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General Process for Selecting and Setting Baselines, Coursework Example

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Coursework

What is the general process for selecting and setting baselines?

In order for one to select the most appropriate baselines for a given project. The procedure of baseline selection and setting should help the project developer identify the plausible and credible baseline and mitigating the costs associated with the given baseline through two methods, (1) the reduction of the number of plausible baseline alternatives and executing a formal test that gives adequate ranking to the potential baseline options. The procedure entails the following steps:

  1. Detecting the plausible baseline option for every deliverable within the project.
  2. Employing the candidate elimination technique to eliminate the non-viable baseline alternatives.
  3. In the case where the proposed project is the sole viable baseline, terminate the baseline selection process.
  4. In the case where there is more than one viable baseline, execute the Barrier Test. Terminate the baseline selection process if one definitive baseline is provided for all the variants in assumptions within the test.
  5. In the case where there is no definitive baseline but competing baselines from the Barrier Test, employ the IRT (Investment Ranking Test).
  6. Terminate the baseline selection process if one definitive baseline is provided.

What are diagnostic metrics?

These are measures that cannot be categorized completely as lagging or leading indicators. However, capturing these measures are essential for the optimal performance of a project. Diagnostic measures indicatethe health or current state of the project. They potentially identify underlying anomalies and be used to forecasts problems before they occur.

Provide three examples, explaining what they would measure.

  • Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS): also known as Planned Value (PV). This is a running accrual of all the planned costs for ever individual activity entailed within the project that was anticipated to be complete up to the present.
  • Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP): also known as Earned Value (EV). This is a running accrual of all the costs associated with all the project’s activities that are complete in the present.
  • Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP): also known as Actual Cost (AC). This is a running accrual of all the actual costs of all the project’s activities that are complete at the present.
  • Cost Variance (CV): this is the measurement of how over budgeted or under budgeted a project is. It is obtained by getting the difference between BCWP (Budgeted Cost of Work Performed) and ACWP (Actual Cost of Work Performed).

What guidelines does Kendrick give for collecting inputs?

Kendrick believes that the collection of inputs, in the form of information, is an essential part to the management and control of the project. This should be done in every cycle in a timely manner. This is essential in maintaining dedication and optimum output through status collections. Provision of adequate time for response is essential in receiving accurate information. However, these responses should have deadlines. A project manager should also exercise professionalism in requesting and reacting to status inputs when they are provided to them. These status inputs are essential in synchronizing all facets of a project and ensuring they are in line with the project’s goals and within the set limits engrained in the project scope.

What should you do with variances that you find?

There are cases where the status input data provided does not tally with present and/or past data compared with other inputs. In such a case, the project lead has to discuss the status input data with the individual who provided the status input. This process is crucial in validating the information and ascertaining its accuracy and reliability using open question on the areas of concern.

However, at times, these deviances represent a systemic or procedural problem. It is therefore essential to identify the underlying differences between the status input data and the project baseline so as to execute reactionary measures to remedy the underlying problem. When variances are adverse, they are precursors to a major problem in the near future.

It is also important that one investigates a variance before handing in their status input. This is only to be done for those variances that are unaccounted for and present a radical variable within the project. It is important to ascertain whether the variance is an event that is likely to recur or it is a single, one-off event.

Question 5: Review the “Miracles Happened on Tuesdays” vignette. What does this demonstrate about the power of status collection?

The vignette details the importance of status collection. Status collection is essential in getting all the latest information pertaining to the different facets and functions of the project. This is crucial in determining the project’s position relative to its objectives, goals, targets and scope. This helps in identifying underlying problems before they manifest into serious production-crippling issues. This also helps in identifying the underlying problems and challenges within the various project functions.

What are the pros and cons of using EVM as a metric?

EVM as a matric can be an effective tool in enhancing control on a given project. However, there are also numerous potential pitfalls to utilizing EVM as a metric.

Advantages

  • It is best suited for a short-term work packages
  • Easy and objective technique of obtaining the earned value for an activity

Disadvantages

  • It relies on summary metrics. Thus, poor performance can be hidden by acceptable summary level performance which cause easy to accomplish task and Level of Effort (LOE)
  • The use of SPI fails to account for tasks critically and cannot be held true for schedule performance
  • It over-relies on data provided in Format 1 and ignores the issues in the staffing or baseline data
  • It is prone to provision of unreliable data as most assume reliability of data. This can cause incomplete baselines.

Describe the alternative to EVM explained by Kendrick, telling why a manager might use it and the differences between what it shows and what EVM shows.

The zone method is one of the best alternatives to EVM. This is because there are some projects that cannot sustain the administrative load that is synonymous of EVM. The Zone Method employs two specific metric; labor hours and schedule events to keep track of the project’s progress. The schedule event provides the measurable beginning and end of a given project activity. Project costs are usually influenced by the amount of direct labor hours, s tracking labor hours can help track costs. This technique is essential in detecting underlying cost and schedule variances from the predetermined baseline.

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