Week #4: (2/11-15) Scheduling & Gantt Charts, Software. HW Assignment

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Week #4: (2/11-15) Scheduling & Gantt Charts, Software. HW Assignment

Post by rjagodowski »

This week we will discuss scheduling, PERT/CPM & Gantt Charts and an introduction to some of the software which can be used to help create effective schedules. (NOTE: Some links haven't been tested to see if they're sill valid from last year. Please let me know if you find a dead link! Thank you. )

Here's a good intro on How to Create A Project Management Schedule. And there's this similar one on How to Build A Project Schedule in 5 Easy Steps.

Here's some background links project management scheduling. I believe you may have to Register on their website to access some of the links below.

Project Management Tools & Strategies

PERT - Program Evaluation Review Technique which is also similar to CPM - Critical Path Method.

Gantt Charts.

In general, PERT charts show dependencies better than Gantt charts, but can be difficult to read for complex tasks. Gantt charts offer a better method to show project status but dependencies are more difficult to represent.

Here's a handout presenting an Overview of Project Management and Scheduling:
Project Management Planning & Scheduling.pdf
(205.52 KiB) Downloaded 36 times

A common scheduling chart is called a Gantt Chart. Here is Wikipedia on Gantt Charts.

Gantt Project Planner Template from Microsoft.

Here is a link to a Step by Step Tutorial for Making a Gantt Chart in Excel. This company has a free template download as well as a couple of pay options as well. If you find their product useful to you, please consider purchasing to unlock even more features. Here is the link to Compare Features & Download. Or, if it's easier, you can download the file here:
(636.32 KiB) Downloaded 38 times

[NOTE: This content is from previous semesters, but I kept it here for your reference. It is a method to create a Gantt chart using Excel, but the methods which use a Template are generally easier to implement. Here's a YouTube Video on How to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel. Watch this video before next week's class. There is a homework assignment attached below which should be completed by 3/8/19. Here's the Excel Spreadsheet similar to what is used in the video: [attachment=1]Gantt Chart Spreadsheet for YouTube Example.xlsx[/attachment] The completed Gantt Chart should look like this: [attachment=3]Gantt Chart for YouTube Example - Complete.xlsx[/attachment]

How to estimate completion time:
When estimating completion times, the weighted average formula Ta = (a + 4m + b)/6 is sometimes used.
Ta = the actual time estimate you will use
a = the most optimistic estimate
b = the most pessimistic estimate
m = the most realistic estimate

Example: If the most optimistic estimate is 1 hour (a = 1), the most pessimistic estimate is 8 hours (b = 8) and the most realistic estimate is 4 hours (m=4), then the best time estimate (Ta) would be:
Ta=(1+4*4+8)/6=(1+16+8)/6=25/6= 4.17 hours or 4 hours & 10 minutes.
When using this formula, all estimates must be in the same units (minutes or hours or days).

Here are a couple examples of scheduling software MS Project Pro for Office 365 and jxProject. jxProject is a freeware program available for Windows, Linux & Mac operating systems. It's not as feature rich as MSProject, but it is free. (MS Project Pro has a monthly cost of $30/month per user, but requires MIcrosoft Office which is $6/month per user. Microsoft is moving away from their "one time purchase" options for software.)

YouTube Video on MS Project Training

Here's a link to Lynda.com. This is a website which provides training videos & projects on a wide variety of software. You can purchase monthly access which includes sample files, so you can work through the exact same problems presented in the video. Once you become a member, you have access to ALL of the content available on the website while your membership is active.

In addition here's a link to 6 other "open source" Project Management Software programs.

In next week's class we'll introduce some "cloud based" solutions in our discussion of Online Collaboration.


The assignment below should be completed & all work submitted on or before 11:30 A.M. Friday, March 8, 2019.

Create a Gantt Chart in Excel:

You can either use the Gantt Chart Template or the process shown in the YouTube Video to create your Excel Gantt chart.

1.) Create your own Excel Gantt chart using whichever technique you prefer for a scheduling process with which you are familiar. It should have about 8-12 steps in the process. You may find it convenient to pencil the process and steps on paper first, then use Excel.

2.) Using the Gantt Chart created in step 1, recreate the chart using MSProject .

3.) When you are done with the Gantt Charts created in steps 1 & 2, create a printout of each file with your name on each sheet (electronically, not hand-written) and submit the hard copy to your instructor. MicroSoft Office allows for any of it's files to exported as a pdf through the PRINT options. (NOTE: If you need to create a pdf from any Windows program, download and install BullZip. This program will then appear to be a "printer" in your available printers list. When you select it and print, it will print a pdf file to the location you specify. I use this to create all of my Windows pdf files.) Then e-mail each file to your professor. Your e-mail should contain two files for each Gantt Chart. One file should be in the native program format (Excel and MSProject) and then you should create and include a pdf of each sheet as well. So your e-mail should have 4 files attached.

4.) When you have completed the assignment, post a "Reply" to this post stating that you have completed the assignment.

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