Project Scheduling and Cost

Anonymous
timer Asked: Nov 29th, 2016

Question description

Governmental and nongovernmental acquisition projects each have their own set of challenges, including extra regulatory activities. The basic project management scheduling and cost principles still apply. Cost and earned value analysis play an important role, just as they would in any project, to keep an acquisition project on track. In this course, you are asked to develop a Acquisition Project Scheduling and Cost Management Plan that allows you to select and integrate scheduling, performance, and cost-related tools to enhance the overall scheduling and cost control of an acquisition project. You will select a project that you may have developed in a previous class or a known project in an organization that is an acquisition-type project to create this plan for.

Throughout this course, you will be working on developing several components of the final Key Assignment. Additional information and the deliverables for each Individual Project will be provided in the assignment description for this project.

In this first Individual Project, you are asked to develop the outline of the sections that will be included in the Acquisition Project Scheduling and Cost Management Plan document and a draft of a proposal to submit to your instructor. The other information you will include is a high-level description of the project that you will be developing for a small-acquisition project.

You will also be setting up the final Key Assignment outline that you will add to each week. The combined Individual Project (IP) assignments will be your final Key Assignment deliverable.

Project Selection

The first step will be to select a project for which you want to develop a Acquisition Project Scheduling and Cost Management plan. This project will be used as the basis for each of the assignments throughout the course and should conform to the following guidelines:

  • Nontrivial: The selected project candidate should reflect a real-life project.
  • Domain knowledge: You will be applying knowledge of this acquisition project to address assignments related to scheduling and cost.

Select a project that fits these requirements, and submit your proposal to your instructor before proceeding further with the assignments in the course. Approval should be sought within the first few days of the course. Your instructor will tell you how to submit this proposal and what notification will be given for project approval.

Assignment

Your first task in this process will be to select a project to use as the basis of your Key Assignment. You will also create the shell document for the final project Key Assignment document deliverable that you will be working on throughout the course. As you proceed through each project phase, you will add content to each section of the final document to progressively complete the final project delivery, which is the Acquisition Project Scheduling and Cost Management Plan.

The project deliverables are the following:

  • Submit your project proposal to your instructor for approval.
  • Acquisition Project Scheduling and Cost Management Plan document shell
    • Use Word
    • Title page
      • Course number and name
      • Project name
      • Your name
      • Date
    • Table of Contents (TOC)
      • Use an autogenerated TOC.
      • This should be on a separate page.
      • This should be a maximum of 3 levels deep.
      • Be sure to update the fields of the TOC so that it is up-to-date before submitting your project.
    • Section headings (create each heading on a new page with "TBD" as the content, except for sections listed under "New Content" below)
      • Project Outline
      • Cost, Schedule, and Technical Performance Management
      • Management of Small Projects
      • Acquisition Project Guidelines
      • Costing Methods and Tools
      • Earned Value Management System
      • Overall Cost and Schedule Performance
  • New content to be inserted in document shell
    • Project Outline
      • Give a brief description of the project.
      • Discuss the overall project deliverable.
      • The material can be taken from approved proposal submitted to instructor, and this will serve as the draft for the proposal.
      • Be sure this project is approved by the instructor.
    • Cost, Schedule, and Technical Performance
      • Discuss cost techniques both in determining initial estimates and in monitoring and controlling them throughout the life of the project.
      • Determine the project schedule for the acquisition component of the overall project and include a copy of it.
      • Develop the program evaluation and review technique (PERT) and critical path method (CPM) for this Key Assignment acquisition project, and include copies of those charts in this section.
      • Describe all of the key schedule influencers that can impact a schedule positively or negatively and how you would handle them.
Management of Small Projects
  • Develop your small acquisition project schedule using MS Project (tasks, predecessors, duration, and resources assigned).
  • Copy a screen print of the schedule and Gantt chart into this shell.
  • Copy a screen print of the critical path network diagram, or of the Gantt screen of the Tracking Gantt view showing the critical path into this shell.
  • Describe the specific processes that you will use within each of the 5 Project Management Institute (PMI®) process groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling and closing.
Acquisition Project Guidelines
  • Update the project plan and Gantt Chart with acquisition project activities with MS Project, and copy it into this section.
  • Develop a request for proposal (RFP) template for the acquisition project with the elements discussed in the Discussion Board for this week.
  • Develop a table with the vendor evaluation criteria.
  • Diagram and describe the vendor status update process.

You are now ready to apply costing methods, tools, and techniques to your project. There are many of these available to assist you in determining your overall budget, as well as to estimate the durations for individual tasks. These methods could include the following:

  • Expert judgment
  • Analogous estimating
  • Parametric estimating
  • Bottom-up estimating
  • Three-point estimating
  • Reserve analysis
  • Cost of quality
  • Project management estimating software
  • Vendor bid analysis

You will be responsible for using your plan that you developed in Weeks 2 and 3 to estimate your budget for your key assignment project. You should apply 2 of the above methods to determine a worst-case scenario budget. Please put your calculations in a spreadsheet similar to the following:

Deliverables

The following are the overall project deliverables:

  • Update the Key Assignment document title page with a new date and project name.
  • Update the previously completed sections based on the instructor's feedback.
  • Create the following new section: 
    • Costing Methods and Tools
      • Select 2 of the costing methods, and discuss why they will support developing a realistic budget.
      • Provide an example of computations for a few of the activities for the 2 selected methods.
      • Fill in a table similar to the example table so that your 2 different total project budgets are based on the 2 selected methods.
      • Discuss what type of contingency budget you will put in place based on the 2 budgets to mitigate an underestimation.
Earned Value Management System
  • Discuss how an earned value analysis will be utilized for this project or Key Assignment, including the formulas to compute earned value analysis (EVA).
  • Cover the following 4 scenarios and what you should do:
    • Behind schedule and over budget: Include a sample calculation that would trigger this interpretation, along with a graph.
    • Ahead of schedule and on budget: Include a sample calculation that would trigger this interpretation, along with a sample graph.
    • Behind schedule and on budget: Include a sample calculation that would trigger this interpretation, along with a sample graph.
    • Ahead of schedule and under budget: Include a sample calculation that would trigger this interpretation, along with a sample graph.
  • Discuss for each of the above situations how you compute the final cost and end date if nothing changes with its present state.
  • Overall Cost and Schedule Performance
    • Discuss how you will monitor progress.
    • Discuss what metrics, reports, and graphs you will use to monitor progress.
    • Discuss how they would determine the cause of the variation.
    • Discuss how you will respond to deviations; (specifically around schedule compression and a contingency budget).

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