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Information Systems Project Management—David Olson

9-1

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-2

Chapter 9: Probabilistic Scheduling


Models
project evaluation and review
technique (PERT)
Simulation

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-3

PERT
• reflects PROBABILISTIC nature of
durations
• assumes BETA distribution
• same as CPM except THREE
duration estimates
optimistic
most likely
pessimistic
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-4

PERT Calculation
a = optimistic duration estimate
m = most likely duration estimate
b = pessimistic duration estimate
a + 4m + b
expected duration: e T =
6

2
variance:  b - a
V= 
 6 

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-5

PERT Example
activity duration
predecessor te
A requirements analysis 2/3/6 weeks -
3.33
B programming 3/6/10 weeks A
6.17
C get hardware 1/1/2 week A
1.17
D train users 3/3/3 weeks B, C
3.00
CRITICAL PATH: A-B-D
EXPECTED DURATION:
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-6

PERT Path Variance


• IF YOU ASSUME INDEPENDENCE
the variance of any path = sum of activity
variances for all activities on that path
NORMALLY DISTRIBUTED
• variance of the PROJECT = variance of
the CRITICAL PATH
• if more than one critical path,
PROJECT VARIANCE=largest of
CRITICAL
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-7

PERT Variance
• since NORMALLY DISTRIBUTED
– can estimate probability of completing project
on time
– can estimate probability of completing project
by any target date
if critical path expected = 9.5,
STD=1.354
target=10 Z=(10-9.5)/1.354 = .369
probability = .644
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-8

PERT Estimates
so what do you mean by optimistic,
pessimistic?
value you expect to be exceeded at α
probability level and not exceeded at 1-
α probability
• PROBLEM: estimating the MOST
LIKELY duration of most things is hard
• asking estimators to come up with
“What won’t be exceeded 95% of the
time” is blowing in the2004
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin wind.
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-9

Network Scheduling Methods

• a number of methods exist


– Gantt chart provides good visual
– network shows precedence well
– CPM identifies critical activities
– PERT reflects probability
– SIMULATION more accurate (still need data)

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-10

Why Simulate?

uncertainty
tool for study of expected
performance
for uncertainty, complexity
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-11

what is simulation?
• develop an abstract model of a system
– CPM is a precedence model
• whenever uncertain events are
encountered, use random numbers to
determine specific outcomes
• keep score (describe the
DISTRIBUTION of possible outcomes)

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-12

project management tools


• CPM - sort out complexity
(assumes certainty)
• PERT - considers uncertainty
but assumes an unrealistic
distribution
• SIMULATION
– set up model
– run it over and over
– keep score of the outcomes (any one
of which are possible)
© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-13

CPM model
• start all activities as soon as you can
• need to know when all
predecessors done
= start time
• duration is probabilistic (described
by a distribution)
• use random number to determine
specific duration from all possible
outcomes
• finish time© McGraw-Hill/Irwin
= start time 2004 + duration
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-14

Excel Model
A B C D E

1 Activity Duration Predecessor Start Finish

2 A 3 - 0 =B2+D2

3 B 7 A =E2 =B3+C3

4 C 1 A =E2 =B4+C4

5 D 3 B,C =MAX(E3,E4) =B5+C5

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-15

distributions
• Beta - assumed by PERT;
– mathematically convenient
• Normal
– requires symmetry, infinite limits
• Triangular - more flexible than
normal, close approximation
• exponential - not likely
• lognormal - might fit, but inflexible

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-16

Output Analysis

• Can generate as many samples as desired


• Can calculate probability by count
– do NOT have to assume any distribution
– count is easier, more accurate than normal
formulas
• Simulation is often the means used to
generate distribution tables

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-17

why should a manager


care?
• simulation provides greater
accuracy than PERT
• simulation the most flexible
analytic tool

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004
Information Systems Project Management—David Olson
9-18

Summary
• Project durations have high degrees of
uncertainty
• PERT a probabilistic form of CPM
– Sound idea – reflects uncertain durations
– Not much more accurate – too rigid
• Simulation a much more flexible and
appropriate tool for modeling uncertainty

© McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2004