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The Systems Analysis
Toolkit
Project Management Tools
Systems Analyst’s Toolkit
Part 3 Project Management Tools
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Objectives
Describe project management tools
and how they are used
Describe the steps used in project
planning
Explain the project estimating process
Describe the different scheduling
tools, including Gantt charts and
PERT/CPM charts
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Objectives
Calculate completion times, start
dates, and end dates for a project
Explain the tasks of project
monitoring, control, and reporting
Explain the steps involved in software
change control
Understand the reasons why projects
sometimes fail
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Introduction
The Systems Analyst’s Toolkit
explains
Project management tools and
techniques including planning,
estimating, scheduling, monitoring,
control, reporting, and the use of project
management software
Gantt charts and PERT/CPM that can be
used to schedule and monitor projects
and changes
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Management
Project management is the process of
defining, planning, organizing, leading,
and controlling the development of an
information system
Project management is important
throughout the SDLC, and especially
during the systems implementation
phase
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Management
Project management overview
Goal is to deliver a system that is
acceptable to users, on time, and within
budget
Every project must have a project
manager, or project leader
Most large projects also have a project
coordinator who handles administrative
matters and relationships with users
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Management
Management functions
Planning: identifying and planning project
tasks and estimating completion times
and costs
Organizing: staffing, including selecting
the project team and assigning
responsibilities to team members
Leading or directing: guiding,
supervising, and coordinating the team’s
workload
Controlling: monitoring progress,
evaluating results, and taking necessary
corrective action
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Management
Project planning
A project plan is an overall framework for
managing costs and schedules
The planning process involves
Activities (tasks)
Events (milestones)
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-1
Project Estimating
Factors that project managers must
consider
Size of the project
A project that is twice as large as another will
require considerably more than twice the
resources
As the size of the project grows, the number
of interfaces grows even faster
Capabilities of team members
Click to see Figure 3-2
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-3
Project Estimating
Developing time and cost estimates
Project size and scope
IT resources
Prior experience
Constraints
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Scheduling
The project manager must know
The duration of each task
The order in which the tasks will be
performed
The start and end times for each activity
Who will be assigned to each task
Assignments should not overload or
under-utilize team members
A level workload is desirable
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
A project manager can use several
graphical planning tools
Gantt charts
PERT/CPM charts
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
Gantt charts
A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart
that illustrates a schedule
Time is shown on the horizontal axis and
activities are arranged vertically
The position of a bar shows the start and
end of a task, and the length of the bar
shows the task’s duration
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-5
Scheduling Tools
Gantt charts
Tasks can be combined into activity
groups to simplify the chart
Various methods exist for tracking
progress
Shade the completed portion of a bar
Use a triangle or arrowhead as an indicator
Use a second bar to show the completed
work
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-6
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
The Program Evaluation Review
Technique (PERT) and the Critical Path
Method (CPM) were developed
separately but now are referred to as
PERT/CPM
A PERT/CPM chart displays a project as
a network diagram, with activities shown
as vectors, and events represented by
nodes
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
The vectors representing tasks connect
the nodes, which indicate milestones
The activity’s estimated duration is
shown below the vector
Click to see Figure 3-7a
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-7b
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
The vectors representing tasks connect
the nodes, which indicate milestones
The activity’s estimated duration is
shown below the vector
Tasks that must be completed in a
specific sequence are called dependent,
or serial, tasks
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-8
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
The vectors representing tasks connect
the nodes, which indicate milestones
The activity’s estimated duration is
shown below the vector
Tasks that must be completed in a
specific sequence are called dependent,
or serial, tasks
Dummy activities can be used to show
task dependencies
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-9
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
A project can be represented with a
Gantt chart and a PERT/CPM chart
Significant differences exist between the
two methods, and each method has
strengths and weaknesses
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-10
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Activity duration
A weighted formula can be used to estimate
activity duration
The formula calculates a weighted result
based on three separate estimates (optimistic
(O), pessimistic (P), and most likely (M))
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Earliest completion times
The earliest completion time for an activity is
called the ECT
The ECT is the minimum amount of time
needed to complete all the activities that
precede the event
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-10
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Earliest completion times
Working from left to right on the chart, the
ECT is calculated by taking the ECT of the
preceding event and adding the duration of
the immediately preceding task
If the event has more than one preceding
task, use the largest ECT of the preceding
tasks, including any dummy tasks
The ECT is shown as a number in the upperright section of the event node symbol
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Latest completion times
The latest completion time for an activity is
called the LCT
The LCT is the latest time at which the event
can occur without delaying the overall project
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Latest completion times
To determine an LCT, you reverse the
procedure for an ECT
Work from right to left, and subtract the LCT
of the following task
If the event has more than one following task,
use the smallest LCT of the following tasks,
including any dummy tasks
The LCT is shown as a number in the lowerright section of the event node symbol
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Latest completion times
The slack time for an event is the amount of
time by which an event can be late without
delaying the project
The slack time is the difference between the
LCT and the ECT, if any
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Scheduling Tools
PERT/CPM
Critical path
A critical path is a series of events and
activities with no slack time
At least one complete path will exist where
every node has equal ECTs and LCTs
If any task on the critical path is delayed
beyond its LCT, the entire project falls behind
by that amount of time
Project managers focus on the critical path in
order to keep the project on track
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Monitoring, Controlling,
and Reporting
Project monitoring and control
Project managers
Set standards
Ensure that they are followed
Keep track of the progress of team members
Compare actual progress to the plan
Verify the completion of project milestones
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Monitoring, Controlling,
and Reporting
Project scheduling
Spend adequate time planning up front
Anticipate problems, identify potential
solutions, and select best way to solve
problem
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Reporting
The project manager must
Collect the information
Verify the information
Organize the information
Evaluate the information
Prepare a summary
Submit a report to management
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Reporting
Project status meetings
Project managers schedule regular
status meetings with the systems
development team
Share information
Update the group
Identify problems or delays
Explain new techniques
Offer comments to team members
Conduct brainstorming sessions
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Reporting
Project status reports
A project manager must report regularly
to a supervisor, upper managers, and
users
When to inform others of potential
problems
Too soon, and the manager might lose
credibility by reporting on minor problems
Too late, and there might not be time for a
solution to a serious problem
Best course of action is somewhere between
the two extremes
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Project Management Software
A software package, such as Microsoft
Project, offers many features
PERT/CPM and Gantt charts
Resource scheduling
Project calendars
Cost tracking and cost-benefit analysis
Printed reports and screen displays
Computer-generated screens show
activities as nodes, with vectors
connecting the tasks and indicating task
dependencies
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-12
Software Change Control
Software change control is the
process of managing and controlling
changes requested after the system
requirements document has been
approved
Changes are inevitable
A typical control procedure has four
steps
1. Complete a change request form
2. Take initial action on the request
3. Analyze the impact of the requested change
4. Determine the disposition of the requested
change
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Click to see Figure 3-13
Keys to Project Success
Successful systems must satisfy
business requirements, meet users’
needs, stay within budget, and be
completed on time
The essential objective is to provide a
solution to a business problem
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Keys to Project Success
Some reasons for failure
Unclear requirements, targets, or scope
Shortcuts or sloppy work
Poor design choices
Insufficient testing or test procedures
Lack of software change control
Changes in culture, funding, or objectives
Unrealistic cost estimates
Poor monitoring and control of progress
Inadequate reaction to early signs of problems
Failure to recognize activity dependencies
Personality conflicts and employee turnover
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
Keys to Project Success
When the project manager recognizes
a problem, what options are
available?
Trim the project requirements
Add to the project resources
Delay the project deadline
Improve the quality of project
management
Whatever the reason, the project
manager must try to get the project
back under control and keep it under
control
Systems Analysis and Design Fourth Edition
End
Tookit Part 3

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