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Project Management Guide

Project Management Guide

Project management is the organization of resources to meet a stated goal.  There are generally budgetary and monetary constraints on the projects that require skilled project management to avoid exceeding these restraints.  The mark of one that is experienced with project management is the ability to complete to project accurately within or even below the time and budget constraints.

In what fields is project management useful?
In practical application, architecture and related fields such as construction require a great deal of project management.  These fields generally require teams of professionals to combine their expertise into a collaborative project.  The collaborative project is of course subject to time and budgetary constraints so whoever is tasked with project management in this initiative will be responsible for ensure that all members of the project are informed of their tasks and deadlines.  Such projects would not be possible without the use of project management tools.
What are project management tools?
Project management tools include a number of proven techniques and models for successful project managements.  One of the first developments in project management tools is the Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) which is a statistical tool developed by the US Navy.  The PERT project management tool was used to measure the progress of the development of weapons system.  The PERT project management tool was also used to plan events such as the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

How does the PERT project management tool work?
As with all project management tools the first step is determining the tasks to be completed as well as estimates of the time the phase of the project should require.  You will need to make optimistic, normal and pessimistic time estimates for the completion of each task.  The tasks are also arranged by predecessor tasks, denoting which tasks cannot be completed without the completion of a previous task.  Those using the PERT project management tool will need to calculate the expected time of completion using the following formula:
(Optimistic + (4)Normal + Pessimistic )  divided by 6
Let us say that task A can complete completed optimistically in 3 hours, normally in four hours and pessimistically in 6 hours, we can find the expected time of completion.
(3 + (4)4 + 6)/6
= The task should be completed in 4.16 hours
The next step is to create a Gantt chart with the time estimates.  The Gantt chart is a visual representation of the amount of time each task in the project and slack afforded by completing tasks ahead of time.  Tasks are shown from their start to expected completion date and arrows link predecessor tasks together.  It is important to identify a critical path, which is the string of tasks that will take the longest time to complete.  This is essential in the project management process to determining the ultimate length of the project.  There is no slack time on the critical path and this path needs to be completed in the shortest possible time.  There are computer programs that can help you plan a Gantt diagram, but these charts can be created easily by hand.