Questions

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The kick-off meeting for a major technological project is about to take place. As the first point in the agenda the project manager has to include the strategic direction of the project. Who should present the topic:

A. Team Leader
B. Customer
C. Project Manager
D. Sponsor

Sources of information typically used to identify and define project  communication requirements include all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Project organization and stakeholder responsibility relationships.
B. Disciplines, departments, and specialties involved in the project.
C. Logistics of how many persons will be involved with the project and at which locations.
D. Availability of in-place technology at the project location.

The Human Resource Management Plan should generally include all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Roles and responsibilities
B. Project organization charts
C. Staffing management plan
D. Project interfaces

 

Questions that arise when planning the acquisition of project team members generally include all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Whether the human resources come from within the organization or from external, contracted sources.
B. The costs associated with each level of expertise needed for the project.
C. The compensation of senior executives.
D. The level of assistance that the organization’s human resource department and functional managers are able to provide to the project management team.

 

Which of the following statements is NOT true regarding startin a project without a charter?

A. There is a risk of constant change without a formal approved charter.
B. There is no risk of greater number of changes and disruption without a charter.
C. Manaing expetations of stakeholders can be an increased challenge without a formal approved charter.
D. The project manager will be undermined since the project manager would lack formal authority.

You have a team of project managers reporting to you. Recently an inexperienced project manager has joined your team. Considering his level of experience you assign him to a non-critical project. Considering low complexity and few stakeholders involved, you believe the project to have no surprises. You have identified the number of communication channels to be only 6. However, with an increase in scope of work 2 additional stakeholders who need to be communicated with join the team. You ask the manager to identify the number of communication channels now. The correct answer is:
A. 6
B. 10
C. 8
D. 15

Your team has delivered one phase to the client. Based on client feedback and issues found by client, it was decided to do some introspection to identify root causes so that the subsequent deliverables do not face the same issues. What techniques would you choose to apply ?
A. Perform Quality Audits
B. Review Activity Network Diagrams
C. Lookup Process Decision Program Charts
D. Process Analysis

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Fixed price contracts:

Fixed price contracts may incorporate financial incentives to stimulate the seller in achieving or exceeding certain targets, such as scheduled delivery dates, cost and technical performance, etc. These things can be quantified and measured. They can be used to motivate the seller to deliver early or to reach performance or quality standards. Award fees are based on a broad set of subjective criteria. (Fee implies profits.)

Firm fixed price (FFP) contract: Fixed price contracts are favored when the scope of the project is clearly defined and is not subject to change. The seller is required to finish the work regardless of the final price. Most buyers prefer a firm fixed price contract because they know the price upfront. The buyer and the seller agree on a price for the work. The price remains the same unless there is a scope change. All risk for cost increase is with the seller. However, this isn’t always the best choice, particularly if the project scope is still evolving or subject to change.

Fixed price incentive fee (FPIF) contract: A type of contract where the buyer pays the seller a set amount (as defined by the contract), and the seller can earn an additional amount provided some pre-defined performance criteria is achieved.
FPIF contract is good for both the buyer and the seller. To the seller, it is beneficial because the seller gets an agreed base fee and also has the chance of further rewards for exceptional performance.
Advantage to the buyer – the buyer pays an agreed base fee up front, and the price ceiling is fixed by defining how much it can go up based on seller’s performance.

Fixed price with economic price adjustment (FP-EPA) contract: Used when the seller’s performance period is spread over a considerable number of years. It is a fixed price contract with a provision allowing for predefined final adjustments to the contract price to account for conditions such as cost increases. The EPA clause must relate to a reliable financial index that is used to adjust the final price.

A few samples; more here

What is the difference between performance % complete column & units % complete column? Both columns give different percentage values when we update our schedule.

There are 3 percent complete types, viz; Duration, Physical, Units. Aside from types, there are percent complete fields.

Activity percent complete is linked with either the Duration % Complete, Units % Complete, or Physical % Complete, depending on the setting for the activity’s Percent Complete Type.

Performance percent complete is linked with earned value and may be based on the Activity % Complete, the 0/100 or 50/50 rule, etc. In most cases this default setting is activity % complete.

The units percent complete is for labor and non-labor resources assigned to the activity. This is calculated as (Actual Units) / (Total Units).

Depending on how you specify the % complete criteria and how you update the schedule (based on what kind of data), you will get different result. For example, see the pic where some activities have been updated. Note the differences. If you need more clarification, please post.

Percent Complete Fields

 

Is there anyway to import a higher version XER file into a lower version of P6 other than re-exporting the XER into a lower version or upgrading the installed P6 version?

Right click > Open with notepad
In the first line the second or third word is the Primavera version number. Edit this number to match your installed version (e.g. change 8.4 to 8.3)
Save
Import

 

Working with Thresholds
Thresholds are user-defined flagging mechanisms that monitor when an activity exceeds or goes beyond acceptable criteria. For example, it can be specified that when a milestone’s expected finish date varies by the planned finish date by more than 15 days (negatively), then this milestone is to be dealt with on a priority basis. Thresholds are a great way of substantiating dash board reports.

To create Thresholds:
• Select a governing criteria (variance in dates, cost, float, etc.)
• Identify lower and upper limits for the threshold

Process of adding a threshold:

Project >> Thresholds >> Add

To specify a threshold parameter, in the Threshold Parameter field on the General tab, select the parameter.

In the Lower Threshold and/or Upper Threshold fields, specify a numeric value.

In the WBS to Monitor section select the work breakdown structure (WBS) element to be monitored for the threshold.

In the Detail to Monitor section, select the level at which you want to monitor the WBS element (it can be monitored at the WBS level or the activity level).

In the Responsible Manager section, assign responsibility for the issues to an appropriate OBS element.

You can associate a tracking layout with the threshold’s issues in the Tracking Layout section.

You can also assign a priority level to issues generated by the selected threshold in the Issue Priority field.

In the Details tab, specify the time period during which the threshold is to be monitored … Monitor Time Window area >> From Date and To Date are specified.

Any activities/WBS elements whose dates do not match the specified criteria will not be reviewed by the monitor.

Monitoring a Threshold:

Go to Tools >> Monitor Thresholds.

To use the original time duration, select Use Original Threshold Monitor Windows.

To use a different time period, choose Use New Threshold Monitor Window >> select new From and To dates >> Monitor.

Many more interactive discussions here

How to develop a schedule …. It isn’t difficult if you go about it methodically. Before proceeding further, let me make it clear that someone else may have a slightly or very different approach. To each his own. Let me also clarify that I am not going to address the scheduling requirements of any particular field or industry. This is only intended as a set of general guidelines and should be viewed as such.

Most importantly, you need to know the functioning of your industry. Books and college education are great, but incomplete without practical experience (read exposure). I didn’t start off as a planner right away. I spent time actually working on the job and only then did I understand how things really got done, how many different kinds of trades were involved at what stages to produce something on which the next set of skills would work and produce something else, how much time is needed by different departments and people, and if someone is wasting time (yeah, really!).

If someone doesn’t know the basics, the schedule, and consequently the job, is definitely going to get messed up. Obviously, it is not possible to compile information for every industry here. So I will try to outline what anyone should take into account and then you can continue based on what you need to do.

As already explained, familiarity with functioning and processes is essential. It contributes to understanding what is included in the job description. This is the next thing – Scope of Work. Thoroughly understand exactly what needs to be done. Look at all the plans, specifications, know the involved constraints, the team assigned to do the job, availability of talent on demand, supplies, etc.

Break down the job into manageable pieces or deliverables. You should be able to exhibit value addition in every successive step. This is where you should be finalizing your WBS.

Add constituent activities to the WBS knowing the complexity of the tasks involved, skills available and your own job knowledge. Perhaps after a couple of iterations you will have a reasonable work schedule.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Siddiq says:

    Need Help
    Can any body help me with my schedule I need some clarifications;;

    Regarding man hour and duration calculation for the activities and i have more doubts….If some one is willing to help i will send the XER

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    1. F.A.S. says:

      Please share your questions on my Facebook group PRIMAVERA P6 KNOWLEDGE BASE; it will be easier to assist you in your doubts on that platform.
      You may also post questions here if you want. But please include as much details as possible and be specific in your query. Thanks.
      PS:I also responded to your email regarding manhours and durations.

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  2. F.A.S. says:

    Steps to develop a schedule:

    1. Create a new project in the Enterprise > Projects view. I am assuming your OBS and EPS is already done. If not, create a responsible manager in the OBS first and create appropriate nodes in EPS.
    2. Assign the desired default calendar to the project.
    3. In the WBS view, create desired WBS structure.
    4. In the activity view, create activities with appropriate activity types, duration types and percent complete types.
    5. Link the activities by assigning logical relationships.
    6. Schedule the project and verify the overall duration and critical path.
    7. Create resources if they don’t already exist in the resource pool.
    8. Assign resources to activities.
    9. Activity cost is automatically calculated from the resource rates.
    10. Schedule is ready.

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  3. Prim Avera says:

    Schedule Levels:

    Project participants frequently misunderstand the definition of schedule levels, which limits the quality and value of the information provided to the stakeholders and project participants.
    Project participants and stakeholders require different types of data and levels of detail relative to their schedule usage.
    The project owner is most likely to be interested in milestones and start and completion dates at a higher or summary level.
    Contractors would monitor and control their subcontractors at an intermediate level and control their direct hire project efforts at a much greater level of detail.
    Subcontractors and vendors would typically monitor and control their own work at a task list level.
    Ultimately, the project contract documents, terms and conditions will determine the format and content of the project or program schedule levels.

    Generally schedule levels are identified by a numeric designator.

    Level 0: This is basically a single bar spanning the project time from start to finish. Functionally there is very little practical application for a schedule that is only a single bar other than to represent an element of a project or program time line. Level zero schedules normally will include the project or program major milestones and bars indicating key scope.

    Level 1: Represents the schedule’s major components. A Level 1 schedule is normally displayed as a bar chart and may include key milestones.

    Level 2: Each major component is further subdivided. In most cases Level 2 schedules can only be shown as a bar chart although key constraints and Milestones are also included.

    Level 3: This is the first level where a meaningful critical path is obtained and the schedule can be used to monitor and control the project.

    Levels 4‐higher: In higher levels, usually segments of the total schedule are worked upon. A portion of the lower level (say Level-3) schedule is broken down into greater detail to the maximum/desired extent possible. Generally used for short term planning in order to effectively work towards the larger overall goal.

    There is no universal agreement as to the number of schedule levels and their format. Schedule levels are determined by the detail required of the key project stakeholders. Since schedules are developed for the purposes of performing that specific phase of the work, all schedules therefore should roll‐ up from more detailed scope of the activities and tasks.

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  4. F.A.S. says:

    Recovery Schedule

    Pretty often works on a project don’t go as planned and delays are inevitable. What delays basically do is shift the finish milestone to a point later in time than desired. It simply means the project is no longer on the desired track, or is not following the same trajectory as was envisioned initially. In such cases a set of corrective actions are determined together with their manner of implementation. This is what is generally called a Recovery Schedule.

    In order to make a realistic and effective recovery schedule, the source of the problem must be identified first. The next step is coming up with a solution to counter and reverse the negative trend. The recovery schedule should demonstrate how it is intended for the project to get back on track by recovering the delay. This can be achieved by either one or a combination or all of the following; increasing working hours, or increasing working shifts or increasing resources, or having multiple crews working simultaneously to finish the job faster. A reasonable time period should be allocated for the corrective actions to start showing noticeable results.

    All the analysis and reasoning in coming up with a recovery schedule is documented. Of course periodic checks are required to monitor the progress and compare the trend of the lag with the plan. If the corrective actions are succeeding the gap between the plan and actual progress starts closing and eventually the project will come back to the initial trajectory. Otherwise the whole exercise needs to be repeated.

    Remember, there is no one size fits all solution. Each project is different. Here are some common steps to formulate a recovery schedule;

    1.Identify the problem area(s). Determine what is primarily going wrong. Is it a particular resource or set of resources which is working below the expected average? It is a particular task or set of tasks which is taking longer than expected? Has there been a change in sequence of works and now nobody is prepared well enough to keep the works going? There could be a number of reasons which need to be identified.

    2.After successful completion of Step#1 the rest of the job becomes much easier. If you know the problem you should be able to come up with a solution.

    3.Once the solution is decided all that remains is the implementation. This needs planning. No changes will happen overnight. Mobilization of additional resources needs time, negotiation, coordination. Increasing productivity needs cycle analysis, training, monitoring. In short, everything will have a rising curve to follow.

    ◾Make a copy of the current working schedule (also known as the current schedule update).

    ◾Implement the determined solution(s) over the remaining portion of the work. This will include incorporating schedule changes to the remaining works, e.g. modifying durations, re-sequencing, simultaneous performance, etc.

    ◾Increase work accomplishment logically and in a reasonable manner.

    ◾Assign the original schedule as a baseline and verify the recovery over a period of time.

    ◾Conduct iterations as required till an acceptable schedule is formulated.

    4.The progress in accordance with the corrective actions needs to be monitored closely, preferably by making separate, more detailed sub-schedules to augment the recovery schedule.

    5.Constant monitoring and proactive decision making should help achieve the desired results.

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  5. F.A.S. says:

    Replicating recurring blocks of activities:

    There are many schedules where a group of activities is repeated many times. If this group were to be done step by step even ten times, it would be a huge waste of time. Fortunately, there’s a faster way to do stuff like this. FRAGNETS is a feature in P3 (Primavera Project Planner) which does just that. In a fragnet, a user can store a set of activities along with their full details such as relationships, codes, costs, resources, etc. and use this stored set to be inserted as an entire group in any number of places with a single click, without having to create the same set again and again. This saves immense time and efforts. Even if the user inserts a fragnet and then works on some other copy-paste functions or on other activities, the fragnet can still be inserted any time.
    Fragnets are no longer available in newer versions of Primavera. However, one way to do this in P6 is to replicate the entire WBS and the constituent activities will also be replicated with all the details.

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  6. Prim Avera says:

    Characteristics of a good schedule:

    * Completeness: The schedule should comprise the entire scope of the project. Any change orders should also be incorporated in the schedule.

    * Should be a full term schedule: Commencement and completion dates according to the contract.

    * Satisfy contractual requirements: the schedule should comply with contract milestones and other contractual clauses, e.g. level of detail, activity durations, etc.

    * Calendars: Appropriate calendars should be created and assigned as required.

    * Sequential Development: Schedule should be in accordance with logical project works sequence, otherwise it won’t serve its purpose.

    * Reasonable activity durations: Durations should be based on quantum of work, resource availability, productivity. The duration should be calculated based on these and adjusted according to the expected conditions. One school of thought says duration should not be more than twice the reporting cycle.

    * Well defined activity relationships: Assigned relationships should be logical and any ‘open ends’ should be avoided, save for the start and finish milestones. Also steer clear of redundandant links.

    * Logical Critical Path: The Critical path should be based on sound logic and should make sense. Avoid inducing criticality by using constraints. Project members usually know which works are critical to project execution so these should be paid attention to. Monitor other critical paths as well.

    * Procurement: Incorporate conditions of submittals, approvals and procurement and associate properly with the schedule.

    * Resource loading: Assign resources to make sure there is no overallocation (excess demand over availability) and to enable mobilizing resources as required.

    * Total Float: Make sure there are no unusual instances of high float. At the same time not all activities should be critical.

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