Reflection 7: Types of scheduling tasks

In this week’s reflection, discuss the following methods used to schedule tasks:

 GANTT charts are sequential timelines that create tasks, milestones and assigns resources and allows tracking and reporting.

A GANTT chart is a bar graph that plots the project activities across the project time line. It is an effective project monitoring and reporting tool and shows:

  • the minimum total time needed for each activity and the whole project
  • major project milestones
  • the correct order of activities
  • activities that must be done before another can start (interdependency)
  • activities that can be done at the same time (concurrency)
  • enables effective management and delegation of tasks to project team
  • slack times when no activities are happening.

Critical path method

Critical path analysis is a technique for calculating the duration of the project by analysing and calculating the duration of the longest path (the critical path) through the project. Typically you are trying to determine the shortest path to complete a project. However, the critical path method looks at all tasks within the project and based on their sequence measures the path through this sequence that could potentially take the longest time. This helps estimate a realistic timeframe in which to complete the project.

PERT analysis

PERT analysis is a technique that is used when there is a high degree of uncertainty about the individual activity duration estimates. PERT calculates the critical path method but uses statistically weighted average duration estimates. PERT uses probabilistic estimates, which are activity duration estimates based on three criteria:

  • optimistic duration
  • most likely duration
  • pessimistic duration.

The three estimates are then statistically averaged using a formula called the weighted average formula.

The formula is: ED=BD+(4*LD)+WD/6

Where: ED = Estimated event duration

BD = Best duration – shortest time needed to complete the activity

LD = Likely duration — the time most likely needed to complete the activity

WD = Worst duration — the longest time required to complete the activity

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