Cost Duration Table
A critical path method (CPM) is a scientific technique of analyzing projects by determining the longest amount of time that can be spent in the project network. In particular, the CPM method identifies ensures that the critical tasks are finished in time to enable other activities to progress (Pinto, 2016). Activities simply refer to single tasks that must be completed in order to complete the project (Stelth & Roy, 2009). Events are the results of completed specific activities. Therefore, it is a specific time within the projects life. Crash time is the amount of time needed to complete an activity if a company’s management allocates additional resources to the project (Larson & Gray, 2013).
When considering the cost of each day crashed, the following three activities identified the optimal days to be crashed since they resulted in the least increase in the operational cost for every crashed day.
- Localization of Japanese Dictionary
- Localization of German Dictionary
- Localization of French Dictionary
- Localize French Final Using LullSIM activity is the critical activity in the Localization of “French final” in the following: Getting started guide, quick reference guide, using LullSIM, and administering LullSIM tasks. It sets the minimum number of days needed to complete these tasks to 6 days.
- Localize Japanese Final Using LullSIM is the critical activity in Localization of “Japanese final” in the following: Getting started guide, quick reference guide, using LullSIM, and administering LullSIM tasks. It sets the minimum number of days needed to complete these tasks to 6 days.
- Review French Using LullSIM is the critical activity in Reviewing French in the following: getting started guide, quick reference guide, using LullSIM, and administering LullSIM tasks. It sets the minimum number of days needed for these tasks to 14 days.
Steps to Undertake When Forming a CPM
- Write the tasks according to the sequence that they must be completed in the first column.
- Write the normal time needed to complete each task in the second column
- Write the normal cost needed to complete the task in the third column
- Write the crash time needed for each task in the fourth column
- Write the crash cost for each task in the fifth column
- Write the number of days reduced from the crashing in the sixth column
- Write the increase in cost due to crashing for the entire project in the 7th column
- Divide the increase in cost by the number of days crashed to get the cost of each crash day. Write these figure in the 8th column
- Identify the critical activities for each group of tasks in order to know the activities to be crashed.
- Crash the activity days for each task to the maximum period needed for critical activities. If a critical activity takes 8 days, no activity should be crashed to 7 days or less. The maximum time allowed after crashing would be 8 days for all tasks affected by the critical activity.
- The cost for each day crashed is used to determine the rank of activities in crashing. The activity that results in the least crashing cost is ranked highest (Project Management Institute, 2013).
Information Needed to Complete the Analysis
- Information of all tasks to be completed in the project
- Identification of the critical activities and critical path.
- Identification of non-critical activities
- Identification of the time needed to complete the project, since crashing of activities leads to an increase in the cost of the entire project.
- Identification of the maximum time that each activity can be crashed
Recommendation for Shortening the Scheduled Duration
- Establish the scope of the project in order to reduce the non-productive time from when the project starts until it is completed.
- Eliminate false dependencies, which can restrict a task from being started before a predecessor activity is completed.
- Develop a comprehensive and integrated testing strategy to ensure there are no gaps or overlaps in the tasks, which may cause the project to have delays.
- The project manager should strive to reduce the days of long projects since they are normally an estimate. For example, a 2 weeks project may be reduced by a day (Zucker, 2014; Kerzner, 2013).
Kerzner, H. (2013). Project management: A Systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley Publishers.
Larson, E., & Gray, C. (2013). Project management: The managerial process with MS project (6th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Series.
Pinto, J. (2016). Project management: Achieving competitive advantage (4th Ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education Limited.
Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK Guide) (5th Ed.). New York, NY: Project Management Institute.
Stelth, P., & Roy G. (2009). Projects analysis through CPM (Critical Path Method). School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal, July (1), 10-42.
Zucker, A. (2014). 4 ways to shorten a project schedule. Retrieved from: http://blog.projectconnections.com/project_practitioners/2014/12/4-ways-to-shorten-a-project-schedule.html