• Unit 10: Project Management

    Project management provides the framework and methodology for successfully addressing the complexities associated with supply chain management. This unit covers the principles of and different techniques used in project management. These include analyzing project structure and breaking projects into constituent work units and activity milestones. Also covered are activity-planning optimizing methods for work scheduling, along with methods to track overall project progress. 

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.

    • 10.1: Principles and Goals of Project Management

      Project management is a strategic and disciplined process of organizing, planning, managing, and securing resources to achieve defined objectives. Principles can include things such as vision, mission, objectives, organizational alignment, and measuring accountability. Some goals may include increasing quality, coming in under budget, and adhering to time constraints.
    • 10.2: Project Structures

      Projects can generally be classified into three organizational structures: functional, matrix, and projectized. Each differs in their allocation of resources, supervision, and coordination of individual project team members with project management. Creating a structure establishes formal relationships among managers, team members, and stakeholders across the overall project.

    • 10.3: Work Breakdown Structures, Project Control Charts, and Earned Value Management

      Project-related work should clearly define the tasks or activities needed to be carried out to complete a project on time. Specifically, a work breakdown structure is a tool used to deconstruct the project scope into smaller, easily digestible milestones that are more easily assigned and tracked. Moreover, this tool can visually lay out working teams, identify individual or resource dependencies, or even contingency strategies. Control charts are quality management tools used to understand predictability, behavior, and stability in a process for a duration of time. This approach visually displays data against controlled limits to reflect minimal and maximum specifications. Over time the charts illustrate how a process behaves so adjustments can be made if results are above or below desired limits.

      • 10.3.1: Earned Value Management (EVM)

        Earned value management is an important project management tool required for completing a project on time. EVM provides a framework that measures and monitors progress in terms of cost, time, technical, and physical achievements. Some key advantages are that it provides a view of work progress and assists in estimating eventual cost savings or deficits. 

      • 10.3.2: EVM Calculations

        Calculating earned value management helps a company forecast future performance related to cost, time, and scope. Specific considerations are given to dividing projects into tasks, then assigning each task a beginning and end date. From there each task is given a budget along with a project status update period.

      • 10.3.3: EVM Charts

        An earned value management chart is the visual representation of all calculations included in the analysis. The horizontal line represents the time constraints from the start date, including the current date, all the way to the anticipated completion date. The vertical line represents the dollar values of costs associated with a project along with reserves and over-budget areas.
    • 10.4: Planning Models

      A project planning model generally consists of an established number of steps or stages to progress through for successful completion. Different models are used for different purposes and offer different perspectives. What is important to note is that no single model can address all issues an organization will encounter.
      • 10.4.1: The Critical Path Method (CPM) and CPM Sensitivity Analysis

        The Critical Path Method provides an algorithm for the purpose of scheduling project activities. To construct this model, there needs to be a list of all required tasks, dependencies between each task, and the estimated time each activity will take to finish. With this information, a critical path can be determined through the identification of the longest stretch of activities dependent on one another. CPM planning assumes that one activity delay may affect and delay another activity. The essence of performing a sensitivity analysis on one specific activity is to measure the effects of such delays. If there are multiple critical paths on the project, the project manager can then understand how sensitive the network is if a single critical activity changes.

      • 10.4.2: Cost-Time Considerations and Project Crashing

        Multi-phased projects can magnify cost and scheduling uncertainties. Sometimes the duration of certain activities can be shortened but at the expense of increased cost. Crashing a project attempts to compress the scheduling of a project by adding additional resources in an effort to finish early or on time.
    • 10.5: Evaluating Tradeoffs Using Probability and Confidence Estimates

      Every project involves critical areas related to time, quality, and cost. The complexities, interdependencies, changes, and overall uncertainty involved forces project managers to make tradeoffs between these critical areas. In essence, if time frames are shortened, costs are added to compensate for speeding up progress.

    • 10.6: Probability and Confidence Estimates of Project Completion

      A confidence estimate attempts to determine the probability that an event or issue will delay project completion. The confidence level of these estimates addresses ways to discover, manage, and reduce risk. Anticipating overall project risks increases the likelihood that a project will be completed on time and within budget.
    • Study Guide: Unit 10

      We recommend reviewing this Study Guide before taking the Unit 10 Assessment.

    • Unit 10 Assessment

      • Receive a grade