Developing WBS Breakdown Structure

Developing WBS Breakdown Structure

QUESTION

There are two discussions here that need to be responded to thoroughly. Responses must be on APA format 150+words 1-2 legitimate verifiable sources per response.

CIS5554 discussion 1 post responses.

Respond to the colleagues posts regarding:

“Guidelines for WBS” Please respond to the following:

• The Work Breakdown Structure is an essential tool for planning and managing the activities of a software project. Suggest three guidelines that may be used when developing a WBS. Explain why each guideline is critical to the development of the WBS.

• Analyze how each guideline identified in Part 1 of this discussion can enhance a project manager’s ability to manage the project during the planning and controlling phases of the project.

AJ’s post states the following:

• The Work Breakdown Structure is an essential tool for planning and managing the activities of a software project. Suggest three guidelines that may be used when developing a WBS. Explain why each guideline is critical to the development of the WBS.

The work breakdown structure (WBS) is tool that project managers use to understand each requirement by breaking down the activities/ tasks of a specific requirement to its lowest level. There are multiple guidelines or approaches that a project manager can use to create a WBS. A few guidelines that I am aware that are used in project management is the top-down approach, bottom-up approach and mind mapping.

The top-down approach to a WBS is to understand the main components or requirements of the project. Once this is accomplished the project team will support the project manager in breaking them down into more manageable activities and tasks. The bottom-up approach is similar but backwards. The project team will make a list of all task and activities related to the project at hand. This list will be later categorized to specific requirements.

Mind mapping on the other hand is a visual process that utilizes brainstorming. Imagine a whiteboard with the main idea/ concept in the middle of the whiteboard. From there, a line is drawn for each component that is needed to execute the main idea/ concept. For each branch that leads to a task or concept they can be broken down even further as well. This will be shown by creating more branches. Once mind mapping is complete the project manager will have a sound understanding of the requirements as well as the technical resources need to accomplish them. Visually, the whiteboard will like big spider in the middle branching out creating more spiders. 

• Analyze how each guideline identified in Part 1 of this discussion can enhance a project manager’s ability to manage the project during the planning and controlling phases of the project.

The three guidelines above can enhance a project managers ability to manage a project during the planning & controlling phases by knowing the scope of work. If the project manager knows the scope, creating a budget, schedule or ensure the project team is equip with the necessary resources will be simplified. Pertaining to the controlling phase having a clear WBS means that baselines can be created for constraints. To have a baseline means that the project manager can measure progress. Better yet the project manager will be able to determine if a variance or a delta between the baseline and the current measurement is aligned or off.

CIS554 discussion 2 post responses.

Respond to the colleagues posts regarding:

“Critical Path Method (CPM)” Please respond to the following:

• The Critical Path Method can be used as a project management tool for determining the durations and slack times of project activities. Describe how this tool can be used to recover from schedule overruns of specific activities that are not on the critical path. Provide an example to justify your answer.

• Analyze how the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) method may be used in conjunction with CPM to schedule activities throughout the project life cycle.

LG’s post states the following:

“Critical Path Method (CPM)” Please respond to the following:  

The Critical Path Method can be used as a project management tool for determining the durations and slack times of project activities. Describe how this tool can be used to recover from schedule overruns of specific activities that are not on the critical path. Provide an example to justify your answer. 

The critical path method is an essential project management tool because it provides the schedule or duration of the project; basically how much time it will take to complete for start to finish.  Using the CPM, it provides the when a particular task can start or stop within the schedule using the duration (number of days to complete).  The CPM also defines the early or late starts/stops to determine if there any flexibility in the schedule, commonly known as float or slack.   

The CPM can assist with recovering a schedule for overruns as the float that has been identified can lead to “fast tracking” or compressing the schedule, where the project manager (PM) has the ability to take work tasks and perform them in parallel.  The other options is to take the slack time  and adjust them for non-critical tasks.  Another option is to “crash” the schedule where additional resources are assigned to the schedule to completion faster.  

The Critical Path Method (CPM): Critical Path Analysis Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.project-management-skills.com/critical-path-method.html

Fairley, R. (.  (10/2011). Managing and Leading Software Projects [VitalSource Bookshelf version].  Retrieved from vbk://9781118245279

Analyze how the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) method may be used in conjunction with CPM to schedule activities throughout the project life cycle. 

According to the textbook, the PERT method provides probability distributions for achieving project milestones on the schedule, based on the probability of completing each task along the path to that milestone, (Fairley, 2011).  Without the CPM, you would be able to use the duration insight to calculate the shortest and longest probable timeframe calculations.  Overall the PERT methods eliminates bias in the time estimates to make them more realistic than what may be previously presented in just using CPM.  

Tuabur, Sreekrishna, K. A., Sreekrishna, K. A., Bikash, Bikash, Ahmad, A., … Prem. (2019, January 8). Difference Between PERT and CPM (with Comparison Chart). Retrieved from https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-pert-and-cpm.html 

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