Using the flexibility of the plan

Initially, most plans have a degree of flexibility. For instance, the duration or start and end dates of some tasks may be changed. So too might the number of people assigned to tasks, or the quality of the output might be negotiated. But any change made to one aspect of the plan usually has an effect elsewhere, so taking advantage of the potential flexibility in a plan is not always straightforward. The activity network illustrates this point.

This is a way of looking at the project's timeline to gauge the effect of moving tasks or products. For instance, Figure 7.10 is a summary of the Gantt chart in Figure 7.7 on page 122.

Product 1 is slightly different in character from the others. It can slip on the timescale for a limited period without affecting the end date of the project itself. If its end date moves beyond day 6, product 4 will be affected because it depends on product 1 and will slip by the same amount. However, until product 1 affects product 4, the flexibility for it to move may be helpful. The activity network identifies tasks and products where there is potential for movement and explicitly identifies those where there is none. It looks like the product flow diagram laid on its side (Figure 7.11).

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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