We have heard differing opinions on the value of each of the tools we have described, including many of the computerized project management information systems (PMISs). We have been told, "No one uses PERT/CPM/Precedence Diagramming," "No one uses three-time PERT," and "No one uses_.computer package." But we have first-hand knowledge of PERT users, of CPM users, of precedence diagram users. We know PMs who collect and use three time PERT. For example, refer to the boxed Apartment Complex example (Figure 8-27).
Figure 8-27 is a portion of a 48-step action plan for the syndication of an apartment complex. Note that several of the steps are obvious composites of multistep action plans designed for a lower level (e.g., see 1-4). Figure 8-28 is an AON network of Figure 8-27. The firm also has a Gantt chart version of the network that is used for tracking each project. Figure 8-27 also contains three time estimates of the "calendar" time used for each step (in days) and of the "resource" time used for each step (in hours). The time estimate 2(10) is read, "2 days, 10 labor-hours." The duplicate data are useful for scheduling work loads.
We are reluctant to give advice about which tools to use. If the PM indulges in a bit of experimentation with the major systems, their relative advantages and disadvantages in a given application will become evident. We have noted Bubshait and Selen's work |9| on the use of project management techniques, and Digman and Green |14j have developed an interesting and useful framework for evaluating the various planning and control techniques. The PM should opt for the simplest method sufficient to the needs of the project and its parent firm. If a computerized PM1S is used, the problem is avoided. Most require inputs of specific form and produce their own unique outputs. Again, a thorough demonstration of the PMIS should be a prerequisite to purchase or lease. In the end, these tools are intended to help the PM manage the project. The PM should select those that seem most useful—and most comfortable. The PMISs will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 10.
1. Product package received by Secy. n/a (.3) (.4) in Real Estate (R.E.) Dept.
2. Secy, checks for duplicates, and forwards all packages in Atlanta region (but not addressed to R.E. n/a (.2) (.3)
staff member) to Atl. via fast mail. Atl. office sends copy of submittal log to L.A. office on weekly basis.
3. Secy, date stamps, logs, checks for duplication, makes new file, checks for contact source, adds to card file all new packages. Sends (.7) (.7) (.9)
criteria letter to new source. Send duplication letter. Forwards package to Admin. Asst. (AA).
4. AA reviews package, completes Property Summary Form, forwards to
officer or to R.E. staff member to whom package is addressed. Total 1-4 1(1.7) 1(1.7) 3(2.3) 1.3 0.11 1.8 0.01
5. Person to whom package forwarded determines action. (May refer to other or retain for 1(.5) 1(.5) 1(1) 1.0 .58 0.01
further review.) "Passes" sent to Secy, for files. "Possibles" retained by RAD for further review.
6. RAD gets add'l data as needed, gets demographics and comparables. 4(3) 5(3) 3(2.3) 5.5 0.69 3.83 0.69 Rough numbers run. Looks for the "opportunities." If viable, continue.
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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.