Application: Project Schedule

| November 29, 2016

Once a project’s deliverables have been identified and diagrammed in a work breakdown structure, the next step is to subdivide each deliverable into smaller components that represent the specific work that needs to be performed in order to complete the work package. These defined activities can then be sequenced. This sequence of activities provides the basis for the project schedule. By including these details, schedules enable project managers to monitor and control project activities, assess how delays will affect a project, and determine how to allocate excess available resources.

For this Assignment, you use the example from this week’s Discussion to construct a schedule in Microsoft Project. (See below example below)

Task Dependencies

Inserting an intravenous (IV) line is a multi-step process. Before attempting to find a suitable vein, nurses must gather the appropriate materials (tourniquet, catheter, IV tubing, etc.). Before puncturing a patient’s vein, nurses must first find one that is suitable. This process illustrates the project management principle of task dependencies. Each task in the process depends upon the previous one’s completion in order to begin.

Once a project’s scope has been defined and its work breakdown structure created, the next step is to generate a detailed and precise schedule for all activities in the project. This schedule allows for monitoring the project’s progress and provides a strategy for mitigating risk during the project’s life cycle. The identification of the relationships (dependencies) between the tasks in a health information technology project is critical as you determine a project timeline.

To prepare:

Review this week’s media presentation on scheduling resources and activities.

Recall the example you presented in this week’s Discussion. (SEE ABOVE)

Consider the tasks and dependencies identified.

Think about how you would sequence the tasks, and dependencies, for the example.

Consider tasks and dependencies that might be modified to create the most time-efficient project schedule

To complete:

Submit the following:

A schedule created in Microsoft Project for the example from this week’s Discussion. Include the following:
The dependencies related to the tasks outlined in your schedule
Identification of each dependency’s type
An explanation of how the tasks and their dependencies were modified to expedite the project schedule.

Required Readings

Coplan, S., & Masuda, D. (2011). Project management for healthcare information technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Chapter 3, “Project Management”

“Time Management” (pp. 59–68)

This section of Chapter 3 focuses on how project managers may plan and control a project schedule to complete a project in a given timeframe. The chapter explains the various aspects of tasks, resources, and scheduling that are necessary for effective time management.

Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) (5th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Author.

Chapter 6 “Project Time Management” (pp. 141–192)

This chapter provides an overview of processes that can be used to manage a project so that it is completed on time: defining activities, sequencing activities, estimating activity resources, estimating activity durations, developing a schedule, and controlling a schedule.

Biffi, M.-H. (2008). Linking the estimate, the schedule and the cost control through a standardized WBS. AACE International Transactions, 1–11.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article explores how a WBS can link almost all the aspects of a project. The author describes how a WBS can be the starting point for many other documents that organize a project.

Fretty, P. (2012). On the right track. PM Network, 26(9), 50–55.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article examines the consequences of accelerating a project schedule and provides guidelines for when a project should be “fast-tracked.”

Pells, D. L. (2012). Seek the truth! [Special section, Editorial]. PM World Today, 14(2), 1–10.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The author of this editorial stresses the importance of honesty in project planning and project management in general, providing numerous examples in which honesty leads to better outcomes.

Somani, S. (2008, August). On deadline. PM Network, 22(8), 26.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

In this article, the author discusses the importance of adhering to set timelines in project management.

Wing, K. T. (2010). The discipline of finishing. Strategic Finance, 92(1), 17–18.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article provides guidelines for successfully completing projects. The author examines topics such as schedule conflicts, ineffective time management, and self-imposed discipline.

Office Online (2014). Link tasks in a project. Retrieved from https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Link-tasks-in-a-project-31b918ce-4b71-475c-9d6b-0ee501b4be57?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

In this article, the author describes the different types of task dependencies and offers suggestions for choosing the correct dependency type.

Heather. (2008, July 28). Back to basics: Understanding task dependencies [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2008/07/29/back-to-basics-understanding-task-dependencies.aspx

This article reviews the four types of dependencies available in Microsoft Project. The author provides guidelines for when each dependency type is appropriate.

Document: Individual Project Overview (PDF)

This document provides an overview of the Individual Project you will work on throughout this course.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013d). Planning, part II: Scheduling project activities and resources[Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 19 minutes.

In this presentation, the participants discuss the scheduling of project activities and resources and the software tools that can be used to do so. They also explain what is meant in project management by “the critical path.”

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