Ponder the other Ws and associated issues

Analogous issues may need to be dealt with for other project Ws besides the whichway, and some basic structural linkages between the Ws usually require attention. Consider some illustrations.

A Gantt chart, defined by the precedence relationships between activities and base estimates for activity durations, provides a base estimate of the overall project when. It may be useful to ensure that formal links between Gantt charts and activity-on-node network diagrams are in place in terms of a joint computer-based model at this stage. This allows rapid assessment of the effect of a change in the whichway on the when, and vice versa.

Project resource usage can be linked to Gantt charts via standard resource-planning models. If resource usage is a potential area of restriction, it may be worth using these models to explore just how much flexibility is available. In the limit, some projects are resource-driven and should be managed in a manner that reflects this.

Project direct and indirect costs can be linked to Gantt charts via resource usage and cost, or directly via time-cost functions. These can be used to explore the flexibility associated with the project when, in overall project terms, and in relation to specific activities. The possible use of such models was alluded to in Chapter 7. At this stage ensuring such a model is not required if it is not already in place becomes an issue.

It may be useful to recognize formal links between project whichway/when/ wherewithal issues and the project what. For example, in a generalized PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) model framework decision trees can be used to embed design change decisions into a base plan network, using what are called 'decision nodes' as well as precedence nodes. For example, if a test on a high-risk component is successful the project proceeds using it, but if the test fails an alternative approach is adopted.

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