PART- I The tools and techniques of Project Management lend themselves to easy computerization. The field of Project Management has also expanded to include a variety of tools and techniques including resource leveling, minimum cost crashing and an integrated project management information system. The integrated software in project management usually provides all these features. The success of a project is largely dependent on effective monitoring and controlling system. With the advancement of computers and computer softwares in project management, it became possible to put the entire project network along with its resources and costs in the computer. The initial computerization task is voluminous in terms of data preparation and entry of activities and high manual work content is involved. However, once a network is computerized any change, modifications or upgradation of the network becomes very easy and one is free to undertake an updation at any desired interval. Computers provide a means for quick and accurate feedback to management and are particularly suited for medium and large project can be traced down to www.kinapse.com.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS THROUGH
THE WEBSITE CPM / PERT TIME CALCULATIONS
In the time calculations, only three elements i.e., the start node number, end node number and duration are essential. The description provides an identity of the activity for the user.
The programme itself reorganizes the inputs in these sequences before it starts forward pass calculations.
PERT PROBA ILITY CALCULATIONS Computer programmes are available for carrying out the PERT probability calculations.
These programmes can accept either three time estimates or single time estimate for every activity. The normal probability distribution is a standard input, already provided to the computer which enables the programme to work out these probabilities. As a user, one may provide any desired duration and the programme would work out the probability of completing the project within that duration.
PART II The next computer programme in project management comprises of the capability to handle resources. Each activity may require certain number and types of resources which can be input to the programme. After the time calculations arc done, the computer can obtain two schedules; one is the earliest start schedule in which all the activities are assumed to start at the earliest possible moment. The other is a latest start schedule. In this schedule all the activities arc assumed to start at the latest permissible time. For a particular resource, the computer can be programmed to work out the required resource over time, based on one of these two schedules. The programme simply adds the requirement of the desired resource in a day on all the activities that are scheduled on that day which consume this resource. The requirement of resources will show a varying pattern. However it can generally be stated that for an early start schedule, the requirement of the resources would be larger in the beginning of the project and would slowly taper down. In contrast, for a late start schedule, the requirement of resources will be low in the beginning and gradually would rise to a peak towards the end of the project.
PROJECT OBJECTIVE Project management softwares can also handle cost information for each activity. Basically there are two types of cost information. One relates to the basic cost of carrying out the activity in the estimated time and the other information relates to the additional cost to be incurred in reducing the duration of the activity per unit time. This information should be accompanied by the minimum time that must be allowed for carrying out the activity. These information are known as the “normal cost”, the, cost slope and the crash duration for an activity, respectively. The first cost calculation relates to the normal cost of all activities. This is similar to the resource calculations. Given a particular schedule of activities the computer can work out a schedule of expenditure to be incurred against each activity and thereby finds out an overall budget for carrying out the project. Computer routines are available which would undertake crashing of the critical paths of a network, and given the overhead rate for a project, it would work out the minimum cost solution for the project.
ASSUMPTIONS The normal practice in Project Management of such large projects is to have different network drawn for different levels of projects. All modern PM software allows multiple levels of networks with interlinks between two successive levels. Any modification carried out on any network at any level would automatically get reflected in the other networks by virtue of the programmes available in the software. This is a very powerful feature of most modern PM software package, allowing the user to choose different degrees of detailing and its monitoring, reporting and control.
PEOPLE/DEPARMENTS INVOLVED The calendar for people an departments involved helps to convert numerical start and finish times of activities into actual dates. The software is programmed to consider all these variations and furnish calendar dates in the schedule. Advanced softwares allow provision of multiple calendars, each one specific to a group of activities/ resources. A comprehensive PM software provides all the above features and integrates then to develop a Project Management Data Base which is used by the software to provide required information, in the form of reports to different levels of Project Management. When the Management Information System gets built into all other technical capabilities, we get a computerized Project Management Information System.
RISKS INVOLVED A P.M software incorporating a PMIS is designed to give a variety of reports and graphs to facilitate decision making. In cases of failure to predict may result in huge losses of the client which in turn will spoil the reputation of the company. In addition to schedules, resources required, cost schedules etc. these softwares are capable of providing a number of special purpose and exception reports, rolled out of the Project Data Base. Reports could be obtained for activities to be done by specific agencies, activities scheduled over the next week, fortnight or month, critical activities delayed, field reports to be used for actual progress checking and so on. The Project Manager may like to test the impact of enhancing some critical resource by a predetermined quantity, to see its impact on the project completion.
CONSIDERATION FOR A PROJECT Most of the computer programmes arc capable of printing schedules for a project. The real benefit of computerization is obtained through updatings. Project Management softwares are designed to receive modification in an existing network. These modifications are usually grouped as additions, modification and deletions. Once these modifications are carried out, we have a new updated network in the computer, which can then be processed to obtain fresh activity schedules, bar charts, resource leveling, cost schedules etc. These fresh schedules then form the basis of all subsequent execution, monitoring and control by the Project Manager and his team. A broad overview of computer application available in the area of Project Management is seen. Computers can and do play a critical role in managing large and complex projects. Successful project management depends largely on the capability of the computers to update projects status and feed timely and critical information to Project Managers.
Various applications using PERT / CPM, time calculations, probability estimates, cost estimates and cost crashing and resource leveling are possible.