Project Management SIMPLIFIED - Defining the Project - Introduction & Class 1 of 8 | Wolf Matejek | Skillshare

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Project Management SIMPLIFIED - Defining the Project - Introduction & Class 1 of 8

teacher avatar Wolf Matejek, Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Author & Trainer

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Project Management SIMPLIFIED - Introduction

    • 2. Defining the Project - Class 1

    • 3. Class 2 Listing the project tasks

    • 4. Class 3 Estimating Project Time and Costs

    • 5. Class 4 Finding the critical path in your project

    • 6. Class 5 Crashing or overlapping tasks in a project

    • 7. Class 6 Drawing a project gantt chart

    • 8. Class 7 Calculating resource requirements over time

    • 9. Class 8 Assessing and mitigating project risks

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About This Class

Welcome to the introduction and class 1 of the 'Project Management SIMPLIFIED' class modules.

In this class I introduce you to the basics of Project Management tasks which will need to be acted upon to ensure a smooth and successful Project implementation kick-off.

This first class outlines the steps to take in defining your project and to get a good grounding of what you need to do to build the outline of work involved. You will discover the importance of Cost, Time and Quality as well as how this will impact on your project.

The complete 'Project Management SIMPLIFIED' class consists of 8 individual modules and covers the following aspects of Project Management:

  1. Defining the Project
  2. Listing the tasks
  3. Estimating times and costs
  4. Finding the critical path
  5. Considering crashing or overlapping tasks
  6. Drawing a Gantt (Bar) chart
  7. Calculating resource requirements over time
  8. Assessing and mitigating risks

This class is designed to give you an insight to Project Management, so you will be able to understand the work involved. It will unfortunately not be able to turn you into a fully fledged Project Manager, which only experience will be able to do. Yet it will give you the best footing to kick-start your Project Management aspirations, either by managing projects in your freelancer career or getting involved in projects while working as an employee in a company.

Meet Your Teacher

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Wolf Matejek

Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Author & Trainer


Wolf has for more than a decade been helping passionate people like yourself, in building their own successful and profitable service businesses.

He states his reasons for wanting to help people to be the best they can, as: "You are the person that inspires me to use my business coaching, mentoring and training skills in making your business a success."

As a trainer Wolf has travelled across the world, delivering programmes on a diversity of subjects including soft-skills, motivational programmes as well as bespoke IT applications.

His website can be found at

His books are published via Amazon at

See full profile

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1. Project Management SIMPLIFIED - Introduction: Hello and welcome to your project management. Simplified class. This is an introduction to the actual class which is made up off 12 individual clause modules. These modules are all identified by the little star in the bottom, right. So here it says class intra. So for the other classes, you will find that will say class one class to class three and so on and so forth. What is this Classle avowed, It will give you an overview off how project management works. It will not make you an expert at this stage, but it will give you a good insight off the individual aspect that are needed to be taken care off when a project is being created and managed effectively. It's made up as a set off 12 individual modules, and these are simply the two stages off planning and action. The planning stage is the classes one to aid here, listed as Class one defining your project to listing your tasks. Three. Estimating time and cost. Four. Finding the critical path. Five. Considering crashing or overlapping critical tasks. Six. Drawing again or bar chart for your project. Seven. Calculating resource requirements and eight to assess risks and mitigate those risks between the planning an action stage. We also have a possible renegotiation stage, which would then require you to go back to Class one and redefine your project. We'll talk more about that as we go through the individual classes. The action stage is made up off classes 9 to 12 which is now in monitoring the progress on your gun charge. 10. Monitoring cumulative costs. 11. Readjusting your plan and 12 to review the whole progress off your project management. Simply fight class, so that's it. At this stage, If you want to find out more about how to manage your project effectively, why not proceed to Class one, which is called defining the project? And if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. 2. Defining the Project - Class 1: Hello again and welcome to project management. Simply fight class one off possible 12 modules. This class is about defining your project. So in this class, we're going to talk about how we going to make our project work. Firstly, we need to agree on the success criteria for our project. Those are three of them. The cost, the time and the quality that we want to achieve. It doesn't matter in this cycle, which one you start with, but they're all interlinked with each other. So the cost has to do with time in time and cost has to do with quality. Quality, on the other hand, is made up off the cost time and the effort we put in. So whichever way you look at it, you want to make sure that you end up to confirm any major constraints with the customer in writing. Everything about project management is making sure that we have something in writing that we can follow and refer to. Should there ever be any questions or issues further down the line? So once again, we want to confirm with the customer in writing. This, of course, now raises the question. Who is the customer. Your customer is always the person at the end off the line. It may be an internal or external customer. It might be your boss, or you may have a number of customers also commonly refer to as your stakeholders. One thing is for sure. You need to make sure that all of them get what they want. Your success criteria, as already mentioned, will be in terms off the time taker. The cost, which is usually formed by parts of the hours worked and the quality is what do they exactly get at the end off that project? Quality should always be measurable. There has to be some shape or form off a measurable acceptance test to ensure that the desired quality has bean achieved. So that's once again critical that we have all that in writing so that we have a benchmark to which we can hold ourselves to in terms off working towards. But as well as not having the customer moved the goalposts later down this lion and say you've delivered a project in blue. But I wanted it in red. If we had written down that it has to be in red, then we could say that's what you want it or vice versa. If they said we wanted it in blue and you've done it in red, you have something to refer to list anything that your project depends upon, such as the funding options, who is paying for it? The decisions and the decision makers along the line and the resource is that are going to be needed to make this project work. These could be resource is that the customer provides either externally or internally from within the organization with every project. That should usually be the kickoff meeting. In that kickoff meeting led by the project manager, the customer in the client and if required, any other stakeholders will all come together and discuss and agree the details off the project, the time, the costs and the quality expectations at the end off the project. That's a really crucial involvement so that everybody who has some interest in the project coming out right will get their opportunity to voice their opinions, their requirement and the expectations so that afterwards nobody can come back and say, I never knew about that and you can't get shot down for doing it the wrong way during this meeting or even earlier. You must probe your customers for key dream drivers the time the cost and quality must have and the nice to have options. The difference between the must have and a nice to have is very simply that. We say this project must have X y and Zet included in it, but it would be nice if it could do that. A. Why as well. So it's really down to you, defining exactly what the customer expectations are. You want to know by what day and what budget does this project have to be delivered to? What happens if we run late or we go over the final delivery date? We also want to see if they interested in trading off, for example, more time for a higher specifications. So if you want me to do this really well, I may need an extra two weeks at the end. Or if the project is set to a specific time frame and certain things can't be done in that time frame, then we'll have to trade that often. Say OK, we'll deliver it in that time, but you won't be able to do a B C by knowing the key drivers that will be extremely useful when the project gets into difficulties later. So again, it's all down to the pre planning stage is in the overview. I already mentioned classes. One to aid is all about the planning stage, where we build the whole shebang off the project. You may consider negotiating some contingencies into your time, cost and specifications at this stage, so always have a little bit off wriggle wriggle room to take into account little things that could crop up when you least expect them so that you do not work to the exact tight timelines. Negotiation usually means, if possible, getting your clients or your customers to disclose to you a couple of aspect, such as How much can they afford to spend on this project? How much is this project going to be worth to them in terms off costs, We also need to identify what is their preferred completion time and what would potentially be their absolute latest completion time. So that is our plan off contingencies or if we can't get something done, we need to know when the rial cut off day for the delivery completion is and the ideal specifications day off course would like to have, because only when we know what the ideal spec ISS for that project can we draw up an exact time frame planning so that we can get everything they want fitted into that timeframe. Should it then not fit into that timeframe, it's time to re negotiate that contingency off timing that we might need to take into account. You also need to know you'll walk away point. The point is, in terms of combinations, off time, quality and money at which you feel that the project cannot be done, at which you might want to say something along the lines. You might have to get someone else if you're going to insist on this mystification because , quite frankly, I cannot do it. And I don't want to make promises I cannot keep If you know that the specifications they're expecting does not fit into the time frame and does not fit into the costs involved in that time frame. That means your quality will suffer dramatically. And if that's the case, you may want to reconsider. If you really want to take on that project because we all know that. Then the finger finger pointing starts and people will blame one or others for the failure off that project. And if that's the case in the nicest possible way that's called your walk away point, you want to be assertive during the negotiations and planning, and don't be pushed into agreeing anything that you feel is impossible or unlikely to be achievable just because it's an easy option or you want the client to be happy. Remember, the client wants something from you. You're happy to deliver that. But unless both sides are on the same power with expectations and capability off delivering that project, you might not want to be pushed into a tight corner. In the end, everyone will be less than happy if you go along and be overrun by the client, including you, in order that you as a project manager, can have a strong case to argue. And in order to have a plan to agree and sign off, it will be necessary for you to have done your planning before this kickoff meeting. So there is still some planning that you have to do in advance before you can manage and control the kickoff meeting. Therefore, this is where it gets a little bit involved. The class sessions to to age will need to be completed, at least in brief, before putting actions in this class into play. So when you go to session two to age, you will learn a few other things that need to be done for this project, and you might want to jot them down in a structure that you know exactly how you're going to manipulate the kickoff meeting. Once you've done that and your kickoff meeting has progressed further, then you may want to revisit the steps in class 2 to 8 after youth finalized your kickoff meeting from this session and then tweak it as you see fit. So, in essence, you can see that the planning stage is the one that takes most work. You get the planning wrong and you will be running yourself in circles. So run the circles before you start your project, and then you know exactly where you start and where you're going and where you ending. So planning makes you stronger if you fail to plan. It's a plan to fail as they say so. Planning is crucial. There always should be a specifications, document or project initiation document or P i. D. Which in the end will be signed by the project manager to say that they happy and they can achieve the task and by the client to say there will be happy with what has Bean promised. This is a final document that is binding. If when you come to that point off signing the P i. D. You have still doubts about the project, do not go ahead and sign it. You need to be 100% clear in your mind off the expectations that is set upon you from like lions and your self assurance that you can deliver what you promise this document, the P I. D. Protects birth year. The customer for I'm sorry protects you the project manager and also the customer for under delivery. And it protects you from the client, adding additional requirements, moving the goalpost or complaining afterwards that it may not have being the outcome they were expecting. So that document is crucial for you to be 100% convinced that you can deliver. It should contain evidence like the list of tasks your cost estimates and again in short. But in essence, this isn't going to be any additional work to you, since you have to do them anyway in order to know exactly whether your project is possible and then how to carry it out, in which stages in the project you're going to do. But you want to share that at the end off signing with the customer, so they know exactly that this is agreed upon and final. It should also contain an assessment off risks which recover in one of the other classes in order to show the client that you are aware off this and that you are working to minimize them, but also so that the client consigned to say that they are prepared to live with this kind of level off risk. So again, we are covering all avenues for ourselves as well as for the client or customer to make sure that there is no come back in any shape or form should suddenly something to inspire. That wasn't to be foreseen. A successful completion off any project will require a suitable team both in quantity and quality. Team members that will be working with you on a project should be formally invited, signed up with an estimate of how many days or weeks off their involvement will be required . And if they have a different line manager, he or she may also need to sign up to agree in letting them go for the required time off the project. One thing you do not want to be caught out with is somebody says to you, Oh, when you're doing this particular task, I'm happy to give you two off my stuff. Then when the time comes and unique, those two staff the person to entrances Oh, no, I can't spare them now, once on holiday and I need the other one that leaves you in limbo off. What am I going to do now? Where am I going to get somebody to work with me on this project? So it's really crucial to have that agreement from a line manager or superior off those people who are working with you on the project. The other point is, of course, to make sure that these people who you want to be on your team, also know that they are going to be required. And again we get them to sign a document to agree that they will not book a holiday at that time when they will be required. How do you know when you need them again? Once you've done your planning stage, your Gant chart is set up. You will know exactly where on that project plan you will need. Those resource is so again I can't say it often enough. It's Aled down to planning this. Concludes your class on defining your project. Now it's time to move on to class to enlisting the project tasks. 3. Class 2 Listing the project tasks: welcome to project management. Simply fight Clause two, listing the tasks in this class. We're going to be looking at how we're going to get our list of tasks structured out in defining the project aspect. The first thing we really want to make sure off is that we involve the team in Class one. I already mentioned that it's really important that we have a team that will support us throughout the project cycle, and at this stage, we want to get involved with the team. The reason for that is very simple. We want to get as much detail off our project task list as we possibly can by involving the team. We will just get that. But we will also get a good buy in at this early stage by and refers to the acceptance off the project as a whole and the interesting the project. And by having the team involved, we combine the two aspect into one. We want to get the team to brainstorm with us as a project manager, a list off all the tasks that might be involved in the project by building that list. We then have a good outline off the work that is required in the time frame that's been given to us for this project. What we want to do with the tasks is to end up putting them in some form off a logical diagram, which is also often referred to as a work breakdown structure or a W. B s. The best way to do this is to sit down with our team in a quiet room and brainstorm. As I said, the list of tasks, each task that is flowing out, we want to write on a post it note, and then we can put those posted notes easily into the tree like structure. If we were to write them out and draw them out on paper instead, it will take us hours to make logical sense of it. So many people use cue cards, which is nothing else but simple index cards and lay them out on a table and then shift them around as they see fit. Or, like I said, you can also use posted notes and pin them onto a board, or you just laid them out on a large table or if you need a lot of space on the floor. What you're effectively want to end up with is a tree like structure similar to this example the work breakdown structure. It is usually made out off one sticker right at the top that identifies what the project is called. In this example here, it's called The New Call Out of this new car top. We have three branches coming out. One is entertainment and guidance engine transmissions and super super suspension and the body off the car. And if we look further down, we can see that some of these top tasks have also sub tasks, which one's again are broken down to even more sub tasks. But we want to make sure by doing that that we keep a logical way off looking at each task in its own merit. So if I take the example off the body off the car, which is our header, and we break it down into do subheadings, one is the paintwork off the car, which makes a part of the body and the body shell. We can see that the body shell is now broken down into the actual shell. That means the layout off the whole car. What does it look like it's broken down into doors, the gold or hurt and the truck and it's broken down into the seats and interior trim. You could even wait that seats part down further and say, Okay, what type of seats do we won't? Yeah, so again you can then list different types of seats that you might want to put in. But in essence, we want to keep it in a logical, easy to follow structure that we can identify which part off the project are we working at or which task off the project we're working at. You also need to remember equalities, which is different to the quality I mentioned in close one. Quality is all about the quality that we achieve at the end off our project. How good is the quality? But this one talks about eat quality. Are there any issues affecting others that you might have for gotten at this stage? So you need to think who else is impacted by the project and the decision off those tasks within the project. You want to also consider granularity? How detailed should the task write down? B. Remember that the more granular you become with your task, the more stickers here we'll need. But it's also important that if you don't go granular enough, you will have difficulty fitting all tasks into the network. Diagram. Later, you will find out yourself. Want to say it's ongoing, which is not allowed? There is no ongoing option in project management, even though many consultants keep saying to clients, Oh, it's an ongoing task. There are no ongoing tasks. They all have a start and an end point, and they clearly defined within the project. But remember, it's never too late to granule eight. So you just chop them up a bit more later on. So again, coming back to my example, I mentioned on the seats. There may be the requirement. Are they going to be leather seats? Are there going to be cloth E seats? Are they going to be dotted? Sported or little squares on it? Or flowers that would be going granular? Are they going to be red, green, blue, yellow flowers? Yeah, So all in order saying is that you can always grand you lately to run, but however you do it, you need to take that granular level into account in your whole time frame structure for your project. If you have more than 10 tasks, always look at your tasks and see if it's going to be possible to create sub projects within those tasks to break them down into more detail further down the line or on a separate page. What you also able to do is that managing a project is a task in itself, and you should have time allowed to do that. This is not a job you want to rush. It's not a thing you want to quickly brush under the table. It's really crucial to get this right. You might also want to have a look at previous work breakdowns for ideas. Your best friend to see some WBS structure examples will be on Google images. Just type the word work breakdown structure into Google. Then click on the images tab and you can see how some other companies have put on their work breakdown structures, and you might be able to get some ideas from that. You also want to look at previous project reviews to see what others may have missed. That could be within the business that you're working in to work on the project. Or if you have a little bit more experience in doing some project work, look at what you might have missed on previous projects. You can also show your work breakdown structure to an expert that somebody who has more experience in managing projects and you might have. Or it might be someone who has done a similar project before and ask them to look at your work breakdown structure to give you advice and guidance in Aust. Um, what you may have forgotten. What have we looked at that stage? Remember that any tasks you for gotten at this early planning stage could potentially make your project go both late and over budget. Remember, in Class One, I said, once we get the client to sign their acceptance off the project and we give them an outline off our work breakdown structure, that's what they expect. If you had later stage, go in and draw a few more dots in there and say, Oh, here's another box I've missed in another books. That's not where your project was signed off. And that's an assurance that number one, your client or your customer will look rather unfavorably upon your delivery, but it's a guarantee that you'll be running late and you'll be going over budget because you didn't calculate for the cost off those additions. This now concludes your class on listing the tasks. Let's move to Class three, where you learn all about estimating your time and costs for your project. 4. Class 3 Estimating Project Time and Costs: Hello and welcome to project management. Simplified class three. This class is all about estimating your time and costs for each off your project tasks. We already talked about compiling your list off tasks in class, too. Now this class is going to give you some ideas off how you structure the cost factor to those tasks. You need to base your estimates on a personal experience, maybe records off previous projects and your team's judgments. Your estimates are really crucial to keep your budget in line with those tasks. Also, you need to allow for optimists and pessimists in your team and then taken to account that feedback and also apply your own judgment. You want to make sure that your estimate the maximum it might take or cost and also take into account an estimate off the minimum it might take or cost. You don't want to over promise or promise. Average figures to your customer average does not exist in this project management strategy . We working to estimates, not average estimates. This is really important. By giving a customer averages, you will potentially have the 50% failure rate. Here's a very simple chart off where we want to place our estimates. The two rents on either side off the chart is usually the lowest denominator, the best possible outcome, which is usually unrealistic In the worst case scenario, which is too safe to forecast. Realistically, so many people then go and say, Okay, I'll take a mean average between the two. That's all good and well, as long as there are any unforeseen situations in the project development, the mean and rich can give you a 50% failure chance or rate. What you want to do, though, is take the mean average and then take the mean average and take the worst case scenario and plays your estimate between those two. Marcus. This makes it probably the best and safest way for your project. Cost forecast halfway between the average and the worst is usually the best forecast. It gives you in about 90% safe costing, because by doing that, you already have built in some unseen situation off covering your contingencies. When doing this calculation for whole project, you want to add up all the averages and then adding some contingency. You need to base your contingency on time on cost and in some instances, even on your specifications or the project specifications. Remember in lesson to your class to. I talked about the option off having different seats in our car, and I said it could be leather seats or it could be cloth covered seats. And if I want to add in some contingency, I could say, If we're going for the cloth, it will be this price. If we go for leather, it will be this price. So again, we have some indication here off the contingency, based on the task in hand, if necessary. You want to spread your contingency in small amounts across all off your tasks so that it's not easily recognized as one contingency on one thing. This way you balance it out over the whole project tasks, and it can't be easily identified. What even be removed? You know what he do this? Excuse me when you convert your network diagram, the working diagram or the workflow that we shown in Gloucester. But when you convert your network diagram to the Gant chart, we cover that both off the network diagram in Class four and the gang charred, covered in cloth six. And you add a little to each critical task just before you draw the final Gant chart off your project tasks. The adding in off constant contingency is not being this honest with your client or customer. It forms part off a genuine estimating process. The time taken in the cost will be the some off along the known tasks, plus some unknown ones. We must allow for these if we are avoid letting the customer down. If we do not make sure that we have a contingency in here, you will be very hard pushed to late one. Go to your customer and say, By the way, I didn't take into account that leather is more expensive than cloth, and I would need another $50,000 or pounds or whatever currency that might be. The customer will be incredibly upset and very annoyed if we're asking for money halfway through the project because we didn't take into account fluctuations off pricing you else, I have to bear in mind that the price today might not be the price tomorrow, um, especially with this hardly Donnelly world we're living in where one currency goes up through the roof. Another one drops from the floor that suddenly all the exchange rates come back into play. We need to take into account that just because it says £5 today or $5 that it's not going to be $5 in three months time. When the project is underway, it might suddenly be $9. So having that contingency added toe all different tasks gives us that flexibility. If we don't use it on Task one, we might use it a little bit on Task five and so on and so forth. In essence, by putting in contingency on aled the tasks we are doing it for the client. We're not doing it to look, um, in any way criminal or dishonest. We are building this contingency into our project plan. Do not let the customer or the client down. The objective of putting in your contingency is to be able to give the customers and estimate which is as accurate as possibly can be, or at least 90% accurate. 90 is a lot better than 50. There are many ways for your project to take longer or cost more than your thought, but not many ways for it to be any better. On the other hand, if there was a better way to do your project, then that should already be your plan. You cannot better your project half the way through. You need to take that into account from the onset. It is probably not a good idea, though, to tell the customer about the contingency you added into your project. It's not being this honest by not telling them about it. Many clients or customers don't really want to know about your contingencies, as it might only worry them if they know that may be a risk off some kind involved, and they are paying for it. Take the scenario. I just mentioned that a fluctuation off pricing comes into play. The markets changed. Exchange may changes. Customers do not want to know about that. But you, as a professional project manager, need to take that into consideration and give yourself that leeway in your contingency planning. Heading in 10% which is what many people do is usually not enough. It takes no account off the spread or variability off a particular project. More variable projects need more contingency. Obviously, don't confuse using 10% addition to making yourself 90% safe. It really doesn't many times you hear people talk about a project and say I've estimated it to be, ah, $1000 but I'm adding in 10% just in case that 10% is nothing that could be swallowed up by a simple single task and disappeared to nothing for task 23456 and so on. So you want to make sure that you take into account the figure off your mean average versus your verse case scenario and take the center split off that that gives you the good widespread to base your project estimation. Now this concludes the task the task, the class on your estimation off time and costs for each of your project tasks. When you're ready, you can move on to class for when we talk about finding the critical path in your project. 5. Class 4 Finding the critical path in your project: hello and welcome to class for in the project management simply fight class sessions. This one is about finding the critical path the critical path needs to be considering any dependencies and allows us then to draw the Critical Path Analysis Network, and it will help us to find the float off the non critical tasks. So what's the difference between the critical and non critical toss? The critical ones are the really important ones. We cannot miss those, and they have to be structured at a specific time to be done. The non critical tasks are tasks that are subsidiary and can be done almost at any time. So when we're considering during that, we don't just do it in our head. We need to do this on paper. At some point in time, your customers will expect to see your C P a network or if they don't want to see it, and they see it after all. Anyway, there will be thoroughly impressed in your program professional approach to this project. The activity on nodes, nodes, all the little boxes you will see in a moment. These are the tasks with times on. The boxes are often called the CPI M the Critical Path method. This is probably the best way to draw your Critical path Analysis network, your c p A network. So this is what it will look like in the most basic structure. This is usually done by tasks and weeks rather than days and hours, because it would never end other ways. So here it is. That's my C p m. For getting the project started and running on the program s plant. So here we go. If that was task one, it will take one week. Task two will take two weeks. Task 34567 However you see fit what? You will see that there are some dependency alliance here. The thick ones in red is my critical path. Analysis and thin ones are my non critical tasks, but they do need to be taken care off, but they can be sort of fitted around my main critical path. The CPM shows you the actual work that needs to be done, and they're always tasks to be done. While often now I'm no significant events between those activities, so they are not as important. You can add milestones or events to your CPM diagram if you wish, And once you copy the diagram into your gan chart, then you can still have as many events as you want. So by not having a lot these events listed in your flow chart as if the scene that's not really an issue, you can always amend your GAN chart accordingly. The CPM is easy to construct, since you can use posted notes to remove the tasks around and putting them onto a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper with a group of people. 234 However you men, you see if it is a great way to work with your project team again. We talked about the team right at the beginning where we said we get a good buy in from the team and now this is the moment again. When you utilize the capabilities in your team to build this CPM. The critical path is always the longest word through the diagram, and it will give you the quickest way you can do the entire project. So for this I need to scroll back to the previous page so I can see that critical path once again So by looking at all these individual timeframes I've set on all these tasks, we can see that one plus 23678 weeks is the longest path. So it's one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, six weeks, seven weeks. Even if I do it this way, it's still not enough weeks. So the critical path is the longest way through your chart. By doing it that way, all the subsidiary tasks apart off that shot somewhere along the way. That means by adding up all these major milestones, I get my total time frame for the project, and those ones in here form part off that time frame. They're not over extending to the end, and they're not anywhere before you need to draw this neatly. The best way to do it is if you have some software to do it. You can do it in Visi O, but if you want to do it in power point, you can do the same or you can draw it on paper. But what you want to be aware of is that if you have Arrow's crossing over or errors coming out off the top or a bottom off the books rather than the correct way on the science. There is an increased risk that you are missing the critical path. So you want to make sure that all your arrows are coming out on the side off each off your boxes so that you can naturally follow the arrow and add up the time you're given to each off those tasks on your critical path. Once you have completed that and you've identified your critical path, you want to mark this in red. So he was a marker pen on the post. Its or if you draw it on paper, draw with red over those arrows and mark out your critical path so that it stands out at first glance and you know exactly where you're starting. Ending point is and all the tasks that are subsidiary between those two points the toss on your critical path made very careful estimating they are the lead time off the project. If you get that wrong in marking out or calculating your estimation off cost, then that potentially will cost your project an arm and a leg. Then you can't be on schedule. It also needs very careful estimation in terms off time. If you have your critical path tasks and you estimate them to be three days and it turns out they really need two weeks, your whole project will fall apart and you will go over your project. Timeframe. So once again, make sure that the Critical Path tasks are very carefully estimated in terms off the time they take to give you the full length off timeframe for your project. Non critical tasks usually have a float. That means they can be moved somewhere to earlier or later. You can choose whether to start them straight away or whether you want to do them later along the project line by doing them right now at the early stages can be safer, but doing them later may delay expenditure. So if they tasks that cost money, you might want to leave them a little bit later. So you can chop and change on your expenditure in the project and otherwise you can look at that is non critical tasks and say OK, if I do them too early, I may not have all the information I need to make that task properly work. So by doing them later. I may have some background information which will make it easier to implement that task. So it's really a situation you need to weigh up as the tasks are drawn up and how important they are in terms off the whole analysis off your project. Since they are floating, you can move them in the time frame up or down. Tasks like finding suppliers or equipment shouldn't be done too soon. Don't do those really crucial tasks too early because as the project continues and develops and evolves, you may find I needed five blackboard whiteboards. Well, I needed five monitors or I needed five computers. It turns out the room is too small. You can only fit three in you've now ordered five. If you'll be left with to you, then have the additional work off either fighting over a return or getting a refund for the costs and so on and so forth. So again, it's a very fine line off deciding. When do I slopped out those tasks into my plan to do them effectively at the right time. In my project plan considerations offloads are best done when you use the gunshot. This is something we're going to be covering in class six, where I'll give you some hints off how you can build again chart and how this all comes together individual way rather than me just talking about it and use all of drawing it on a piece of paper, but something that you can visually represent your whole project in again. Shot. That's basically how you confined your critical path. And it concludes this class you're now ready to move on to class five, where we're gonna be talking briefly about the crashing or overlapping off critical tasks. 6. Class 5 Crashing or overlapping tasks in a project: Hello and welcome to Class five in the project management simplified class modules. This session is a brief overview off what it means to crash, what overlap critical tasks and the implications upon either one off those. In some instances, once you've identified your whole critical path in your plan, you may find that the critical path is too long. You may want to decide to overlap certain tasks. That means structuring at the same time two tasks or three tiles to run concurrently. This is usually more risky to your project, but it will help it to be a lot quicker. Your other choice is to crash a task. Crushing a task means you are going to be throwing additional money or re sources such as people at the task in order to complete it quicker. So instead of having a task that would have been on your plan three weeks long, you put in an additional five people. And by doing that, you hope that those five people can get the task completed within two weeks, or even a week and 1/2 there by half ing the time off the task. But you also will increase the cost because you're now paying five additional people instead off the true that you already had structure scheduled to do that task. You also have to remember that when two people work on a particular task, they will be working on this task with a lot more integrity to get done a good job. If you throw another five people at it, you somewhat may dilute the quality that comes out at the end off the crash. If you crash a critical task, there's also a risk that's something else in parallel with. It will become critical as well. So you really need to revisit your whole critical path to see that what happens when you crash a task how it will affect the tasks continuing forward. Here's an idea off the best tasks that you might want to consider crashing if you wish to do so. The critical tasks are an option to crash or the tasks which are really long or tasks which are not in parallel with any other tasks off a similar length. You see, I prefer talking about crashing tasks rather than overlapping them, because once you're overlap a task you running two things at the same time. And you only have two pairs, one pair advice and you can't always keep your eye on both tasks at the same time. So wear it up. Which one will be the better option for you if you choose to do one or the other? This concludes the class on crashing or overlapping critical tasks. You are now ready to move on to Class six, where we're going to be discovering the drawing off again bar chart what it is, how it's done and how it will help you. 7. Class 6 Drawing a project gantt chart: Hello and welcome back to project management. Simplified. This is Class six drawing against bar chart in this particular part we're going to talk about. What about Afghans? Bar chart actually is, and how it can help you to structure your project. The gun charge has three main purposes. It's good for communication. It's good for loading and good for progress. Monitoring communication shows everyone when that tasks will be started and finished. That's not only for the customer or the stakeholders, but also the people who will be involved in it. Loading means to be able to look vertically at any given week one month and consider whether you have the resource is for all the tasks being done at that time, it would help you to pre define When do I need? My resource is by just looking vertically at the gunshot, and it's also good for progress monitoring. As time goes on, you begin to color in the gun charge and trying to keep up with the two day line. We will talk more about that in class nine, but in essence by progress monitoring, it means we fill in certain tasks with a color that shows us on the two days line. How far progress we have made in the whole process off the project plan. Can. Charts are also important for predicting spend rate as an expenditure and comparing spend against the progress again. We'll talk more about that in Class 10 and the gang charge can be done in different ways. You can be done on a computer by years in M S project, or you can just use a simple Excel spreadsheet or an Excel type spreadsheet if you're not using Microsoft Office. Alternatively, if you're good with a ruler and pen, you can always do it on paper or on a white board on the wall. But by doing it on the white board, you have to remember that we want to share this with other people on the project such us, the stakeholders, the customers and the team members that if it's on the wall, it's very difficult to share it. So it's always best to do it on paper. Either is a printout from one of the office Softwares or by drawing it by hand. What you need to do is set up a very simple structure. I've drawn it here on Power Point just to show it to hear what it will look like. In very basic overview. We have our time line at the bottom, going from left, beginning off the project to the right. We have then marked the project finish line with a big stock down line, and we have drawn in different boxes off different time lengths. In addition to that, which is my critical path marked in X in those boxes, we can then add the floating tasks, the A's and B's. The floating task. Remember, are those tasks that we have to fit in as sub tasks between certain timeframes and because they are floating, we can move them between those heart indicated down lions and moved, um, as and where we see them fit. Most likely, you can adjust your floating tasked in order to level out the load profile, such as moving be further to the right or further to the left, and we know task A has to be completed between the critical task to and free. They're two and four that we have to move a no further than the start down line at the end off the arrows pointing right. Once you've completed your gun chart, you want to share it with everyone to see the full structure plan and to show them how they fit in and obviously to see when their task come into play. So they can pre plan their own timeframe off when they will be required as resource to support that project. I've included a link for Chris Craft, one of the based project management trainers in the UK who has an excellent video on his website to show you how to make a camp chart using Excel. It's a free video that's available on his website, and the link is here given as a Google short link, it's http colon forward slash forward slash g o dot g l forward slash j uppercase e uppercase m Lower case x w uppercase G. I have also put that link into the description for this training session or that class I should say, and please feel free to have a look at it. You'll be amazed how much you can do with Excel. This concludes the claws on drawing again Bar chart Class seven talks about calculating resource requirements over time. See you in the next class 8. Class 7 Calculating resource requirements over time: welcome to Class seven off the project Management simplified class modules. This time, it's talking about calculating resource requirements over time. You can adjust the load each week, stroke month, using the float off non critical tasks. Now the first thing that we need to clarify what is a load load is used interchangeably in this class as a resource that could be the people that are working on your project. So your team members and remarked those on the flow chart or on the gun charge, I should say, by utilizing the non critical tasks float option. You may be planning your resource loading. The people are hours required for just one large project. Or you may be looking after a collection off small projects, whichever it may be. Using an Excel spreadsheet can be a great way to do this. Using the trial and error scenario and looking at your column totals, you may prefer to move pieces around on a table or on a square grid and mark them out accordingly. You will have learned how to do a GAN chart in Class six, and you will have probably utilize the link I've given you to learn how to create an Excel spreadsheet gunshot. The columns in your spreadsheets can be marked as hours worked per person per week or days per week, or fractions off a person employed in each week. However you see fit, either way is just fine as long as you make sure that you have, the resource is listed in your gun charger. If your project is time limited, the question you will ask is without breaking the critical path. What would be the smoothest profile or smoothest way we can get by moving the floating tasks around so that you have a clear indication off how the structure will have to be changed? If, on the other hand, your project is resource limited, the question you may need to ask is, how long will it take us with the limited number of people that we have to complete this task or this project again? It's really crucial that you ask those questions toe. Identify where your potholes, maybe which you could fall into. If you don't take care off those limitations in your project in order to cope with your limited resource is you may even have to break the critical path and take longer for your project. So instead off the project taking three months, you may have to extend your project to be four months long. But this means you may have to add, then create a new critical path, so different jobs will require careful monitoring during the carrying out off the project. The tricks for a time limited project is to possibly crash or overlap those tasks. We have talked about that in a previous class. By crashing or overlapping tasks, they will be an additional option. Additional implications in terms off cost, either cost in money or cost in quality tricks for resource limited projects would be to break a task. Breaking a task means it's going to finish later, and by stretching the task by doing it with half the person might be twice as long. It also has a cost in terms off money and or quality. But if a project is both time and resource limited, then you will have to probably reduce the quality aspect off the delivery off the project. It is absolutely not ideal clients will crucify you if the quality off the project suffers so again in your planning stages which part seven or class seven is part off? You will need to review your plan very carefully because once you signed off the plan with regards to quality and time and resource, you will have to adhere to it. You will be very hard pushed to come in later and argue with the client to say I don't have enough bodies to do what you asked me to do. So even though you signed the contract or the agreement on the project management off, um, I've now discovered I can't physically do it, so you will be in deep water. Getting an approval later on a loading or resource plan is really well worth having, even though the reality always looks different than it does on your chart. Because people will join your project, people will leave your project, people will call in sick, people will be on holiday or the line manager off. Those people that are part of your team may not be allowed to leave their job and work on the project. Whatever it may be, you still will need a plan to be able to at least roughly draw out your plan without any planning a tool you could potentially start a project promised a progress rate only to then discover that it's absolutely impossible to achieve. And by having your plan and reviewing your plan and adjusting your plan well in advance before it signed off, you can argue your case a lot stronger if suddenly somebody decides. Oh, I've promised you five people, but I can't actually give you five. I only give you one. You can go back to your client and say I want those five people or I want to extend the plan and only once you have that in place beforehand will you have a strong case to argue. Your resource plan needs to include all holidays booked by any members off your project team. That is some time they have foreseen sickness or non allowance off line managers for their team. For their employees to join and work as part of your team on the project is something that you can't foresee but everything else that you can should be included. Your Lord plan or your resource plan will give you a logical base from which to argue against any interference is from people taken off your project while other work being pushed in as a higher priority. While you can't stop them, these are OK as long as they are clearly visible, resulting effects on your project as it's agreed with all. If you have a number of projects running at once, you could also create one big MG or one big master can sheet, showing all the project and everything related to do those projects in this master gunned chart. This will help you plan and make you stronger. For example, if a project is added, then either you will need more people what other projects will have to be slipping or set back in that time frame. All in all, this is all about pre planning. The time ahead as well is covering your project to be delivered on time and on budget. This concludes your class on calculating resource requirements over time 9. Class 8 Assessing and mitigating project risks: Hello and welcome to project management. Simplified Class eight. Assessing and mitigating risks. This is the last class off your project management. So let's get cracking and look at how we can assess and mitigate risks that may come across our project. Remember that brainstorming is really crucial. You have a team behind you that will work with your and so it's important that you brainstorm everything that could possibly go wrong with your project. You really want to go to the nitty gritty assessment off any issues that potentially could ruin your project. You want to use your team and possibly reviews from previous projects to create the longest list off any issues that potentially could arise for each possible problem. You want to assess how likely it may be that this is going to happen, but also how serious this would be to the business Multiplying. These gives you a good rating for each risk, which then allows you to prioritize the risks or have a cut off point below, which you ignore those risks. So you are creating effectively an assessment chart off the seriousness off each off those risks identified, and you want to identify the lowest denominator, after which you want to discount risks, since they will have no major impact. But for each possible issue or problem, you may want to find ways to make it less likely to happen maybe by tackling the course or the courses that would potentially make this a problem. And these preventative actions should be built into your project plan for each possible problem. You also want to show to find ways to make it less serious if it does happen. So you want to identify any backup plans that you already have, or you need to cover all the possible effect that the problem may course time risks effect mainly critical pass money. Risks, on the other hand, could affect any off the tasks in your project. It is usually possible to make risks either less likely or less serious or, in some instances, even birth only. Show your customers any external risks in a plan. They don't need to know about potential internal problems. What customers really want to know is what risks am I exposed to after you've done all your mitigation planning and got rid off most off those risks, so you need to assign numbers for how likely and how serious those issues are. After you've done your risk planning, make sure that you have enough contingency in terms off time and money to cover any off those eventualities off risk. Remember that the purpose off contingency is not to make life easy for you. But it is to ensure that the project that you're working on comes in on time and on budget . And, in other words, you could say to make your customer or client happy. Having just reviewed the assessing and mitigation risks, scenario concludes, the planning stages all of the sessions that you have seen so far, or classes that you have seen so far. Classes 1 to 8. I need to be done before you agree to take on the project in hand. If there's anything in that project, you may have to revisit or re negotiate any aspect off those things a few times to get your project plan, it's solid as possible. It is no good moving forward on your plan into the action stage. If there are still issues around anything we've covered in class 1 to 8, the actions that following our then for your implementation part off the project management cycle, and once you've done all your due diligence on your project and you've signed off your project, it's time to monitor progress on your gun charge.