Optimized and Base lined project schedule

Optimize and Baselined Project Schedule

Create a Microsoft Project file (.mpp) and build out the Project Plan:

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Prior to entering your tasks, make sure you set up your Microsoft Project file (this information is covered in Chapter 2 of the Ambriz textbook): 

1. From the File tab, select Options and then Schedule – verify that the information on that tab is set correctly for your project and work environment. Change the scheduling options so that all tasks are Auto Scheduled. You want to use the dynamic scheduling capabilities of MS Project. Select whether or not you want to schedule the project from the start date or the end date (regulatory requirements and events that have non-negotiable deadlines should be scheduled from the Project End Date). 

2. Create a calendar for your project or make necessary modifications to the Standard calendar to include any revised schedule days, holidays or non-working days. 

3. From the Project Tab, select Project Information and set the Start Date of your project. This can be the actual start date of your project or you can select a fictitious start date if you don’t know exactly when the project is going to start. Select the appropriate Calendar for your project based on step 2. 

4. On the File tab in the Backstage view, click on Info. From the right side of the window, select Project Information, Advanced Properties. On the Summary tab, enter the Title of your project, your name and a brief description in the Comments box. 

Using the Work Breakdown Structure that your created, enter your summary tasks and detail tasks into Microsoft Project. During this exercise, you may identify additional tasks that you didn’t initially think of or you may decide to move things around a bit. That is perfectly acceptable and common when you start building the schedule. It is a living, breathing document and does change throughout the course of planning. Use the Indent Task/Outdent Task buttons on the Task tab to create the hierarchy of your WBS. If you want to turn on the WBS numbering scheme, right-click the column to the right of where you want that column to appear, select Insert Column and select WBS from the list of available columns. Chapter 3 of the Ambriz book includes a lot of detailed information about entering tasks into Microsoft Project. 

STEPS: 

1. Estimation:  

Using one of the techniques presented in the reference material (your textbooks or the videos), estimate the effort required to complete each task. Determine for each task whether the estimate is duration or work. Pages 175 – 187 in Ambriz discuss the differences and the relationship between duration and work. If you need to display the Work column in Microsoft Project, right-click the Duration column, select Insert Column and select Work from the list of available columns. Enter your estimates into your Microsoft Project schedule. Remember, don’t assign estimates to Summary tasks, the time necessary to complete the Summary task is based on the estimates of the tasks that roll up to the Summary task. 

2. Dependencies:  

Create appropriate dependencies between your tasks. 

Use the Link button on the Task tab (or the predecessor and successor columns) to create dependencies between tasks. Double click the arrow between the tasks to change the dependency type. Add Lag or Lead (-Lag) time where appropriate. 

Add any necessary constraints to your tasks. For any tasks that you have added a constraint to, please include a note explaining the constraint. 

Chapters 5 and 6 of the Ambriz book includes a lot of information on linking tasks and adding constraints into Microsoft Project. 

3. Resources:   

Build out the project Resource Sheet and assign all resources to tasks. 

Add resources to your project using the resources sheet. Please define all type of resources including Work, Material and Cost. At a minimum, complete the following fields for each human resource: Resource Name, Type, Initials, Max, Std. Rate, Base (Calendar). You can choose to use role names or birth names. For other resource types, complete Cost/Use. Once the resources have been added to the project file, assign those resources to the tasks that you defined in the project schedule. Multiple resources can be assigned to the same task. Resources should not be assigned to summary level tasks. Chapters 7 and 8 of the Ambriz book include step-by-step instructions for completing these tasks. 

4. Optimize and Baseline the Project Plan: 

a. Check your MS Project schedule for any over-allocated resources. If you have any over-allocated resources, use the resource leveling feature of Microsoft Project to eliminate those over-allocations or eliminate them manually using the Resource Usage view. 

b. You have now completed the fundamental tasks of building the project schedule. You now have an estimated date of completion and cost. Your team presents your project schedule to management and they inform you that the project must finish at least 1 week earlier AND you must reduce costs by at least 10%. Using schedule optimization strategies, decide which steps you want to take to accomplish these goals. Update your Microsoft Project Schedule accordingly. Make sure that you don’t create any new over-allocated resources. If you do, address those over-allocations. Chapter 9 of the Ambriz book includes step-by-step instructions for optimizing your project schedule. 

5. Baseline the Project Plan:  

When you are satisfied that you have done your best to create the most efficient plan possible, save the baseline for the project plan so that you have a point in time to measure progress against. 

Optimize and Baselined Project Schedule

Create a Microsoft Project file (.mpp) and build out the Project Plan:

Prior to entering your tasks, make sure you set up your Microsoft Project file (this information is covered in Chapter 2 of the Ambriz textbook): 

1. From the File tab, select Options and then Schedule – verify that the information on that tab is set correctly for your project and work environment. Change the scheduling options so that all tasks are Auto Scheduled. You want to use the dynamic scheduling capabilities of MS Project. Select whether or not you want to schedule the project from the start date or the end date (regulatory requirements and events that have non-negotiable deadlines should be scheduled from the Project End Date). 

2. Create a calendar for your project or make necessary modifications to the Standard calendar to include any revised schedule days, holidays or non-working days. 

3. From the Project Tab, select Project Information and set the Start Date of your project. This can be the actual start date of your project or you can select a fictitious start date if you don’t know exactly when the project is going to start. Select the appropriate Calendar for your project based on step 2. 

4. On the File tab in the Backstage view, click on Info. From the right side of the window, select Project Information, Advanced Properties. On the Summary tab, enter the Title of your project, your name and a brief description in the Comments box. 

Using the Work Breakdown Structure that your created, enter your summary tasks and detail tasks into Microsoft Project. During this exercise, you may identify additional tasks that you didn’t initially think of or you may decide to move things around a bit. That is perfectly acceptable and common when you start building the schedule. It is a living, breathing document and does change throughout the course of planning. Use the Indent Task/Outdent Task buttons on the Task tab to create the hierarchy of your WBS. If you want to turn on the WBS numbering scheme, right-click the column to the right of where you want that column to appear, select Insert Column and select WBS from the list of available columns. Chapter 3 of the Ambriz book includes a lot of detailed information about entering tasks into Microsoft Project. 

STEPS: 

1. Estimation:  

Using one of the techniques presented in the reference material (your textbooks or the videos), estimate the effort required to complete each task. Determine for each task whether the estimate is duration or work. Pages 175 – 187 in Ambriz discuss the differences and the relationship between duration and work. If you need to display the Work column in Microsoft Project, right-click the Duration column, select Insert Column and select Work from the list of available columns. Enter your estimates into your Microsoft Project schedule. Remember, don’t assign estimates to Summary tasks, the time necessary to complete the Summary task is based on the estimates of the tasks that roll up to the Summary task. 

2. Dependencies:  

Create appropriate dependencies between your tasks. 

Use the Link button on the Task tab (or the predecessor and successor columns) to create dependencies between tasks. Double click the arrow between the tasks to change the dependency type. Add Lag or Lead (-Lag) time where appropriate. 

Add any necessary constraints to your tasks. For any tasks that you have added a constraint to, please include a note explaining the constraint. 

Chapters 5 and 6 of the Ambriz book includes a lot of information on linking tasks and adding constraints into Microsoft Project. 

3. Resources:   

Build out the project Resource Sheet and assign all resources to tasks. 

Add resources to your project using the resources sheet. Please define all type of resources including Work, Material and Cost. At a minimum, complete the following fields for each human resource: Resource Name, Type, Initials, Max, Std. Rate, Base (Calendar). You can choose to use role names or birth names. For other resource types, complete Cost/Use. Once the resources have been added to the project file, assign those resources to the tasks that you defined in the project schedule. Multiple resources can be assigned to the same task. Resources should not be assigned to summary level tasks. Chapters 7 and 8 of the Ambriz book include step-by-step instructions for completing these tasks. 

4. Optimize and Baseline the Project Plan: 

a. Check your MS Project schedule for any over-allocated resources. If you have any over-allocated resources, use the resource leveling feature of Microsoft Project to eliminate those over-allocations or eliminate them manually using the Resource Usage view. 

b. You have now completed the fundamental tasks of building the project schedule. You now have an estimated date of completion and cost. Your team presents your project schedule to management and they inform you that the project must finish at least 1 week earlier AND you must reduce costs by at least 10%. Using schedule optimization strategies, decide which steps you want to take to accomplish these goals. Update your Microsoft Project Schedule accordingly. Make sure that you don’t create any new over-allocated resources. If you do, address those over-allocations. Chapter 9 of the Ambriz book includes step-by-step instructions for optimizing your project schedule. 

5. Baseline the Project Plan:  

When you are satisfied that you have done your best to create the most efficient plan possible, save the baseline for the project plan so that you have a point in time to measure progress against. 

PMGT 540 Assignment Rubric 3-Optimized Baselined Schedule

Topic Criteria Weight
Rating
0 to 4

Score
Rating %
* Weight

Student 1

Organization
and Content

The scope of the project is covered in the WBS, work effort or duration is
estimated for tasks and dependencies are reflected in terms of what tasks
control other tasks. MS Project best practices are adhered to including basic set
up in the Backstage, autoscheduling and use of the calendar.

40% 4 40

Budget and
Control

Resource sheet is complete and tasks have been appropriately assigned to
resources so that the project budget is clear and complete. A baseline has been
established so that the project team can monitor and report on variances.

40% 4 40

Formatting and
Presentation

Project plan reflects an attempt to establish a dynamic model with few
constraints and a navigable critical path.

10% 4 10

Optimization
1 -2 page summary detailing the techniques you used to reduce the schedule
and budget and to relieve any over-allocated resources.

10% 4 10

Comments 0
Assignment
total

100% 100 Assignment total – 100 of 100

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