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Appendix 2: Chapter Questions

Chapter 2: Project Management Overview

  1. Everyone has been involved in projects. What is the largest project you have been involved in? (You do not have to have been the project manager, but could have played another role.)
    1. Write one sentence that describes the objective of the project.
    2. Describe specifically how this project meets the definition of a project used in this textbook. (How is it unique? What were the time constraints? If it is over, how did you know it was over? If it is ongoing, how will you know when it is over?
    3. What was your role? Were you the project manager, a volunteer, some other role? If you were not the project manager, who was?
    4. Was the project part of a larger portfolio or program of projects?
    5. Who else was involved?
    6. What was the budget?
    7. Did you anticipate any risks at the outset? Did the project experience any outside forces that caused a change in either the objectives or the approach to achieving those objectives?
  2. In what ways can the following activities be seen as projects? In what ways do they resemble ongoing, routine business activities? Feel free to add assumptions and details to describe how the activity might be a project in one context and routine in another.
    1. Reading the chapter before attending a university lecture.
    2. Taking the bus to work each day.
    3. Piloting an aircraft between Vancouver and Fiji.
    4. Teaching a course for the first time; teaching the same course every semester.

 

Chapter 3: The Project Life Cycle (Phases)

  1. Go online and search for project life cycle models. Identify at least two that are different from the PMI model, and compare and contrast the phases. Be sure to cite your sources.
  2. How does the application of a phased approach to project management vary in different industries? Do you think that the phases work the same in construction as they do in event management or software development?

 

Chapter 5: Stakeholder Management

  1. Identify a major public infrastructure project that is either underway, complete, or proposed in your region. This could be a bridge, road, building, or something of that nature. For the project you have identified, think of as many stakeholders and stakeholder groups as you can. Create a three-column table. In column 1, list the stakeholders. In column 2, list what each stakeholder wants to get from the project. In column 3, list the influence each stakeholder has over the project.
  2. How can the stakeholders change over the course of a project? Give examples of changes in who the stakeholders are, and also in how their interests or influence over the project might change throughout the term of the project.

 

Chapter 7: Project Initiation

  1. Software project decision point.
    1. You need to determine an interest rate to use—select an interest rate and explain why you think this number should be used. Use it in your calculations in item 1.2.
    2. Given the information below on options 1 and 2, carry out three forms of analysis: breakeven, ROI, and NPV.
    3. Make a recommendation on which way to proceed, based on the TCO for each option.
  • Option 1: Purchase the FunSoft package: Cost $200,000 for software and $85,000 for hardware in year one; with $50,000 to customize it and a $40,000 annual licensing fee for the life of the contract. There will be an annual saving of $61,000 due to the layoff of a clerk.
  • Option 2: Purchase the SoftComm package, which will operate on the vendor’s hardware: Cost $250,000 for a five-year license, payable half up front and half during the first year of implementation. The maintenance contract, at $75,000 a year, includes all currently identified modifications to the software for the first three years. The clerk’s hours will be cut by half, for a saving of $25,000 a year.

In both cases, sales are expected to increase from the current $1 million a year, by 10% per year each year (over each year’s previous year’s sales) after full implementation.

Assume a five-year life for the software.

 

Chapter 9: Scope Planning

  1. A project to put on a major international sporting competition has the following major deliverables: Sports Venues, Athlete Accommodation, Volunteer Organization, Security, Events, and Publicity (which has already been broken down into pre-event publicity and post-event publicity.) Prepare a WBS for any single major deliverable on the list. Remember the 100 percent rule, and number your objectives.

 

Chapter 10: Project Schedule Planning

Your team has been asked to test and document enhancements to a web application that allows buyers to purchase custom-printed canvas shoes. The tasks and dependencies are as follows:

  • Create a testing plan

Once the testing plan is ready, your team can:

  • Test the user interfaces
  • Test the database
  • Test the network
  • Write the documentation first draft

When the user interface tests are complete, you can:

  • Perform user testing—enlist some users to test the user interface

When the database and network testing are complete, you can:

  • Perform integration testing—network with the database

When the user testing of the user interface and the database testing are complete, you can:

  • Perform integration testing—database, network, and user interface

When all integration testing and user testing are complete, you can:

  • Perform system testing

Then you can:

  • Review and revise documentation

After all other tasks are complete, you can:

  • Obtain management approval

Duration estimates for the tasks:

 a.  3 days
 b.  10 days
 c.  6 days
 d.  7 days
 e.  20 days
 f.  5 days
 g.  3 days
 h.  2 days
 i.  8 days
 j.  4 days
k.  5 days
  1. Create a network diagram and a Gantt chart for the project tasks. Ask your instructor if you are permitted to use software such as Microsoft Project to help you prepare your diagrams.
    1. What is the planned duration for the testing project?
    2. What is the critical path for the testing project?
    3. For each task NOT on the critical path, calculate the amount of slack available.
    4. If the user testing of the user interface takes 15 days, what will the impact be on the project duration?
  2. Go online and find at least two sites with definitions of fast tracking and crashing a project schedule.
    1. Prepare proper reference citations for the sites you located, using APA style.
    2. In your own words, write definitions for project fast tracking and project crashing.
    3. Consider the plan you prepared for the software system testing project in question 1 above. If you were informed by management that you must reduce the planned duration of the project by five days, describe how you, as a project manager, could crash or fast track this project. Be specific in identifying exactly what could be changed in the project plan for each option.
    4. (continuation of question 2.3) If the request to speed up the project occurs after day 25 of the original schedule, what is the only option available?
  3. Go online and research the difference between total slack and free slack.
    1. Prepare proper reference citations for the sites you located, using APA style.
    2. Write definitions of total slack and free slack in your own words.
    3. Why would the distinction between different forms of slack be important to a project manager?

 

Chapter 12: Budget Planning

  1. Wedding cost estimation: Given the following information, calculate the estimated costs for a wedding with 250 guests and a bridal party of six, using the methods indicated. Show your work.
    Note that members of the bridal party are already counted as guests, you don’t need to add them twice.

    1. Parametric estimate
    2. Bottom-up estimate
    3. Analogous cost estimate
    4. You will probably notice some differences in the estimated values. Are these differences significant? What might cause the differences? If you were estimating a significant project in the future, which method(s) would you use and why?
    5. Your mother points out you should probably have valet parking, which will cost $500. Which estimate(s) will change?
      Wedding Cost Estimates
      Item Dollars
      Groom’s brother’s wedding, last year, 175 guests, similar venue and style $20,300
      Catering $65 per person
      Photographer $1,500
      Rental of hall $500
      Clothing, bride $2,000
      Clothing, groom $750
      Flowers $800
      Other décor items $500
      Cake $500
      Gifts for bridal party $80 each
      Wedding planner $2,000
      Wedding planner’s estimate of typical cost for this kind of wedding $10,000 plus $75 per guest
  2. Earned-value analysis. A project budget calls for the following expenditures:
    Task Date Budgeted Amount
    Build forms April 1 $10,000
    Pour foundation April 1 $50,000
    May 1 $100,000
    Frame walls May 1 $30,000
    June 1 $30,000
    Remaining tasks July 1 and beyond $500,000

    Define each term in your own words, calculate these values for the above project, and show your work:

    1. Budgeted cost baseline (make a graph illustrating this one)
    2. Budget at completion (BAC)
    3. Planned value (PV) as of May 1
    4. Earned value (EV) as of May 1 if the foundation work is only two-thirds complete. Everything else is on schedule.
    5. SV as of May 1.
    6. Actual cost as of May 1 is $160,000. Calculate the cost variance (CV) as of May 1.
    7. Schedule performance index (SPI)
    8. Cost performance index (CPI)
    9. Estimate to complete (ETC), assuming that the previous cost variances will not affect future costs
    10. Estimate at completion (EAC)

 

Chapter 13: Procurement Management

  1. In addition to cost, what factors should be considered in selecting a building contractor? What can go wrong if the lowest bid is selected and nothing else is considered? (Answer in your own words, maximum 70 words.)
  2. What is the difference between an RFP and an RFQ? Give two specific examples where an RFQ could be used and two specific examples where it is more likely that the organization will go with an RFP. (Use examples NOT from your textbook.)
  3. Cost reimbursable contract calculation.
    1. A contract calls for a total payment of $800,000 with a guarantee. Essentially the contractor is guaranteed to make at least $200,000 above his costs. If the contractor can demonstrate his costs exceed $600,000, the project will pay the difference, with a $50,000 ceiling on the overage. The contractor demonstrates he spent $623,000. How much (gross) must the project remit to the contractor?
    2. Another option for the same contract has the contractor guaranteed to be paid his costs plus 20%, for costs that exceed $600,000. With the same initial assumption—guarantee of $800,000 gross payment (no requirement to itemize costs), but if the contractor can show that costs exceed $600,000, the project will pay $800,000 plus the costs that exceed $600,000, plus 20% of those excess costs, with a ceiling of $900,000 gross. The contractor demonstrates he spent $623,000. How much (gross) must the project remit to the contractor?
    3. Under option 3.2, at what dollar amount of total costs would the contractor be assuming all of the excess costs beyond that point?
    4. In which option did the project assume more of the risk of a cost overrun? Explain.

 

Chapter 14: Quality Planning

  1. Prepare a Pareto chart of the possible causes for a student to fail a final examination in a university course.
  2. Vehicles are identified by RFID tags in order to collect bridge tolls. The project manager is considering two different technologies for RFID readers. By sampling two different options, the following data are collected about the accuracy of the readers:

Option 1: 99, 98, 99, 94, 92, 99, 98, 99, 94, 90            Option 2: 98, 97, 97, 97, 98, 98, 97, 97, 98

Calculate the mean, mode, and standard deviation of the two options.

 

Chapter 16: Risk Management Planning

  1. Describe the general processes that should be followed in managing risks throughout a project. Be sure to include the general sequence in which these processes are carried out.
  2. Prepare a sample risk register for a project to put humans on Mars (four or five risks).
  3. Prepare a probability versus impact matrix for your school’s Winter Club ski trip (at least four identifiable risks).
  4. For one of the risks you have identified in question 2 or 3, describe how it could be avoided, transferred, mitigated, or accepted.
  5. What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative risk analysis? Which one is always done? Why is the other one not always done for every project?

License

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Appendix 2: Chapter Questions by Adrienne Watt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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