Minimizing the project duration by 20 days
The current project details the plans that will be undertaken to install new open office software. The project main activities are to: initiate the project, carry out a detailed analysis of the current project, develop the project plan for this work, execute the project, monitor and evaluate the whole process, perform quality checks, train the staff on the new systems and commission the system.
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The MS software program was used to produce a detailed Gantt chart for the whole project. However, the project owner has indicated that the project should be reduced by 20 days. To perform this task, I first selected the task that could be easily manipulated without causing a lot of technical and logistical problems. This task was “developing the project plan.” It is easy to reschedule the development plan to an earlier date to ensure that the days took to accomplish this task reduce by the same number.
However, there is a challenge as there are activities that must be completed before the project plan is developed. These include a survey of the current system. Then all the tasks that should be done before developing the project plan were identified. The most probable date for starting the project plan would be after gathering data, that is, on 7th February 2012. Since the task will run for 20 days, it should end on 4th April 2012.
It means that activities that are directly under the developing the project plan, such as assigning tasks to team members, buying materials, installation process, execution of the project, among others, will now shift 20 days earlier. After effecting the change, it was noted that the date of completing the project shifted from 26th July 2012 to 14 June 2012. It can be attributed to the effects of the nonworking days of the project. The shift is quite advantageous as it will save on time and also reduce unnecessary time wastage.
The biggest problem that was associated with the shifting of the project plan formulation time is the allocations of resources. It was expected that the manager and the team members will be engaged in other project activities, and hence they cannot do the two jobs simultaneously. The project can also not hire another worker for only 20 days. The following solutions were proposed
- Extra time and overtime: the first solution is to award the project manager and the team members extra time, which they can use to formulate the project plan. The manager plus the team members will be asked to work extra hours per day. During this time, they will be developing the project plan while the other activities will be done during the normal working hours
- Hiring: the next solution would be to hire another project management specialist on a contract basis. The hired expert will only work on the project plan for 20 days. This option is, however, is not advantageous because of financial constraints, and there is time wasted to recruit the specialist on a contract basis.
From the two solutions, I settled on the use of overtime to develop the project plan
Costs: the shifting of the project plan to shorten the period has some financial implications. First, the use of overtime will result in additional costs. Secondly, the money paid for overtime is usually higher than the normal rate. To implement the changes, the manager and team members will work for four hours above the normal time.
In return, they will receive $200 for the manager and $100 for the workers. It means that each day, the manager will receive $1600 where $800 is the payment for normal 8 hours, and $800 is the payment for the 4 hours overtime. For the team members, they will receive $400, which is a normal payment, while $400 is paid for overtime. Overall, the cost of the development plan will increase from $48000 to $96000.