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Scheduling projects chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Scheduling Projects

TRUE/FALSE

  1. In order for activities to be useful as schedule building blocks, they should have tangible output that can be verified.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: Intro

  1. There is often terrific pressure to complete a project as quickly as possible. To confront this pressure, a project manager should quickly promise to meet the deadlines requested by the sponsor and then assemble a team to create the corresponding schedule.

ANS: F DIF: Average REF: 7.4

  1. The first process in developing a project schedule is to identify all the resources available to work on the project.

ANS: F DIF: Challenging REF: 7.5

  1. While the lowest level of decomposition in a Work Breakdown Structure is the work package, work packages can still be decomposed further into project activities.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: 7.5

  1. Except in rare circumstances, project teams should not attempt to decompose work packages into project activities because work packages provide sufficient detail to develop a project schedule.

ANS: F DIF: Challenging REF: 7.5

  1. A successor activity follows a predecessor activity based on their logical relationship.

ANS: T DIF: Easy REF: 7.6

  1. The most common type of logical dependency to determine the sequence of project activities is “finish-to-finish”.

ANS: F DIF: Average REF: 7.6

  1. The “start-to-start” logical relationship used in activity sequencing applies to the case where initiation of the successor activity depends upon initiation of the predecessor activity.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: 7.6

  1. The length of time to perform an activity is often dependent upon who will do that work.

ANS: T DIF: Easy REF: 7.7

  1. Prioritizing projects and carefully authorizing the start of non-critical activities can serve as remedies for multi-tasking.

ANS: T DIF: Challenging REF: 7.7

  1. The critical path is the sequence of activities that form the shortest path through the project network and determine the duration of the project.

ANS: F DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. If a project manager delays the start of an activity on the critical path, then the expected completion date of the project will occur at a later date than originally planned.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. The enumeration method of determining the critical path relies upon identification of all paths through the project network.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. When developing a project schedule, slack refers to the time between the start and the finish of a planned activity.

ANS: F DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

  1. Even small delays on “near-critical” activities can change the critical path of a project.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. PERT refers to the Program Evaluation and Review Technique which was developed to better understand how variability in the duration of individual activities impacts the expected project duration.

ANS: T DIF: Average REF: 7.9

  1. GANTT refers to the Generalized Activity Network Tracking Technique which was developed to better understand how variability in the duration of individual activities impacts the expected project duration.

ANS: F DIF: Easy REF: 7.9

  1. The primary advantage of PERT is that it removes uncertainty from the estimates of activity durations, thereby increasing confidence in the reliability of a project schedule.

ANS: F DIF: Challenging REF: 7.9

  1. Monte Carlo Analysis is a technique that computes activity durations based on three time estimates: one optimistic, one pessimistic and one most likely.

ANS: F DIF: Easy REF: 7.9

  1. A Gantt chart is a tool that can be used to communicate a project schedule.

ANS: T DIF: Easy REF: 7.10

MULTIPLE CHOICE

  1. Estimating the number of work periods that will be needed to complete individual schedule activities characterizes which of the following time management processes?

a.

activity definition

b.

activity sequencing

c.

activity duration estimating

d.

none of these

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.1

  1. Creating a realistic schedule is often an iterative process because several factors can limit how fast a project can be completed. Which of the following factors can limit how fast a project can be scheduled and completed?

a.

logical order

b.

imposed dates

c.

resource availability

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Average REF: 7.4

  1. Faced with significant schedule challenges, the project manager has several responsibilities. Which of the following are among the project manager’s responsibilities?

a.

determine a feasible schedule

b.

persuade all stakeholders that the schedule makes sense

c.

deliver the project according to the agreed-upon schedule

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Average REF: 7.4

  1. Which of the following items can provide useful assistance to a project team to define the activities of a project?

a.

the work packages from the Work Breakdown Structure

b.

schedules from similar projects that are already completed

c.

checklists for projects of the same type

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Easy REF: 7.5

  1. Milestones are important points in a project schedule that can serve as check points for project managers and sponsors. Which of the following reasons might justify the decision to establish a milestone?

a.

completion of a major deliverable

b.

a pending decision to commit a large amount of money

c.

a merging point where multiple activities must be completed before progress can continue

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Challenging REF: 7.5

  1. A scheduled activity that determines when a logical successor activity can begin and end is known as:

a.

a catalyst activity

b.

a predecessor activity

c.

a leader activity

d.

none of these

ANS: B DIF: Average REF: 7.6

  1. The sequencing of activities is often based upon dependencies between the activities. The dependencies that should guide activity sequencing can be either:

a.

mandatory or discretionary

b.

arbitrary or capricious

c.

logical or illogical

d.

none of these

ANS: A DIF: Easy REF: 7.6

  1. Which of the following responses identifies a common type of logical dependency used to sequence project activities?

a.

first-in; first-out

b.

last-in; last-out

c.

finish-to-start

d.

all of these

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.6

  1. The total number of work periods (not including holidays or other non-work time) required to complete a schedule activity is known as:

a.

effort

b.

elapsed time

c.

duration

d.

none of these

ANS: C DIF: Easy REF: 7.7

  1. Which of the following strategies can help a project team to develop realistic time estimates for project activities?

a.

verify the time estimates with the people doing the work

b.

be sure to consider learning curves, interruptions and competing priorities

c.

adjust estimates from previous projects to account for differences

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Average REF: 7.7

  1. Which of the following problems contributes to difficulty in estimating activity durations accurately?

a.

merging - the case of multiple predecessors

b.

omissions - leaving out key activities

c.

general uncertainty in the estimate

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Average REF: 7.7

  1. Which of the following remedies may reduce the likelihood of omissions when developing activity duration estimates.

a.

staggered project start dates

b.

resource buffers

c.

checklists, templates, WBS

d.

all of these

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.7

  1. Which of the following statements correctly describes the critical path?

a.

It is the shortest sequence of activities through the project network.

b.

It determines the latest possible end date of the project.

c.

It consists only of activities with zero slack.

d.

all of these

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. The total amount of time a schedule activity may be delayed from its early start date without delaying the project finish date is known as:

a.

reserve

b.

slack

c.

contingency

d.

none of these

ANS: B DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Despite the insights that PERT provides, there are still practical limitations that impact its usefulness. Which of the following difficulties are associated with the use of PERT?

a.

It often requires more effort to generate three estimates than one.

b.

There is no assurance that three estimates are any more accurate than one.

c.

It does not accurately address the case when two activities both need to be accomplished before a third can begin.

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Challenging REF: 7.9

  1. Which of the following statements correctly describes an advantage or disadvantage associated with the use of Monte Carlo Analysis?

a.

The flexibility of Monte Carlo Analysis allows for more realistic estimates.

b.

Monte Carlo simulation aids in the identification of near-critical paths.

c.

Monte Carlo simulations typically require the use of special software and skills.

d.

all of these

ANS: D DIF: Average REF: 7.9

  Assembly Project Image

Figure 7-1 Assembly Project

  1. Consider the Assembly Project depicted in Figure 7-1. Based on the information provided, what is the early start date for activity D - “Attach Modules 1 & 2”?

a.

Day 0

b.

Day 3

c.

Day 4

d.

Day 5

ANS: D DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  Research Project Image

Figure 7-2 Research Project

  1. Consider the Research Project depicted in Figure 7-2. Based on the information provided, what is the late start date for activity C - “Review Reports”?

a.

Day 0

b.

Day 2

c.

Day 4

d.

Day 10

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the Research Project depicted in Figure 7-2. Based on the information provided, what is the late start date for activity A - “Plan Research”?

a.

Day 0

b.

Day 2

c.

Day 4

d.

Day 10

ANS: A DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the Research Project depicted in Figure 7-2. Based on the information provided, which activity can you delay by one day without impacting the expected completion date for the project?

a.

Activity A

b.

Activity B

c.

Activity C

d.

Activity D

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the Research Project depicted in Figure 7-2. Based on the information provided, what is the slack associated with activity C - “Review Reports”?

a.

0 days

b.

1 day

c.

2 days

d.

4 days

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  System Integration Project Image

Figure 7-3 System Integration Project

  1. Consider the System Integration Project depicted in Figure 7-3. Based on the information provided, what is the expected duration of this project?

a.

15 days

b.

16 days

c.

17 days

d.

30 days

ANS: C DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the System Integration Project depicted in Figure 7-3. Based on the information provided, which activities constitute the critical path for this project?

a.

A-B-E-F

b.

A-C-E-F

c.

A-D-E-F

d.

A-D-F

ANS: A DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the System Integration Project depicted in Figure 7-3. Based on the information provided, which activities can be delayed one day without impacting the expected project completion date?

a.

Activity E - Install Software and Activity F - Test System

b.

Activity C - Purchase Software and Activity E - Install Software

c.

Activity C - Purchase Software and Activity D - Prepare Test Plan

d.

none of these

ANS: C DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the System Integration Project depicted in Figure 7-3. Based on the information provided, how many days can you delay the purchase of software (Activity C), without impacting the expected project completion date?

a.

0 days

b.

1 day

c.

2 days

d.

4 days

ANS: B DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

  Lab Experiment Project Image

Figure 7-4 Lab Experiment Project

  1. Consider the Lab Experiment Project depicted in Figure 7-4. Based on the information provided, what is the expected duration of this project?

a.

22 days

b.

24 days

c.

26 days

d.

28 days

ANS: B DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the Lab Experiment Project depicted in Figure 7-4. Based on the information provided, identify the critical path(s) for this project?

a.

A-C-F only

b.

A-B-D-F only

c.

A-B-E-F only

d.

Both A-B-D-F and A-B-E-F are critical paths

ANS: D DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the Lab Experiment Project depicted in Figure 7-4. Based on the information provided, which activity can be delayed one day without impacting the expected project completion date?

a.

Activity B - Calibrate Instruments

b.

Activity C - Review Studies

c.

Activity D - Monitor Instruments

d.

Activity E - Test Samples

ANS: B DIF: Average REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the Lab Experiment Project depicted in Figure 7-4. Based on the information provided, how many days can you delay the calibration of the instrumentation (Activity B), without impacting the expected project completion date?

a.

0 days

b.

1 day

c.

2 days

d.

4 days

ANS: A DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

Activity

Optimistic

Time (a)

Most Likely

Time (m)

Pessimistic

Time (b)

Expected

Duration

A - Review Design

18

24

30

24

B - Assemble Item

14

21

28

21

C - Inspect Item

4

6

8

6

D - Package Item

5

10

12

?

Figure 7-5 Duration Estimates

  1. Consider the activity duration estimates presented in Figure 7-5. Based on the information provided and adopting the PERT conventions to calculate expected activity durations, what is the expected duration of Activity D - “Package Item”?

a.

9 days

b.

9.5 days

c.

10 days

d.

12 days

ANS: B DIF: Challenging REF: 7.9

Activity

Predecessor(s)

Duration (days)

A

---

5

B

A

20

C

A

15

D

A

5

E

B, C

60

F

D

15

G

E

20

H

E

15

I

F, G, H

2

Figure 7-6 Network Scheduling Data

  1. Consider the network scheduling data provided in Figure 7-6. Which activities constitute the critical path for this project network?

a.

A-D-F-I

b.

A-C-E-H-I

c.

A-B-E-H-I

d.

A-B-E-G-I

ANS: D DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the network scheduling data provided in Figure 7-6. What is the expected duration of this project?

a.

97 days

b.

102 days

c.

107 days

d.

112 days

ANS: C DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

  1. Consider the network scheduling data presented in Figure 7-6. How many days of slack are associated with activity F?

a.

0

b.

15

c.

80

d.

107

ANS: C DIF: Challenging REF: 7.8

ESSAY

  1. Projects are often completed late. Describe the techniques you would use as a project manager to improve the accuracy and reliability of your project schedule.

ANS: Answers will vary.

DIF: Challenging

  1. Describe “slack” and how you can use slack to your advantage in managing a project.

ANS: Answers will vary.

DIF: Challenging

  1. Describe how you would use the members of your project team to develop and execute a project schedule.

ANS: Answers will vary.

DIF: Challenging

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