Project planning tools can help a project manager keep his or her projects on schedule and..

Project planning tools can help a project manager keep his or her projects on schedule and budget. Each tool is unique and has different strengths and limitations. Each may be more or less useful in different organizational contexts. One example of a project planning tool is the ‘Bottom-Up Analysis’, which is used to improve the accuracy of the overall estimate of the project. The advantage of this tool is that the project is broken into smaller components, which allows for better accuracy in estimating. A disadvantage is that it is a very time consuming process to complete. So, a Bottom-Up Analysis could be helpful on a large project that had many tasks and milestones with a lengthy schedule, but not helpful on a project that has a very quick turnaround time.

Informed, critical practitioners must be able to evaluate a variety of tools in order to understand their value and applicability in different situations, and to propose improvements to planning tools and strategies when needed. Though you may find yourself adopting a favourite set of project planning tools that you will use regularly, it is good practice to explore the various project planning tools you have available to you, and gain a general understanding of each. In this way, you can select the best tool in a given situation and increase your odds of success, even if it is a tool you do not use frequently. In other words, keep all the tools in your ‘toolkit’ sharpened; you never know when you might need them.

For the second part of your Final Project, you will prepare a critique of two project planning tools. This Shared Activity will enable you to begin working on this critique.

QUESTION:

  • Make a list of all the project planning tools you have encountered from the Resources or from independent research. Next to each project planning tool, identify the tool’s best use, any unique characteristics of the tool and any additional information you consider useful.

  • Select two of the project planning tools from your list, not including the Bottom-Up Analysis that was used as an example.

  • Post your analysis of the strengths and limitations of these two tools, comparing their usefulness when appropriate.



 
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