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The Dynamic Progress Method

Book Description

Recent computer-based tools for project planning and management focus on user-friendliness and interconnectivity. However, these programs function on the Critical Path Method, or CPM, which was created in the 1950s. These programs, which involve simplistic models and methods, ignore the fact that the underlying computations on which they function have become woefully inadequate for the complex projects of today.

The product of nearly a decade of work, The Dynamic Progress Method: Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management provides an overview of the research conducted while illustrating some of the issues with current approaches. It presents the Dynamic Progress Method (DPM), an innovative simulation-based approach to project management. It also includes instructions on how to use the accompanying DPM-based simulation tool pmBLOX to plan, manage, and analyze projects.

This groundbreaking book is a must-have resource for project planning and management. It introduces a new and better way of planning, estimating, and managing projects that corrects some of the fundamental flaws of the CPM. It brings the computational integrity of planning simulations up to speed with modern needs, making it useful not only to current project managers but also to students who will become project managers.

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Overview Summary
  4. Authors
  5. Chapter 1: Introduction
    1. Background of Research
    2. Getting Good Projects for the Research
    3. Results of the DARPA SBIR Effort
    4. Example: Large Defense Contract
    5. Basic Issues with Microsoft Project Algorithms (and the CPM)
      1. Issue 1: Changing the Number of Resources with No Impact on Productivity
      2. Issue 2: Changing Daily Work Time for Resources with No Impact on Productivity
      3. Issue 3: Ease of Use versus Practicality
    6. Direct Comparisons Between Microsoft Project and pmBLOX
      1. Test Case 1: Resource Availability
        1. Microsoft Project
        2. pmBLOX
      2. Test Case 2: Resource Switch with Productivity Loss
        1. Microsoft Project
        2. pmBLOX
    7. What Does This Mean for Project Managers?
    8. Reference
  6. Chapter 2: Why “Dynamic Progress Method?”
    1. Introduction
    2. Understanding Systems and System Complexity
    3. Classes of Business Models
    4. System Complexity and Project Complexity
    5. Introducing the DPM
    6. References
  7. Chapter 3: The Current Status of Project Management
    1. Introduction
    2. Project Failure Rates Are Greater than Zero
    3. Larger Projects Suffer More than Smaller Projects
    4. Some Project Failures Are Preventable
    5. The Need for a Revolutionary Project Planning and Management Tool
    6. References
  8. Chapter 4: Critical Path Method and Earned Value Management
    1. Introduction
    2. CPM Refresher
      1. Step 1: Specify the Individual Activities
      2. Step 2: Determine the Sequence of the Activities
      3. Step 3: Draw a Network Diagram
      4. Step 4: Estimate the Completion Time for Each Activity
      5. Step 5: Identify the Critical Path
      6. Step 6: Update the CPM Diagram as the Project Progresses
    3. Some Comments on Program Evaluation and Review Technique
    4. Benefits and Disadvantages of PERT/CPM
      1. Task Duration Is an Input
      2. Resource Productivity Impacts Are Not Considered
      3. Management Corrective Actions Are Not Captured
    5. Some Comments on Critical Chain
    6. Uncertainty and Monte Carlo Analysis
    7. Additional Issues with PERT/CPM
    8. EV Refresher
    9. References
  9. Chapter 5: The New Approach of Dynamic Progress Method
    1. Introduction
    2. A Simple Project Framework for Consideration
    3. DPM and PERT/CPM: Different Sides of the Same Coin
    4. DPM and System Dynamics
    5. References
  10. Chapter 6: Overview of the Dynamic Progress Method Simulation Model
    1. Introduction
    2. Basic Task Structure
    3. Resource Productivity
    4. Management Corrective Actions
    5. Consequences of Corrective Actions
    7. A Final Note on the DPM Model
  11. Chapter 7: Overview of pmBLOX
    1. Introduction
    2. Installing and Running pmBLOX
    3. Example 1—Creating your First Project Plan
    4. Example 2—Defining a task Resource
    5. Example 3—Productivity Impacts
    6. Example 4—Varying Productivity Impacts
    7. Example 5—Responding to Reduced Productivity
    8. Example 6—Multiple task Resources
    9. Example 7—The Role of Scope Mode
    10. Example 8—Task Dependencies
    11. Example 9—Working with Materials
    12. Final Comments
  12. Chapter 8: Advanced Capabilities of Dynamic Progress Method
    1. Introduction
    2. Example Microsoft Project File
    3. Importing a Microsoft Project XML File into pmBLOX
    4. Accelerating the Project
    5. Schedule and Cost Trade-Offs