A-Z About Project Management

Today On Building Contractor secrets, i would like to talk about Project management. On this post, you will be learning the basic terms as applicable to project management and in another post, i will be solving some problems in project management using either CPM. PERT to help you see where these terms can be applied.

What Is Project Management?
Project management is simply that discipline that involves the initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the work of a team in order to achieve specific organizational goals and meet specific success criteria.

A Project management system assists a project manager in executing and controlling project activities effectively in order to meet the needs of sponsors as regards the project at hand.

What Is Planning?
Planning is simply an aspect of project management that defines the objectives of the project and listing the tasks involved

What is scheduling?
Scheduling has to do with the arrangement of tasks in a specific order especially in the order in which they’re to be performed and allocating the necessary resources needed for such tasks.

What Is Controlling?
Controlling involves calculation of the optimum, durations of each activity and quantity of resources to bring out the successfull completion of the project.

What are the Terms Associated with Project Management?

When it comes to project management, there are over 18 terms that applies, these terms will be explained in the simplest terms

1. Event

This is a specific instant of time. it usually marks the start or end of an activity. An event consumes neither time nor resources

2. Activity

An Activity is the actual performance of the task. It requires time and resources for its completion. An activity as a term is used to depict the the work required to complete a specific task

3. Predecessor activity

The activity proceeding to any given activity is called the predecessor activity.

4. Successor activity

The activity succeeding to any given activity is called the successor activity.

5. Duration

Duration is the estimated or actual time required to complete a task or an activity.

6. Earliest start time (EST)

It is defined as the earliest possible time at which an activity can start. It is calculated by moving from first to last event in a network diagram.

7. Earliest finish time (EFT)

It is the earliest possible time at which an activity can finish.

EFT = EST + duration of that activity.

8. Latest finish time (LFT)

It is calculated by moving from last event to the first event of the network diagram.

9. Latest start time

It is the latest possible time by which an activity can start.

LST = LFT – duration of that activity.

10. Float or Slack

Stack is with reference to an event and float is with reference to an activity. Float is the difference between time available for completing an activity and the time necessary to complete an activity.

11. Total Float

It is the time span by which the starting and finishing an activity can be delayed without delaying the completion of the project. It is the additional time, which a non critical activity can consume without increasing the project duration.

12. Critical path

It is the sequence of critical activities, which decide the total project duration. A critical path consumes maximum resources. It is the longest path and consumes maximum time. It is the one, which connects the events having zero minimum float.

13. PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique)

It is a probabilistic model with uncertainty in activity duration. It is an event oriented approach used for planning, controlling and reviewing the project. The expected time for each activity can be calculated using three time estimates-

Optimistic time (to)
Most likely time ™
Pessimistic time (tp)
It is used to find the applications in projects where resources(3m – en, materials and money) are always made available as and when required.

14. CPM (Critical Path Method)

CPM is a deterministic model with well known activity time based upon past experience. It assumes that , the expected time is actually the time taken. It is an activity oriented system and marks the critical activities. CPM is employed to those projects where minimum overall cost is important and there is better utilization of resources.

15. Network Updating

It is defined as an adjustment to the network diagram, which becomes necessary owing to departure from the project schedule laid down earlier. It is the process of incorporating the changes in the network, which have occurred due to planning and rescheduling.

16. Resource

A resource is a physical variable such as labour, finance, equipment and space, which will impose limitation on time for the project.

17. Resource Smoothing

This implies scheduling the activities within the limit of their total float, such that fluctuations in the resource requirements are minimized. In resource smoothing the main constraint is the project duration time. But the activities having floats are shifted so that a uniform demand on the resources is achieved.

18. Resource Leveling

In resource leveling, the main constraint would be the resources and if the maximum demand on any resource is not exceed a certain limit, the activities will then have to be rescheduled so that the total demand on the resource at any time will be within the limit. The project duration time consequently is exceeded.

These are the 18 terms you must know as a construction management student or a project manager. I hope you learnt from it. Please share with others as it could help them in their pursuit too.

Recommended:  What is Cadastral Survey?

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Hi, I'm Richard Nwachukwu! It is my job to handle the content aspect of this great organization and I'm determined to ensure you get it all right as long as you're handling a construction project in Nigeria!

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