This task requires candidates to prepare a program evaluation and review technique (PERT) chart and apply critical path method (CPM) techniques.
Company A is installing a Web-based customer-feedback system to meet customer needs for quick response when rolling out new products. A new product line is rolling out in 34 weeks and the customer-feedback system must be installed and running in time for the new product launch.
Table 1.1 in the attached spreadsheet “PERT/CPM Tables” shows three estimates of the time it will take Company A to complete each of the activities and project tasks in the customer feedback system project (optimistic, probable, pessimistic).
Company B is installing a similar feedback system to accompany a new product line and originally had the same time line as Company A. Company B just announced that its new product line is ahead of schedule and will be launched in 30 weeks instead of the initially projected 34 weeks. Because the Web-based customer feedback system must be installed and running in time for the revised date of the product launch, something must be done to shorten implementation time required for the customer-feedback system project. Refer to Table 1.2 in the attached worksheet “PERT/CPM Tables” that lists the expected time it will take to complete the activities if shortened as much as possible (crash time), the cost to complete the activity using normal resources (normal cost), and the cost of completing the activity on an accelerated basis (crash cost).
A. Use the estimates for Company A in Table 1.1 to do each of the following:
1. Determine the expected completion time for each of the ten project activities,
entering all your answers in Table 1.1 and showing all your work.
a. Determine the variance for each project activity to two decimal places, entering all your answers in Table 1.1 and showing all of your work.
2. Prepare a PERT chart (network diagram) and identify the critical path for project completion, using your calculated values from part A.
Note: Any additional numbers included in the PERT chart will not be evaluated for correctness.
Note: If you don’t have software to build a PERT chart, use text boxes with lines or arrows in a word processing program or Excel.
3. Determine each of the following, showing all of your work or reasoning:
Note: Referencing a value in the PERT chart is not considered showing work. Please explain how the value was determined for each of the following.
a. Expected duration of the entire project
b. Slack for project task A
c. Slack for project task H
d. The week project task F is scheduled to start
e. The week project task I is scheduled to finish
4. Determine the probability of completing this project in time for the product launch in 34 weeks, showing all your work.
Note: You may want to use the complete cumulative normal table located at the back of the book or at http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~jrl/normal_cdf.pdf.
B. Assume that Company B has the same expected completion times for project activities as Company A. Use your results from part A1 to calculate the following information, entering all answers in Table 1.2 and showing all of your work: 1. Maximum reduction in time
2. Crash cost per week
C. Identify the following by using your results from part B:
1. Activities to be crashed in order to complete the project within 30 weeks.
Note: All pathways must be within the 30 week deadline.
2. Number of weeks each of these activities should be crashed to meet the deadline with the lowest possible increase in cost.
3. Additional crashing cost of the activities identified in part C1.
D. When you use sources, include all in-text citations and references in APA format.
Note: To reduce unnecessary matches select ignore “small matches <20 words” and “bibliography”. Note: When bulleted points are present in the task prompt, the level of detail or support called for in the rubric refers to those bulleted points. Note: For definitions of terms commonly used in the rubric, see the Rubric Terms web link included in the Evaluation Procedures section. Note: When using sources to support ideas and elements in a paper or project, the submission MUST include APA formatted in-text citations with a corresponding reference list for any direct quotes or paraphrasing. It is not necessary to list sources that were consulted if they have not been quoted or paraphrased in the text of the paper or project. Note: No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from sources, even if cited correctly. For tips on using APA style, please refer to the APA Handout web link included in the General Instructions section.
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