Introducing New Projects

New projects can arrive in a multiproject environment at any time. You will have a list of prioritized projects and a drum schedule, and you will know the status of all of the ongoing projects. You have to fit the new project into the system.

The only way to schedule a new project is through the drum schedule. To do this, management must first decide the new project's priority. It may be of the lowest priority if management prefers the first-in, first-out priority method, or it may be of higher priority than some of the ongoing projects. For example, the new project may be for a very important customer, and therefore, management may want to give it higher priority than in-house projects.

You then must prepare the critical-chain schedule for the new project to determine when (in relative time) it will demand use of the drum resource. You can then fit this resource demand into the proper sequence in the drum schedule. The drum schedule determines the start time for the project by backing up from the time the drum resource will be available for the new project.

If the new project is placed at a higher priority than some of the ongoing projects, the schedule of the ongoing projects will change. This may lead to an interruption of work. You should use common sense when interrupting project work (e.g., you should not interrupt nearly completed tasks or tasks that do not have immediate demand for the resource from another project). Management should consider the potential impact of these interruptions when placing a new project at higher priority than an ongoing project.

Figure 7.6 illustrates the introduction of a higher priority-project into a drum schedule. You first put it into the schedule, assuming the project will start right away, but above the next lower-priority project as illustrated in Figure 7.6. You put projects of lower priority than the new project above the new project. Then, you fit in the drum use as best you can as illustrated in Figure 7.7. This may lead to suspending some ongoing projects. If you do suspend ongoing projects, you should do so wisely (e.g., do not stop nearly complete tasks without completing the task result).

Always keep in mind that the worst possible priority decision is not to make a priority decision, to encourage everyone to do his or her best. This inevitably causes bad multitasking and the worst performance on all of the projects.

Earliest possible demand for resource (from orange project plan)

Figure 7.6 A new project is added to the drum demand and judged by management to be higher in priority than an ongoing project.

Earliest possible demand for resource (from orange project plan)

Figure 7.6 A new project is added to the drum demand and judged by management to be higher in priority than an ongoing project.

Time now

No impact on blue

Time now

Scheduled start of orange project i

Scheduled start of orange project

Earliest available, without impacting yellow or green

Figure 7.7 Resolving the drum demand sets the schedule for the drum resource in each project, including the new project.

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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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