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Copyright (c) Azimuth Group, Ltd. 1991

Without a plan your work may be aimless. No plan is perfect, but you
need a scale for measuring progress. Without some plan you never know
whether you are on track or in deep trouble. OPTIMA helps you plan
workable projects. This section discusses the requirements for a
sound plan, and provides a brief example of a planning method which
some call the card trick.

There are six general steps to preparing your project plan:

Decide what result is expected from the project.

List the things which must be done to achieve that result.

Examine the list for relevance and completeness.

Convert each item into a properly named activity.

Examine the list for uniqueness and clarity.

Enter and process your data.

At this point it is appropriate to review the concept of an activity
-- what one is and what one is not -- and how you define the acti-
vities in your project. This may seem obvious, but many people who
are competent managers get stuck when they try to prepare a project
plan.

The fundamental unit, or building block, of your plan is the activity.
Your plan -- hence your project -- is built of activities. These
activities are related in a unique way by their dependencies. That
is, some things must be completed before others can start. Some
things can be done at the same time. These may depend on some common
'ancestor', but they do not depend on each other.

The proper choice of activity names is vital to clarity throughout the
process -- from planning to project completion. You refer to an acti-
vity by its name. That name must specify a single result. There must
be no confusion about what that result is. You have only thirty
characters to write a sentence. That sentence must contain a verb and
a noun. The verb must be active and present tense. The verb defines
the kind of work to be done. The noun must be concrete. It specifies
a result which can be seen and touched.

The level of detail among your activity names is critical to clarity
and completeness. Whatever detail you select must be consistant. How
detailed depends on your judgement and the nature of each individual
project. A good general rule is that an activity uses a few people
working over a short period of time to produce a tangible result.

Here are three possible activity names. They satisfy most of the
rules stated above.

BUILD THE SMITH HOUSE

INSTALL HARDWOOD FLOORING

DRIVE A NAIL

Each of these includes an active verb -- Build, install, drive. Each
contains a concrete noun -- House, floor, nail.

The level-of-detail is certainly not consistant. Many activities, by
many different people, are required to describe how a house is to be
built. At the other extreme, you can drive nails into a board all day
long and produce nothing of value.

The second item -- INSTALL HARDWOOD FLOORING -- is a reasonable
activity. It can be done by a single crew. It can be done in a day
or two. When it is done, the result will be there for all to see. It
is obviously part of building a house. It includes driving many, many
nails. If you would like some additional examples of activities, see
the last pages of this section.

Given that this represents an activity, consider some information
which might be related to it. The name has used twenty-five
characters, so you must use the narrative for this. The narrative for
an activity is used only to further define that single activity. You
might refer to specifications which define the materials to be used,
and their quality. You might refer to the plans, if there is some
special feature which is out-of-the-ordinary.

Do not include other activities in the narrative of an activity. For
example, before the hardwood flooring can be laid, the floor joists
must be in place, and the sub-flooring must be laid. Each of these is
a separate activity. If you choose to have the flooring crew confirm
the thickness and eveness of the sub-flooring, you would include that
as a step-to-complete.

You do not have unlimited space. Be concise. Refer to drawings,
lists, bills-of-materials, standard procedures, etc. by name or
number. Do not attempt to repeat material, which is readily available
elsewhere, in the narrative for an activity.

This discussion has covered the use of the narrative during project
planning. Later, while you are running the project, you may wish to
include some commentary. Space permitting, you may add it to the
narrative directly. If you need more space, read about DISKFILES in
the Glossary.

Many factors must be considered when you start to plan a new project.
Some relate to your particular organization, and are beyond the scope
of this manual. Others, which relate directly to OPTIMA, include:

Keeping each project to a manageable size.

Identifying and collecting the data which you need to manage your
work.

Using only data which are reliable.

Organizing your work so that activities are performed in the proper
order.

Ensuring that the work can be done within your budget.

Structuring your work so that important work has priority, while
trying to delay expensive commitments until the last minute.

Delivering results on time, in spite of the inevitable delays.

There are many advantages to keeping each individual project small and
manageable. People have to do the work. They cannot comprehend the
parts and the whole when a project is gigantic. Also, in general, it
is desirable to delegate work to capable subordinates. You benefit
from their active participation and help them grow. You reduce your
detailed work load so that you can manage. Small, managable projects
can be delegated safely.

There are certain minimum data which you must have before you can
start and manage a project. You must have a complete set of fully-
defined activities. Complete set implies that you have specified
every major step required to produce the expected result of the
project. Fully-defined means that for each activity you know what is
to be done, who is to do it, how long they will take to do it, what it
should cost, and how the activity fits into the total project.

Without these minimum data, you do not have a project as defined in
OPTIMA. You may have a list of things-to-do, or notes. You may have
a set of objectives, which loosely define work which is to be done in
some time period. Both of these are often useful. You may possibly
include them in your project. The fact remains, if you do not have
enough reliable data to define all of the required activities
adequately, you cannot manage the work responsibly. You cannot
produce results within budget and on time.

Without reliable data, you can accomplish nothing of value. OPTIMA is
structured so that you need not use data which you do not trust, or
enter 'made-up' data to get started. You enter what you have, whether
a simple note or all of the details neccessary to define a complete
piece of work -- an activity and its relationship to the other
activities.

When you believe that you have determined what must be done, you
arrange the activities into a set of logically dependent steps. Some
things can be started at the beginning of the project. Most cannot
start until others have been completed. Determining the logical
relationships among all of the activities which comprise a project is
the single most difficult part of project planning. It takes time.
This time is time well spent. The result is a map of what is to be
done. With this map, you can verify the completeness of your plan.
You can readily see what is missing, or out of sequence, before you
start. You can follow it as you work. You can change it during the
course of the project when something unforeseeable arises. OPTIMA
provides various tools to help you plan your projects. These tools,
and their uses, are discussed in detail below. OPTIMA produces the
maps and schedules which will keep you on course.

Determining what a project will cost is more important than knowing
when it will be finished. If you, or your client cannot afford to pay
for the work, all else is trivial. Therefore OPTIMA is designed to
allow you to settle on the cost before you calculate a work schedule.
Furthermore, you do not merely look at gross cost-to-complete. You
start by determining who will do each activity, and how long they
should take to do it. You estimate overhead costs for the activity.
When you enter your data for an activity, the cost is calculated
immediately. During planning, before you even consider calculating a
work schedule, you look at each activity to determine if the result of
that activity is worth its cost. (Some large organizations have a
separate planning and estimating group, which does nothing but this.)
When this is settled, you are less vulnerable to a demand that you,
'cut the project cost by ten percent', or whatever. You have a firm
basis for your cost estimate. You can show how it was reached.

As you plan your project, the priority of work must be kept in mind at
all times. When you have a fairly complete list of activities, you
will arrange them in the general order that you expect the work to be
done. This will help you establish dependencies among activities.
When you have done this, you may wish to examine all activities which
start at a common point. These will very likely be performed con-
currently. If they use any common resources, there may not be enough
of some resource to work all of the activities simultaneously. Here,
you may decide to re-number these activities, so that they will get
their resources in order of their perceived importance. Remember,
lower numbered activities get their resources first when there is
contention for a limited resource. Last, you may wish to delay some
activity because it represents a major commitment of money, which you
do not want to make until you are certain that something unexpected is
not going to upheave the project, and waste the commited funds. This
is done by entering a delayed start date for the activity.

With OPTIMA, you settle the issues of what is to be done, and how much
it will cost. Then you decide when the work should start, and cal-
culate a work schedule. When you calculate the work schedule, OPTIMA
uses true resource allocation to determine realistic dates for per-
forming each activity. No resource will be assigned more than one
task at the same time. No activity can start until all of the
resources required to do it are available. This is true even if there
is more than one project sharing the same resource pool. Individual
projects take their resources from this common pool when their
schedule is calculated.

If the estimates of the number of workdays -- duration -- of each
activity are correct, the schedule for your project will be accurate.
That schedule may change during the life of the project, but you start
out with a schedule which you can meet. If the resulting schedule is
not satisfactory, you have two choices.

You can attempt to re-plan the project by changing dependencies, or
squeezing the durations of some activities. If that fails, you can
try to get a higher priority for your entire project. That is, have
it calculated ahead of some other project which uses the same resource
pool.

Now, you should be ready to walk through a practice project with your
OPTIMA Pocket Planner. The remainder of this section covers project
planning and verification. The next section, MANAGING YOUR PROJECT,
will discuss using OPTIMA to manage a project.

Use your OPTIMA Pocket Planner. Take it to meetings. Make notes
which highlight the decisions and project requirements. It will help
you get started right.

The OPTIMA Pocket Planner provides you a unique and powerful tool for
project planning. For any endeavor, you usually start by making a
list of what is to be done. This list is often un-structured, with
varying levels-of-detail in the entries. When you use your OPTIMA
Pocket Planner to make this list, you have great flexibility. You can
easily shuffle the cards to produce a logical sequence. You can see
which items represent too much detail, and should be sub-divided. You
can see which ones are merely steps-to-complete a true activity, and
combine them. Also, You will identify notes and objectives, which may
be part of the project, although not true activities.

Before proceeding with a short example of the card trick, here is a
quick review of the data which you enter on each activity card of the
OPTIMA Pocket Planner.

Project -- Every project has a name, which may be up to 40 char-
acters long. Use a card for each activity in a project. Identify the
project on each card, so that they cannot get mixed up later.

Act(ivity) Num(ber) -- The activity number is assigned by OPTIMA.
When preparing activity data for entry, you may temporarily assign
numbers to indicate relative priority.

Activity -- Every activity has a concise, descriptive name, which may
be up to thirty characters long -- Active verb, present tense;
concrete noun. ( See also, Narrative, below)

Work Group -- This provides a ten-character description, which you may
use however you choose. You may identify related activities. You may
identify an outside group which is doing the work. Another use would
be to identify the activity leaders.

Start -- The numbered point at which this activity, and maybe others,
starts. Start points range from 1 to 98, and default to 1. When
entering new data, point numbers are determined by activity depen-
dencies, developed in project planning.

Completion -- The numbered point at which this activity, and maybe
others, ends. Completion points range from 2 to 99, and default to 2.
Completion points are also determined by project planning.

Work days -- An activity defines work to be done in some period of
time. In OPTIMA, this is specified in work days. The minimum
duration for work is one work day. Notes or reminders of things-to-do
have zero duration. Enter your best estimate of the number of working
days to complete the activity in the Workdays field.

Resources -- You may enter resource names on the card for quick
reference. As many as five resource classes may be assigned to any
activity. Complete the Code and Quantity fields for each resource.

Code -- Each resource class in the Resource List has an assigned
number. When entering activity data, only this number is needed.

Quantity -- Each resource class has some maximum number of units
available each day. Here, you enter the number of units required each
work day for the entire activity.

Fixed Cost -- This is an overhead cost associated with this activity
only. Fixed costs might be materials and components of something
being fabricated. The cost of a sub-contracted activity would be
entered here.

Work-day Rate -- This is the basis for an overhead cost which varies
with the number of workdays required to perform the activity.
Consultants and other temporary help would fit this category. The
workday cost is calculated from the rate and the duration.

Constant Rate -- This is also used to calculate an overhead cost.
Here, however, the cost de pends on the total elapsed days of the
activity, not its duration. If you rent equipment by the day, and pay
for it whether you are using it or not, this is the place to enter the
rental rate. Here, too, OPTIMA calculates the cost. Note well this
difference, however. When this rate is first entered, the approximate
cost is calculated from the duration. Later, when the project work
schedule has been calculated, the constant cost is re-calculated from
the actual elapsed days for the activity.

Delayed Start -- You may enter this date to prevent an activity from
starting at an earlier, calculated date. This also is used to set the
start date for independent activities, such as simple objectives and
things-to-do.

Critical Finish -- Use this to target the date by which extremely
important work must be finished. This date does not affect schedule
calculations, but a report is provided, which shows whether or not
critcal dates will be met without intervention by the project manager.

Narrative -- This is used to amplify the thirty-character activity
name. As many as 320 characters may be included in the Narrative
Report produced by OPTIMA. The use of this space is optional, but
very useful.

If 30 characters do not clearly specify the expected result, use it to
complete the specification.

OPTIMA does not force you to specify minor steps-to-complete as
activities, nor to try to remember them. You can consolidate them
into a single activity, and list the detailed steps-to-complete here.

Many times an activity will entail completing a check list. Discuss
that check list here. You may also refer to drawings, specifications,
and bills-of-materials.

As you manage your project, make notes about good work or problems
here. You may also note overhead costs, which will be included in
Reported Cost.

When you use OPTIMA, the data entered here are always available to
you. When you produce the Narrative Report, you may edit this, and
add to it extensively to produce a running project history.

Now we will apply the principles discussed above to a very simple
example project. Its sole purpose is to help you master the card
trick.

Refer to figures 2 through 7 in POCKET PLANNER. Upper-case letters,
A....I, have been used here to clarify the example by differentiating
between the tentative assignments and the actual numbering. Also, for
space considerations, this upper-case letter substitutes for the full
30-character activity name.

Start with a fresh set of OPTIMA Pocket Planner cards. Before you
commence work, be certain that you understand the data elements which
define an activity and its relationship to other activities in a
project. See ACTIVITY in the Glossary.

As you work, be sure to label each card with the project name or a
short-hand substitute. Otherwise, you could get cards belonging to
different projects mixed up.

Start listing tasks, which must be performed to complete the project,
one to a card in the area marked 'Activity'.

Use the narrative section, on the reverse of cards, as needed. For
example, activities upon which the one named on the front of the card
depend, or which depend on it.

Leave activity numbers and start and completion points blank.

Fill in other data as appropriate. For example, critical finish
dates.

When you have completed a card for every activity which you can think
of, arrange the cards in a deck, in the general sequence in which you
expect the work to be done.

Remove cards which represent notes or reminders, and those which are
really steps-to-complete, from the deck and set them aside for now.
Also, remove any cards which are not part of the current project.
These may be parts of a separate project. Some may actually represent
an entire project. Lastly, review the remaining cards to see that the
level of detail in the activity names is consistant. Add cards and
change names as necessary.

When this culling and editing process is complete, arrange the
remaining cards, which represent true activities, into a logical
sequence. You may wish to look at the two special cases discussed at
the end of this section for some ideas. This is the card trick. This
will show which activities must be completed before others can start.
First you will find all activities which can start right away. These
do not depend on any other activity in this project. The cards for
these activities are arranged in a column down the left side of a
large table. Then each card remaining in the deck is compared with
each card on the table. When an activity in the deck can start as
soon as an activity on the table has completed, its card is pulled
from the deck, and placed on the table, just to the right of the card
for the activity upon which it depends. This process is repeated,
until all cards have been removed from the deck, and placed on the
table. In each step, the cards in the deck are compared with those
cards on the table which have no cards to their right in the same row.
The following example shows the process, step-by-step.

Lightly, in pencil, assign temporary activity numbers to the cards in
the deck. You may wish to re-assign them after you perfect your plan
and before data are entered into OPTIMA. We will use nine activities
in this brief example.

The first card, A, represents an activity which depends upon no others
-- the first step in your project.

Place the A card in the upper, left-hand corner of the table. Cards B
and C are also activities which can start independently, put them in
the column below A. Leave some space between cards in this column.
Figure 2 shows the result of this first step.

Next, look for activities which can start as soon as A, B, or C have
been completed. Place these in a column to the right of the first
column of cards. In this example, D and E depend on prior completion
of A. H depends on prior completion of B. See Figure 3.

Now, examine the cards which have just been placed in column 2 to see
if any of them are dependent on any activity other than A. In this
example, D and E both depend upon prior completion of C as well as A.
Therefore, move C up to just below card A, and move B and H down. The
result is shown in Figure 4.

Observe that activities A and C both start at point 1 and complete at
point 2. Likewise, D and E connect point 2 and point 3. OPTIMA is
different from other project management software -- It seldom requires
dummy activities. You need only consider the logic of your work. If
it made sense, all 200 activities could go from point 1 to point 2.

As noted in Figure 4, there is as yet no point between B and H.
Activity H does not depend on either A or C. At this time, it appears
that H can start as soon as B has finished, regardless of the status
of work on A and C. Therefore this activity will start at the next
available point, which is 3. Place the card for activity H in the
column between points 3 and 4. See Figure 5.

When you review the cards on the board, you discover that activity H
is dependent on D and E, as well as on B. So, the paths leaving
activities D and E must connect with the start of H. This is shown in
Figure 6. Note well that although the start of activity H did not
directly depend on the status of either activity A or C, it does
depend on them indirectly. This is so because D and E depend on both,
and H depends on D and E.

The logic of the project begins to emerge. Your initial sequencing of
activities may change. You probably will discover that you omitted
some activities. Prepare a card for each of these, and put it in the
proper position. Continue this same process until all of your
activities are placed in the proper logical arrangement.

Assume that Figure 7 represents your entire project. We will now
number the activities, and assign start and completion points. You
will see why the original activity numbers were tentative.

The resulting start and completion points, tabulated below, are
transcribed to the proper cards.

Act. Activity Points
# Name Start Complete


1 A 1 2
2 C 1 2
3 B 1 3
4 D 2 3
5 E 2 3
6 H 3 4
7 F 3 5
8 G 4 5
9 I 4 5

Look at the cards which are really steps-to-complete. Decide which
activity each supports. Add the data to the narrative -- back of card
-- for that activity.

Now the data from the cards can be entered into OPTIMA. You may,
however, decide to determine resource requirements and activity
durations before you enter the data. For now, assume that resource
data will be entered after the initial activity data have been
entered. The methods for determining who will do the work, and how
long it will take, are discussed below.

If you have not entered data for a new project, you may wish to refer
to the proper part of BROWSING to ensure that you understand the
process.

You have a reasonably complete set of activities. They are arranged
in a workable sequence. Enter the data, or have it entered. For
detailed data entry procedures, refer back to BROWSING. When this has
been done, return the cards to your OPTIMA Pocket Planner. Later,
when the project is underway, file them as part of the project
records.

Produce the following reports for analyzing your plan, adding data to
existing activities, and very likely adding more activities to make
the project complete.

PERT-Type diagram

Activity Data on Labels

Activity Status Report Forms

Review the PERT-Type diagram for logical work-flow. Discuss it with
key members of the project team. You may use the labels to lay out
different dependencies by mimicing the PERT-Type diagram, and then
moving activities around while considering alternatives. Look for
gaps in the logic -- places where one or more activities have been
assumed, but not specified. Prepare an OPTIMA Pocket Planner card,
for each of these activities. Indicate whether they are to be ADDED,
IMPLANTED, INSERTED, or APPENDED. Put these with the Activity Status
Report Forms.

Use particular care when you decide to DELETE an activity. OPTIMA
handles the logic correctly, but you may find some activity
dependencies which you did not anticipate. An example of this is
discussed next.

Assume that this represents a project which you must revise. As
always, start and completion points are mapped into columns:

\1 \2 \3 \4 \5 \Directly dependent on:

A \|--- A ------- \| \Nothing

B \|--- B - \| \Nothing

C \|- C - \| \Nothing

D \|--- D ----- \| \C only

E \|--- E -- \| \B & G

F \|- F - \| \D & H

G \|- G - \| \C only

H \|- H - \| \B & G

Your revised plan does not require activity H. You decide to delete
it. Here is the result:

\1 \2 \X \3 \4 \Directly dependent on:

A \|--- A ----------------- \| \Nothing

B \|--- B --------- \| \Nothing

C \|- C - \| \Nothing

D \|--- D - \| \C only

E \|- E - \| \B & G, and now D

F \|- F - \| \D & H, and now B

G \|- G --- \| \C only

H \Deleted

OPTIMA's logic is sound, but the result may not suit your needs.
Before you decide to delete an activity, study the PERT - Type Diagram
for the project. You may wish to change some activities to dummy
activities, with duration of 0, rather than deleting them.

The type of result shown in this example will only occur when the
deleted activity is the only acti vity connecting a pair of points.
If a single activity, or a serial sequence of activities start and
complete at the identical points as the deleted activity, no point
numbers change, so there can be no problem.

Discuss each activity with the person to whom you will assign re-
sponsibility for the work -- the activity leader. Agree on the work
which is to be done, the total resource requirements, and the duration
in work days. Enter these on either the Activity Status Report Form
or, for added activities, OPTIMA Pocket Planner cards.

Review the cards which are only notes. If they are still valid,
decide where they fit in the project logic. Assign proper point
numbers and delayed start or critical finish dates if appropriate.

Have all additional data from the forms, and from the cards which
represent notes, entered into the project, and saved on the PROJECT
DATA DISK.

Produce the same three reports again and give them a thorough review.
This makes a little extra work, but it will save time and trouble
later.

After the second plan review, the next step is Work Schedule analysis.
Again, for detailed procedures, see BROWSING. Determine when the
project should start. Enter this date to calculate the Work Schedule.
You may wish to do your first calculation without resources. This is
fast, and it will show you if the project can meet the required
schedule under the most optimistic conditions -- all resources
available when needed. Remember to do the final calculation with
resource allocation, and in the proper priority among all other active
projects.

Produce these reports:

Work Schedule

Gantt-type Chart

Activities Which Have Critical Finish Dates

Compare the Work Schedule with any date constraints. Will all
critical finish dates be met? Will the project finish on time? If
not, attempt to adjust the duration of individual activities, or
revise the logical flow of work -- dependencies -- to shorten the
schedule. If neither can be done realistically, discuss the situa-
tion with your customer. The reports which you have generated with
OPTIMA will help you make your case for a schedule extension.

When the Work Schedule is acceptable, project cost must be assessed.
Two reports are especially useful for this:

Work Schedule, with Resources Used, and Costs

Resources Used and Earned Value, by Day

The first will let you examine each activity for its cost in relation
to the deliverable result. The second shows costs as a function of
time, and total resource costs.

When both the schedule and the costs are acceptable, set your
base-line values. Then you will be ready to start and manage your
project.

Even if you have designed a 'perfect project', one which is well
within budget, and which can be completed with time to spare, nothing
ever goes quite according to plan. At the very least, some activities
will take longer than expected. Some few may take less. These are
routine adjustments, and are easily made. More critically, you may
discover something previously un-knowable, which causes you to make
major changes to project planning. OPTIMA provides the tools which
are required to overhaul your project plan without starting from
scratch. You determine the changed relationships, and additional
activities. Then you repeat the card trick. From this you will
decide how dependencies change, and which of the new activities are to
be ADDED, IMPLANTED, INSERTED, or APPENDED.

Here are two brief examples of special types of projects which may
help you determine the logical flow of your own work:

Cascaded or phased activities.

Several semi-independent series of activities.

CASCADED OR PHASED ACTIVITIES.

This type of project arises when a number of major activities are
divided into two or more parts or phases. As an example, you have a
project where data are collected, analyzed and processed, and the
results are reported. Each type of work may extend over a long
period. Different groups of people will do each kind of work. You
cannot afford to have only one group working at a time. Also, you
need the results as soon as possible. To accommodate this situa-
tion, you plan your project so that the major tasks are divided into
shorter, phased activities. These activities are then cascaded.
Figure 8 shows the result. Its development is discussed next.

Consider a project which requires collecting and analyzing some type
of geological data. Major categories of work might be:

PERFORM ALL PRELIMINARIES

COLLECT SAMPLES

ANALYZE SAMPLES

EVALUATE THE DATA

PREPARE FINAL REPORT

Each of these five items is an activity. The middle three -- COLLECT;
ANALYZE; EVALUATE -- can be divided into phases so that the work can
be cascaded. The first and last cannot.

The result of this division might be:

PERFORM ALL PRELIMINARIES


COLLECT SAMPLES, AREA I

COLLECT SAMPLES, AREA II

.

COLLECT SAMPLES, AREA N


ANALYZE SAMPLES, AREA I

ANALYZE SAMPLES, AREA II

.

ANALYZE SAMPLES, AREA N


EVALUATE THE DATA, AREA I

EVALUATE THE DATA, AREA I & II

.

EVALUATE THE DATA, ALL AREAS


PREPARE FINAL REPORT

When you plan your project in this manner, you can see that analysis
can start as soon as the first group of samples has been collected.
Likewise, data evaluation can begin when those first samples have been
analyzed. As noted above, this smooths out resource usage and
shortens the total project.

Now you determine the detailed activities which must be performed
under each category. Here are some general thoughts.

PERFORM ALL PRELIMINARIES

This includes all logistics, technical services, etc., which must be
arranged before sample collection can start. It also includes steps
which must be taken before work in other categories can start. What
must be done before any analysis can start? What preparations must be
made for organization? What can you organize in advance to speed up
preparing the final report?

COLLECT SAMPLES AREA X

Here you define the individual activities required to collect samples
in any area. You may include getting to the work site; setting up to
take samples; taking samples; preparing samples for shipment; shipping
samples to the analysts. The number of activities and their detail
will vary from project to project. You want to define clearly a
process which can be repeated in each area.

ANALYZE SAMPLES AREA X

Again, you must define a repetitive process. Exactly what discrete
steps -- activities -- must be performed on each set of samples. You
cover everything from their arrival until the results of the analyses
are sent to whomever will evaluate the data.

EVALUATE DATA AREA X

The work here is a series of activities where new data are merged with
previously received data. Depending on the requirements of the
project, you may be searching for patterns or trends which cover more
than one area. Quite frankly, this is likely to be the mushiest part
of your plan. Your experience and judgement will allow you to define
a general evaluation process. No one can foresee what may show up
during the evaluation which will profoundly affect the details and
conclusions which will go into the final report.

PREPARE FINAL REPORT

Activities here will include one or more drafts; reviews / revisions /
approvals; final typing; re-production; presentation to the customer.

SEVERAL SEMI-INDEPENDENT SERIES OF ACTIVITIES

Sometimes a number of tasks must be performed concurrently which may
use some of the same resources, but are otherwise fairly independent.
Examples of this include maintenance which must be performed while a
plant is shut down, or a warship which is in upkeep. Figure 9 shows
this type of project in skeletal form.

In both instances there is a common start and a common finish. The
plant must be shut down. The ship must be moored. When the required
work has been done, everything must be tested before operations can
resume. Some of the work may be performed by outside groups. Other
work may be done by the regular crew. There may be some work which
requires a mix of the two. Testing and acceptance is done by the
regular crew.

Here is some more information to help you master the difficult chore
of organizing the flow of your work. It starts with a typical, and
very general, list of work to be accomplished. Activities are listed
as they came to mind. They are not in work group sequence, much less
in the actual order of work. It is one way to get your thoughts
organized before you start filling out POCKET PLANNER cards. Some
thoughts on additions to this list, and different ways to organize the
work, follow this list.

Activity Name Work Group Responsibility

OBTAIN REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Prepare Marketing
IDENTIFY DELIVERABLES IN RFP Prepare Marketing
ATTEND BIDDER'S CONFERENCE Prepare Marketing
PREPARE PROPOSAL Prepare Marketing
APPROVE PROPOSAL Prepare Admin.
DELIVER PROPOSAL Prepare Marketing
NEGOTIATE CONTRACT Prepare Admin.
PREPARE DESIGN Design Engineering
SUBMIT DESIGN Design Engineering
OBTAIN MATERIALS Procure Manufacturing
OBTAIN PURCHASED COMPONENTS Procure Manufacturing
FABRICATE PARTS Produce Manufacturing
ASSEMBLE SUB-SYSTEMS Produce Manufacturing
SHOP-TEST COMPONENTS Produce Manufacturing
PREPARE MANUALS Produce Engineering
PREPARE INSP & TEST PROCEDURES Produce Quality Assurance
SHOP-TEST SUB-SYSTEMS Produce Quality Assurance
PREPARE SITE FOR SYSTEM Install Sub-contractor
DELIVER SYSTEM TO SITE Install Sub-contractor
DELIVER SPARE PARTS AS REQ. Support Field crew
DELIVER MANUALS & PROCEDURES Support Field crew
TRAIN USERS Support Field crew
PROVIDE TECHNICAL SUPPORT Support Field crew
TEST COMPLETED INSTALLATION Install Quality Assurance
OPERATE SYSTEM FOR SHAKEDOWN Install Field crew
DELIVER DRAWINGS & AND LISTS Install Field crew
OPERATE SYSTEM UNDER WARRANTY Install Field crew
SETTLE CLAIMS Complete Admin.
RECEIVE FINAL PAYMENT Complete Admin.
CLOSE OUT CONTRACT Complete Admin.
PAY FOR MATERIALS Procure Manufacturing
PAY FOR COMPONENTS Procure Manufacturing
INSTALL SYSTEM Install Sub-contractor
INSPECT INSTALLED SYSTEM Install Quality Assurance
CONTRACT FOR INSTALLATION Procure Admin.
PAY FOR INSTALLATION Procure Admin.
IDENTIFY CUSTOMER Prepare Marketing

The single item INSTALL SYSTEM really covers a lot of work. At the
very least, it should probably be replaced with something like the
following:

Activity Name Work Group Responsibility

INSTALL MAJOR COMPONENTS Install Sub-contractor
INSTALL ELECTRICAL POWER Install Sub-contractor
INSTALL PIPING & DUCTS Install Sub-contractor
INSTALL CONTROL SYSTEM Install Sub-contractor
TEST SYSTEMS Install Quality Assurance
CONNECT SYSTEMS & COMPONENTS Install Sub-contractor

Depending on the size of the job, the work identified as Design and
Install could easily be two separate projects. On some jobs, the
installation work might be cascaded, whether it was a separate project
or not. This approach is especially useful at a construction site
where both system and component installation depend upon completion of
work by other contractors.


  3 Responses to “Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : OPTIMA.ZIP
Filename : PLANNING.OPT

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: http://www.os2museum.com/wp/mtswslnk/