
The following figure shows Programming Analyst and Chief Programmer being assigned to Task 3. If you
assign your first resource (Programming Analyst) to the task and later assign second resource (Chief
Programmer) then, the information box for the corresponding task will show a warning information
suggesting you to ‘Click to set how the task is rescheduled as a result of the assignment’. This would change
the duration to half as you have doubled your resources. To confirm select the first of the 3 options.

But if you assign both resources simultaneously then the duration wouldn’t get changed. To change the
duration to half, you need to first look at the work against each resource. From the main menu, select Split
under Window to see all the details about the resources allocated to a task. You would notice that work
against each resource may still be the total work for that task. Example for the task 3, each resource should
work for 12 hours each (half of 8(hours)*3(days)=24 hours) and not 24 hours each (that would make the total
work to be 48 hours). If this is 24 hours, then you need to change this to 12 and then duration would get
halved.

It is necessary to note that the duration of tasks should have changed when the allocation of two people were
added to a task above. Lets CHECK and see.

You will need:


1. a printout of Deliverable #1 with original durations.
2. a printout of the Gantt chart just performed with resource allocations just added.

Notes about resource allocations

By comparing the printouts of Deliverable #1 and the Gantt chart of resources just allocated, check the tasks
with 1 resource (person) allocated. You will find that the durations are the same.

However, for the tasks with 2 (or more) resources (people) allocated, the durations should have halved or
changed. In fact, it is better to see how what the s/w has done when you allocated the resources. You may
also like to insert a pre-defined column called ‘Work’ in your Gantt Chart (see the figure below). Also, from
the main menu select Split under Window to see all the details about the resources allocated to a task. For
example, for Task 3, we can see the resources (personnel) allocated and the amount of person-hours they are
Project Management Assignment Page 25 of 37
working. Each resource is shown to be working for 12 hours (half of the total work is allocated to each
resource) as total work is 3 days (8*3 = 24 hours).

CHECK the tasks that have 2 resources allocated have halved under the duration column (such as 3, 4, 5, 9,
10, 11, 15, 16, 18, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32 and 33).

For task 19 – this would not be half as the students work only half day (4 hours) for 2 days/week. Therefore,
would take longer to do the work.

Note: All your tasks should now be blue and the total duration of the project should change to 94 days.

As you have made quite a lot of changes now would be a good time to SAVE.

Budget Report

Before moving on lets have a look at the budget of the project thus far. The budget shows a total cost of
$38,280.00, check.

BEFORE you continue with your work, print the ‘Budget Report’.

From View select Reports, then Costs, then Budget (you may need to use
Zoom 90% to fit onto one page). This is part 1 of Deliverable #3 Resource Management.

* * * Before attempting the rest of Deliverable #3 below, READ THIS FIRST * * *

By the time you finish Deliverable #3 Resource Management, you will need to achieve the following:
(1) An acceptable slack percentage (explained below), and
(2) An acceptable budget (explained below)

To do this, you need to:


• Change the unit percentages for some resources and,
• Always check that your durations are changing accordingly

It is strongly advised that you carefully read through the remainder of Deliverable #3 Resource
Management instructions first before you come back to this point to perform what is asked.

As discussed before you will need:


1. a printout of Deliverable #1 with correct durations
2. a printout of the Gantt chart with allocated resources (people), as instructed
3. a calculator

 Entering and changing unit percentages

In order to obtain the acceptable budget (explained below) and the acceptable slack time (explained below),
we need to change the unit percentages for resources. It is up to you to decide which resource unit
Project Management Assignment Page 26 of 37
percentages need to change. Remember: these changes may need to be discussed in Deliverable #2, the
report.

Notes about changes to the unit percentages

This is an example. When we change the unit percentages of the resources for task 3 to the Chief
Programmer working at 50% instead of 100%, and the Programming Analysts working at 200% instead of
100%, this means that the duration of the task will again change (see the top figure below). It will now take 3
days (instead of 1.5) as Chief Programmer is working only 4 hours a day and therefore would require 3 days
to do 12 hours of work. If we wish to reduce the task duration then we should allocate less work to Chief
Programmer. This would also enable us to reduce the budget as Chief Programmer is more expensive than
Programming Analyst. For example, may change work to 4 hours for the Chief Programmer and 20 hours for
the Programming Analysts. This will reduce the task duration to 1.25 days (duration is now determined by
the length of time required by Programming Analysts to do 20 hours of work as they take longer than the
Chief Programmer as he takes only one day) and will cost $1080 (see the bottom figure) instead of $1320.

You are expected to produce an intelligent resource allocation. For example, you should take into account
that the Chief Programmer has an overseeing role over several projects, plus his/her pay is the highest;
therefore the greater that person’s involvement, the greater the cost. The Chief Programmer can be involved
from 10% up to 100%; you can try other unit percentages, such as 50% - 80% for less involvement. Do not
set involvement percentage at 0% as this does not make any sense. For all tasks, you must keep the
resources (i.e. the people involved) the same, however, you can change the unit percentages, so the
duration should change accordingly (as discussed in the box above). The budget will also change.

Slack Time

For a project to be successful, it should finish a few days before the actual due date (milestone). This gives
the Project Manager enough time to check if everything has been completed correctly. This extra time is
known as slack. You are required to ensure that the industry norm of 15% slack time for each milestone is
observed (14%-16% slack will be accepted).

 Calculating Acceptable Slack Percentages

In the Gantt chart view, the total duration from task 2 to the first milestone should be 26 days (the sum of the
durations of the bold tasks) and for the second milestone, from task 14 to task 33, it should be 68 (+/- 0.1)
days.

We are going to calculate the acceptable slack percentage using:


− the total number of days (26 days for milestone 1 and 68 days for milestone 2), and
− the total slack (in the total slack column) for the task before each milestone

To calculate the Slack Percentage for each milestone, take the total slack (expressed in days) and divide it by
the total duration (also expressed in days). As we have already said, the acceptable slack is around 15%, so
we can work back to calculate the slack time we need to meet this requirement. The two calculations for the
first and second milestones follow.

Next to the duration column in the Gantt chart, insert the Total Slack column.

For the FIRST milestone:


In the Total slack column, take the first total slack number before the first milestone (task 12). For this
milestone, the aim is to achieve a number that is around 4 days (or around 0.8 weeks). That is 4 days
divided by 26 (total days) = 15.4% slack.
For the SECOND milestone:
Again, in the Total slack column, take the first total slack number before the second milestone (task 33). For
this milestone, the aim is to achieve a number that is around 10 days (or around 2 weeks). That is 10 days
divided by 68 (total days) = 14.7% slack.
Project Management Assignment Page 27 of 37
Now that you know the total slack you are aiming for, it is your turn to adjust the unit percentages for some
resources to achieve the required slack for each milestone. If slack is too low you need to increase the work
being done (increase the resource units); if slack is too high you need to reduce the amount of work being
done (decrease the resource unit percentages). Remember to check that no resources are over-allocated.
(View/Resource sheet).

Remember that you will need to explain to Ms Smith why you made the changes you did, and……….

don’t forget the budget.

Budget

The Budget Report is from View, Reports, Costs, and then Budget (you may
need to use Zoom 90% to fit onto one page).
When you allocate resources, a cost will be calculated for each task. For this project you have a budget of
approximately $33,520 (we will accept +/- $750). It is your responsibility to change the level of use of these
resources in order to save money and to gain more profit. Explain variances that may occur with your
improved allocation of resources in your report to Ms Smith.

If you are not getting the appropriate budget figure, look at the Budget report. The Budget report sorts the
tasks from most expensive to the least expensive. Try reducing the resource allocation for the most
expensive tasks if the budget is high (or vice versa if the budget is low). However, that may affect your
slack total, so you may have to increase the resource allocation for the least expensive tasks to bring your
total slack to the industry norm of about 15%. Note that increasing/decreasing percentages for tasks that have
only one resource will have no effect on the budget, but it will affect the duration. To affect the budget you
need to change the tasks that are allocated two resources.

You need to pay special attention to senior staff allocation as their associated costs can sometimes determine
whether a project is profitable, or even viable.

At the end you must NOT have any over-allocation of resources (personnel and cost), and you must meet
both milestones and the project completion date of Thu, 22nd May 2008. You will satisfy these requirements
when the Gantt chart shows blue lines between the milestones, the staff and student resource graphs do not
contain any over-allocation of resources (red bars), and there is approximately 15% slack time within each
milestone. When this is done you have completed Deliverable #3.

Save your work. File name Palmers_Deliverable_3

Warning
You will need to make sure that you work independently on this reallocation. If you borrow ideas from a
classmate you will find it difficult to explain what you did and why, in the report to Ms. Smith. Nearly
identical resource allocations and memos will be taken as evidence that students treated this as a group
exercise, and not independent work. The penalty for collaboration and copying will be zero marks for all
students involved.

Project Management Assignment Page 28 of 37


Deliverable #3: Resource Management

Microsoft Project file: Palmers_Deliverable_3

Deliverable #3 in this assignment includes the following. Check that all columns are extended to show all
information.

1. A printout of the Budget Report AFTER resources were allocated to the project and BEFORE resource
unit percentages were changed.
(View, Reports, Costs, Budget; you may need to use Zoom 90% to fit into one page.)

2. A printout of the Gantt chart you have developed as a result of your resource allocation to bring the
project in on time, with an acceptable slack time and an acceptable budget.
Show the columns as per Deliverable #1 plus the Work, Total Slack column (1 or 2 pages for the whole
project), showing the schedule on time and ALL tasks with resource(s) added as well as a proper footer.
Use the same formatting instructions as for Deliverable #1 (you may need to adjust the scaling to 70-
55%).

3. A printout of the Budget Report at the end of Deliverable #3 AFTER changing the unit percentages.

4. A printout of the “Who Does What” Resource Report at the end of Deliverable #3.
(Reports, Assignments, “Who Does What”.)

5. A printout of the Resource Sheet at the end of Deliverable #3.


(From View, select Resource Sheet.)

6. A printout of Resource Usage.


(View, Resource Usage, and then zoom entire project.)

Deliverable #3……………………………………………………………………………………. 6 marks

The criteria listed for Deliverable #1 Gantt chart also apply here. Specified changes in the project must be
shown and each task must show the staff and student resources allocated to the task. Also ensure that you do
NOT have an over allocation of resources. Use the Landscape orientation for all printouts.

From the reports printed out in this Deliverable you are ready to write up the report for Deliverable
#2.

Project Management Assignment Page 29 of 37


TRACKING PROGRESS
So far you have planned the project schedule but even with the best-laid plans, your schedule will deviate
from the original due to unforeseen problems, sick leave, etc. By tracking tasks you can see which tasks need
extra attention so that you can make adjustments to the project early, in order for it to run smoothly.
Tracking progress means updating and analysing the project progress once the project has started, and to do
this you take a snapshot of what you planned. This is done by saving the baseline. This baseline/tracking
information is required for the production of variance reports.

Saving a baseline: When tracking progress, you work with three types of information:

1. Baseline: This is your fixed model for how the project should proceed. This is also known as planned
information, which does not change unless you specifically want to modify the baseline. For example, in
the original schedule, you may have planned to do Task Scheduling (task 12) with duration of one day
starting on the 12th of February 2008. This information is the task's baseline data, as set when you saved
the baseline, and is what you originally planned to do.

2. Current: This is a changing, working model for upcoming tasks after the project is underway. The
schedule might change as you receive new information and make adjustments. For example, you might
discover that a problem has occurred with the Rational Rose software you need to prepare the Use Case
Diagram and you cannot start until one week later. This revised information is the task's current data.

3. Actual: These are tasks already in progress or are finished. As you enter actual dates for completed tasks,
the start and finish dates for the remaining scheduled tasks are updated. For example, if “Task
Scheduling" took two days instead of one, the start and finish dates of all the subsequent tasks are
updated to reflect the longer duration.

Updating the schedule:


Updating your project is an ongoing process of modifying the current schedule for upcoming tasks and
entering actual information for tasks which have started or finished. Because previous tasks affect the start
and finish dates of future tasks, the software incorporates this information and recalculates the schedule for
future tasks. Your schedule will change but the baseline stays unchanged. You enter actual information as
tasks happen.

To simplify this process, Microsoft Project has a Tracking toolbar, which contains the commands you need
to use to change the progress status of one task, a number of selected tasks, or the entire project. To display
this toolbar: choose View, Toolbars, Tracking. This procedure may have to be repeated each time you enter
Microsoft Project and want to view the Tracking toolbar.

When the project is on target:


Assume all tasks scheduled to begin before the current day are proceeding according to plan. To update the
schedule to reflect this progress:
1. Click the Task Name column heading.
2. On the Tracking toolbar, click the ‘Update As Scheduled’ button. The tasks are updated and progress bars
appear as a darker blue colour in the bars.

When you need to update specific tasks in the project:


For example, when two tasks have started and are now finished on schedule, select both tasks, then click on
the ‘Update As Scheduled’ button. If a task started on time, but is running ahead of schedule use the %
Complete buttons on the Tracking toolbar to specify how much of the task is complete for the selected task.

When the project is not on target:


When tasks are not completed as scheduled, you will have to enter their actual progress manually. You can
select a single task, multiple tasks or a group of tasks within a date range.

To make it easier for you to see progress, change the zoom display. From View, Zoom, then specify ‘1

Project Management Assignment Page 30 of 37


month’, for example.
Updating the project schedule

As you have now finally finished the scheduling of the project, you must now save the baseline. You do not
want to overwrite your deliverable 3 file, so first save your project as Palmers_Deliverable_4.
Select Tracking, from the Tools menu, then Save Baseline and OK. Finish
by saving the file as you normally would.

In preparation for updating the project schedule process, the type of Gantt chart you will use will be changed
so that progress on the tasks can be seen compared to the planned progress (as set by saving the baseline).
Enter the GanttChartWizard menu (from the Format menu) but change the
type of chart to Baseline. Continue through the menu and exit.

Note the vertical dashed line on the Gantt chart, which marks the current date on the time scale.
Change the formatting of this line to make it different from other vertical lines on the Gantt chart.
From the Format menu, choose Gridlines, then Current date. Change Type
to solid line and Color to red.

The scenario for Deliverable #4 is that the project started on time and that to the current date, which you
need to set to Sat 23rd Feb 2008, all tasks either have been completed or are on time (i.e., all tasks from Mon
7th Jan 2008 ending on Thu, 22nd May 2008 are 100 % complete). To simulate the project now being under
way it is necessary to change the Current Date.
Change the ‘Current Date’ as displayed in the Project  Project
Information window. Now update the schedule as described in the box
above (Hint: Zoom to 1 month for a more detailed view of the Gantt
chart).

Microsoft Project does not save the changes to display the current date when you close the file. If you close
and open the file again, the date will default back to the computer date. Therefore, you need to check that
the current date as displayed in the Project Information window is Sat 23rd Feb 2008 before printing the
Gantt chart.

Tasks to the left of the dateline are now complete. If this is equal in length to the main bar, the task is 100%
complete. Tasks currently under way will show that they have been completed up to the current date as
shown by a different density to the colour of the bar.

As the project has progressed, you were faced with staff who were not assigned to a task either on the
Palmers Golf Course Project or any of the other projects being undertaken by SoftSystems Ltd. Rather than
give them meaningless tasks to perform, they were able to undertake some preliminary work for task 19,
Prepare Use Case Diagram and task 33, Prepare Documentation (it usually isn’t efficient to work in this
manner, but it is preferable to having staff idle). This has resulted in both of these tasks being 25% complete
at the current date of Sat 23rd Feb 2008.
Use the tracking toolbar to update task 19 and task 33 to reflect them
being 25% complete.

Project Management Assignment Page 31 of 37


Deliverable #4: Final Gantt Chat and Budget Report

Microsoft Project file: Palmers_Deliverable_4

The fourth Deliverable in this assignment is a copy of the final Gantt chart you have developed with your
final changes. The following are required:

1. A printout of your Gantt chart expanded out to a month (Zoom, 1 month) and incorporating all the
changes (should be 2-3 pages depending on the scaling). Ensure that the Task Name, Duration and %
complete columns are included. Change the timescale on the Gantt chart to show ‘Month, year’ as
MAJOR timescale (i.e., January 2005) and ‘day, month initial’ as MINOR timescale (i.e., 5 J for 5
January). Timescale can be changed from Format, then Timescale. Print preview to confirm formatting,
contents and footer.

For convenience in marking, please cut and tape these pages together. This is common business practice
– do not expect your future boss to be happy about trying to read three disconnected pages or cut-and-
tape these pages on your behalf.

2. A printout of the Budget Report.

Deliverable #4: Final Gantt Chat and Budget Report ............................................................ 4 marks

Unless stated otherwise above, previous criteria for formatting the Gantt chart and Budget Report apply. Do
not forget to cut-and-tape the Gantt chart together (if not, a penalty will apply and marks will be deducted).
Use the Landscape orientation for all printouts.

SUMMARY
Congratulations! You now have basic skills necessary to use Microsoft Project to plan and manage a project.
As you may have noticed while using the software, there are many aspects of Microsoft Project that have not
been explored. For example, project planning with fixed costs and reports that can be generated for the
senior management by using filtering techniques and pre-designed presentation templates.

These are outside the range of this assignment as the prime focus was to give you practical insight into the
use of a cost effective, general-purpose tool for assisting in the fundamentals of project management.

We hope you find the assignment useful and rewarding now and in your future career.

ASSESSMENT
The Project Management assignment is assessed according to:
• The criteria outlined in the Assessment Criteria listed with each Deliverable; and
• Your assignment materials must look like professional documents. You are REQUIRED to:
- Add coversheet (type your details using the cover sheet provided, print it, then submit with your
Deliverables)
- Print the Deliverables on white paper using a quality printer
- Format the Deliverables as specified
- Include all the Deliverables in an A4 envelope so they can be kept together (they may be paper
clipped but NOT stapled)
- Label the envelope (type your details using the label provided, print it, then stick it on the
envelope)

Project Management Assignment Page 32 of 37


Label
157246: Project Management and Systems Implementation
Name:
First name Surname

ID number

Assessment

Deliverable #1: Initial Gantt Chart.....................................................................................3 marks

Deliverable #2: Report...................................................................................................... 5 marks

Deliverable #3: Resource Management .......................................................................... 9 marks

Deliverable #4: Final Gantt Chart and Budget Report................................................... 2 marks

Assignment Submission both in Print and WebCT .............................................................1 mark

The final mark is awarded to students who submit the assignment to Dr. Brian Whitworth at the beginning of
the Lecture, unfolded, in an A4 envelope, labelled as required, and Deliverables are in the correct order:
coversheet, Deliverable #1, Deliverable #2, Deliverable #3, Deliverable #4

Late Submission Penalty See syllabus.

TOTAL MARKS............................................................................................................ 20 marks

Project Management Assignment Page 33 of 37


Cover Sheet: Project Management Assignment
157246: Project Management and Systems Implementation

−FILL in your details on this cover sheet then PRINT it.


−Inthe same sequence, ADD coversheet, Deliverable #1, Deliverable #2, Deliverable #3, Deliverable
#4 (these may be paper clipped but NOT stapled)
−FILL in your details on the label provided, PRINT it, and then STICK it to an A4 envelope.
−PLACE your A4 envelope in the 157.246 assignment box.

Student to Fill
Date:
Time:
Surname:
First name:
ID number:
Marker to Fill
DELIVERABLE: NOTES: MARKS
Deliverable 1 out of 3

Deliverable 2 out of 5

Deliverable 3 out of 9

Deliverable 4
out of 2
Assignment
Submission out of 1
Total of the above out of 20
Deduction (i.e. late
submission, plagiarism)
Assignment Total out of 20