QSO 680 Module 4 Case Study

Case Discussion: CyClon Project

This is a case on new product development in Chapter 6. Developing new products is a very important set of projects, where project management is very usefully applied. This case is also a mini-exercise in Microsoft Project. It shows how concurrent engineering can be implemented through start to start lags in new product development projects. It brings out some very important points about using the lags and their impact on the project network and the completion of the project. Use Microsoft Project to do the network planning for the case and then answer the questions given in part A, part B, and part C of the case.

Part A– Create a network based on the above information. How long will the project take? What is the critical path?

The project will take 80 days (10/26/15-2/21/16).

The critical path is:

  1. Design

  2. Procure prototype parts

  3. Assemble prototype

  4. Laboratory test

  5. Field Test

  6. Adjust design

  7. Order custom components

  8. Assemble test production unit

  9. Test unit

  10. Document results

Part B– Reconfigure the CyClon schedule by entering the three finish-to-start lags. What impact did these lags have on the original schedule? On the amount of work required to complete the project?

The impact of the lags had on the original schedule is that it extended the duration of the project to 101 days (3/14/16). Also, the lag caused the delay of several tasks beginning on the originally planned date. The tasks from the point of the first lag with dependencies were affected, and the tasks are now delayed about 3 weeks. The lags also extended the duration of task work 1 additional day. For example, document results has a duration of 3 days to complete, but according to the start and finish dates, its 4 calendar days.

 Part C– What impact did these lags have on the original schedule? How long will the project take? Is there a change in the critical path? Is there a change in the sensitivity of the network? Why would management like this solution?

These lags impacted the original schedule by shortening the finish date of the project. The project life from part A had a start date of 10/26 and finished on 2/12. Incorporating the start-to-start shortened the finish date to 1/22.

The critical path was impacted with the start-to-start lags entered for the project. The new critical path is:

  1. Design

  2. Fabricate parts

  3. Assemble prototype

  4. Laboratory test

  5. Field test

  6. Adjust design

  7. Order custom components

  8. Assemble test production unit

  9. Test unit

  10. Document results

There is no change to the sensitivity of the network. Completing this exercise, the network remained insensitive because there was only 1 critical path on the project. Management would like this solution because the time to complete the project is shorter, which equates to less money being spent, and resources can be utilized on other projects.

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