Project Management In Practice 6th Edition by Jack R. Meredith -Test Bank

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Project Management In Practice 6th Edition by Jack R. Meredith -Test Bank

Chapter 6: Allocating Resources to the Project

 

 

True/False

 

 

  1. The amount of resources a project can use depends in part on the timing of the allocation.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Projects often compete with each other for the same resources.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: easy

 

 

  1. For resources that are consumed when used, the problem is which project gets to use the resource first and which must wait.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Trade-offs must be made in order to optimize the use of limited resources.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. If resources were not scarce, the resource allocation problem would be concerned solely with profit maximization.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. If resources were not scarce, the resource allocation problem would be concerned solely with cost minimization.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. A project that must be completed by a fixed time is referred to as resource constrained.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. All projects are carried out under conditions of uncertainty.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. All tasks can be crashed to some extent.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The time to complete a task with normal or standard-practice resource usage is referred to as the crash duration.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. When crashing a task, the usual assumption is that a task is crashed the full amount or none at all.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Often it is beneficial to crash activities not on the critical path.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. It is considered good management to crash the least costly activities before the more costly ones.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The CPM method cannot be used when task durations are probabilistic.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The variance of the normal time can be quite different from the variance of the crash time.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Good project managers are able to estimate project task times with absolute certainty.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Fast-tracking a project is used primarily in the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. When the work is routine, fast-tracking rarely causes serious problems.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Resource loading refers to the amounts of specific resources that are scheduled for use on specific activities or projects at specific times.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Resource loading refers to the amounts of specific resources that are scheduled for use on specific activities or projects at specific times.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.2

Level: easy

 

 

 

  1. One limitation of Microsoft Project is that all resources must share the same availability calendar.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Microsoft Project allows the project manager to create an individual availability calendar for each resource on the project

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A task’s duration is a function of both the amount of labor required to complete the task as well as the calendar time required to complete it.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A resource allocation decision may be intended to avoid a future problem rather than correct a current problem.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. In general, steady state demand for human resources is highly desirable.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Pools of like resources from which labor can be added temporarily to projects tend to increase costs for the firm as a whole.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Pools of like workers are most useful when labor is subdivided into highly specialized subtasks.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.3

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Applying “line balancing” techniques to balance the capacity of a project typically yields significant benefits.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A limitation associated with traditional approaches to project management is that the dependency between resources and tasks is often ignored.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The as late as possible priority rule is considered the standard scheduling rule.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Crashing non-critical activities will influence project duration.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The process of line balancing is when individual production lines are made to generate the required amount of product with a little excess capacity as possible.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The shortest duration task first rule minimizes the number of tasks that can be completed by a system in a given time period.

 

Answer:  false

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Activities that have duration but do not require resources are referred to as pseudoactivities.

 

Answer: true

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. According to research minimum slack rule is the overall best priority rule.

 

Answer: true

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

Multiple Choice

 

  1. Allocating specific, limited resources to specific activities is called…

a) resource allocation

  1. b) resource leveling
  2. c) resource tracking
  3. d) expediting a project
  4. e) crashing a project

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.1

Level: easy

 

 

  1. The primary cause of concern in resource allocation is…

a) labor cost

  1. b) resource scarcity
  2. c) lack of solution methodologies
  3. d) parallel activities
  4. e) equipment downtime

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A project that must be completed by a specific time is considered…

a) time constrained

  1. b) schedule constrained
  2. c) resource constrained
  3. d) performance constrained
  4. e) critically constrained

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The task duration with standard-practice resource usage is referred to as the…

a) expected task duration

  1. b) nominal task duration
  2. c) crash duration
  3. d) normal task duration
  4. e) planned task duration

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A task has a normal duration of 9 days and a crash duration of 7 days. Its normal cost is $40 and its crash cost is $100.  What is the crash cost per day?

a) $140

  1. b) $70
  2. c) $50
  3. d) $40
  4. e) $30

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Starting the building phase before the design and planning phases is called…

a) operations overlapping

  1. b) concurrent engineering
  2. c) fast-tracking
  3. d) concurrent construction
  4. e) construction overlapping

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Which of the following priority rules makes resources available so that activities start on their LSTs whenever possible without increasing the project’s duration?

a) as soon as possible

  1. b) as late as possible
  2. c) shortest task duration first
  3. d) minimum slack first
  4. e) most critical successor

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Which of the following rules maximizes the number of tasks that can be completed by a system in a given period of time?

a) as soon as possible

  1. b) as late as possible
  2. c) shortest task duration first
  3. d) minimum slack first
  4. e) most critical successor

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

  1. 44. Which of the following is a measure of the amount by which a project is delayed by application of a leveling rule?

a) schedule inflation

  1. b) schedule progression
  2. c) schedule efficacy
  3. d) schedule efficiency
  4. e) schedule slippage

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 6.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. According to research, the best overall priority rule is…

a) as soon as possible

  1. b) as late as possible
  2. c) shortest task duration first
  3. d) minimum slack first
  4. e) most critical successor

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The practice of assigning project team members to multiple projects is called…

a) concurrent engineering

  1. b) parallel activities
  2. c) fast-tracking
  3. d) project crashing
  4. e) multitasking

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The safety time added to chains other than the critical chain is called…

a) feeding buffer

  1. b) project buffer
  2. c) path buffer
  3. d) critical buffer
  4. e) team buffer

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. All of the following are criteria available to help choose the priority rule mentioned in the textbook except;
  2. a) Schedule slippage
  3. b) Project cost
  4. c) resource utilization
  5. d) in-process inventory

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A project that must be completed within the specified performance requirements is considered…

a) time constrained

  1. b) schedule constrained
  2. c) resource constrained
  3. d) performance constrained
  4. e) critically constrained

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Alice, a project manager, has undertaken a project to build an irrigation canal. Based on the resources allocated to her, she makes an initial estimate that the time required to dig the canal would be 20 days. She also prepares an alternative estimate by adding an additional resource that will allow the project to be completed in 10 days. This alternative estimate that Alice prepares is referred to as the _____.

a) crash duration

  1. b) standard duration
  2. c) slope duration
  3. d) buffer duration
  4. e) critical duration

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.1

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Renly, a project manager in a construction company, has undertaken a project to construct a house. He estimates that the house will take 5 months to complete with his team of 10 workers. He also prepares a second estimate that allows the house to be completed in 2 months if 10 more workers are added to the team. Renly’s second estimate is referred to as the _____.

a) crash duration

  1. b) standard duration
  2. c) slope duration
  3. d) buffer duration
  4. e) critical duration

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.1

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Victoria, a project manager, has undertaken a project similar to one she did earlier. Owing to her team’s familiarity with the processes that are required to complete the project, Victoria is able to produce the required deliverable ahead of schedule. She achieves this by simultaneously completing two phases of work. In this scenario, which of the following does Victoria use to complete the project?

a) A standard operating procedure

  1. b) Fast-tracking
  2. c) Micromanagement
  3. d) Crashing
  4. e) Resource leveling

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 6.1

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Mark, the chief editor of a magazine, needs to create a list of all the in-house writers, designers, and freelancers who will be working on the next issue of the magazine. He also needs to list their activities, their schedules, and their cost per hour. In the context of project management, which of the following should Mark use to create this list?

a) Project crashing

  1. b) Project chartering
  2. c) Standard buffering
  3. d) Fast-tracking
  4. e) Resource loading

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 6.2

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. William, a project manager, is trying to figure out how many hours his team can work in a period of three months. After accounting for weekends, he notes that each member of the team can work for five 8-hour days per week. After consulting his calendar, he realizes that there are three public holidays in the next three months and two employees have each requested two separate weeks off. His team consists of 15 people. Given this information, William can allocate approximately _____ of work to his team.

a) 7,200 hours

  1. b) 6,120 hours
  2. c) 7,600 hours
  3. d) 6,680 hours
  4. e) 5,500 hours

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 6.3

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Lauren, a project manager, has a workload of 24,000 hours that needs to be completed in 30 weeks. She has a team of 20 people who work five 8-hourdays per week. She notices that in the 30-week period, there are five holidays and5 members have each requested 10 days off. Given this information, Lauren is _____ short of completing her workload.

a) 1,200 hours

  1. b) 2,500 hours
  2. c) 2,000 hours
  3. d) 1,500 hours
  4. e) 3,800 hours

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.3

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Hamid, a project manager, has a workload of 24,000 hours that needs to be completed in 75 workdays. He has a team of 40 people who work for five 8-hour days per week. In those 75 days, 20 people have each requested three days off at different times. In this scenario, the workload is _____ of capacity

a) 80 percent

  1. b) 102 percent
  2. c) 95 percent
  3. d) 75 percent
  4. e) 150 percent

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 6.3

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Walter, a project manager in a design agency, is using a project management software to manage his project. The agency he works for is currently prioritizing other projects and needs to conserve scarce resources. In the context of priority rules for allocating resources, which of the following rules should Walter use?

a) Longest task duration first

  1. b) As soon as possible
  2. c) As late as possible
  3. d) Most critical followers
  4. e) Least successors

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 6.4

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Vanessa, a student, has to submit two assignments, A and B, on the same day.Each assignment is divided into three tasks. She has to write the first draft, check it for accuracy, and let her friend review it before submission. Each of these tasks takes 5 hours.In order to multitask effectively, Vanessa should:

a) complete the first two tasks of assignment A and start on assignment B while her friend reviews assignment A.

  1. b) complete both assignments simultaneously for her friend to review.
  2. c) complete the first task for each assignment before moving on to the second task and so on.
  3. d) complete assignment B after assignment A has been reviewed.
  4. e) complete assignment A after assignment B has been reviewed.

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 6.6

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Arthur, a project manager, has multiple projects under him, and his team members are multitasking between these projects. When he planned these projects, Arthur asked his team members the number of hours they will take to complete their respective tasks. However, they are taking longer than discussed, which is preventing Arthur from taking on more projects. According to Goldratt, which of the following should Arthur do to fix this issue?

a) Hire more team members for new projects.

  1. b) Increase the time allotted to projects that are taking longer.
  2. c) Focus on completing the most resource-intensive projects first.
  3. d) Focus on completing the least resource-intensive projects first.
  4. e) Reduce the number of projects each team member is working on simultaneously.

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 6.6

Level: difficult

 

 

 

 

 

Short Answer

 

  1. What is fast-tracking a project?

 

Answer: In addition to crashing a project in order to expedite it, a project may also be fast-tracked. Used primarily in the construction industry, the term refers to an expediting technique in which the design and planning phases of a project are not actually completed before the building phase is started. Usually design and plan are finished before the building is started (referred to as the “waterfall” approach), so letting them overlap reduces project duration—if the fact that design and planning are incomplete does not result in a significant amount of rework and change orders during the building phase.

Response: See section 6.1

Level: medium

 

  1. What is resource loading?

 

Answer: Resource loading is usually displayed as a list of the amounts of specific resources assigned for use on specific project activities at specific times, or as a graph showing the level of a resource’s capacity required against the project calendar. To be useful for scheduling, the resource must have a calendar showing the resource’s availability. The calendar should include hours—and days—worked each week, any holidays on which the resource will not be available, and any other information affecting the availability of the resource. Resource cost per unit of usage should be included on the calendar, plus any additional cost for overtime or overuse.

Response: See section 6.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What is resource leveling? Why is it needed?

 

Answer: Most project management software will, when asked politely, level out the loads (usage) for individual resources and warn the project manager when a resource is scheduled for greater-than-capacity workloads. Whenever possible, the leveling will utilize any available activity slack rather than extend the duration of the project. When a resource is assigned to an activity, it is assigned for 100 percent of its availability unless the PM specifies otherwise. It is often necessary to have significant excess resource capacity on projects because of the uncertainty that exists in all projects. Dealing with this issue is a major reason for the installation of a competent risk-management system.

Response: See section 6.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. List and briefly explain five priority rules used to assign preference to activities when allocating scarce resources.

 

Answer: There are many possible rules for assigning preference to some activities over others when allocating scarce resources. Most popular project management software packages have a limited number of rules that can be automatically applied to level over allocated resources so many of the priority rules for assigning scarce resources to activities may have to be applied manually. Fortunately, this is not as difficult as it might seem. Several of the most commonly used rules are as follows:

  • As soon as possible—This is the standard rule in scheduling. Activities are scheduled to start on their earliest start times (ES), and resources are made available with that in mind.
  • As late as possible—With this rule, resources are made available so that activities start on their latest start times (LS) whenever possible without increasing the project’s duration. This may seem irrational, but it preserves the firm’s resources and delays cash outflows as long as possible. This rule is also compatible with EliyahuGoldratt’s contention that the “student syndrome” leads workers to delay starting an activity until the last possible moment.
  • Shortest task duration first—Always consistent with technological precedences, shorter tasks are given priority over longer tasks. This rule maximizes the number of tasks that can be completed by a system in a given time period.
  • Minimum slack first—Tasks are supplied with resources in inverse order of their slacks. This rule usually minimizes the number of late activities.
  • Most critical followers—The number of successors on the critical path(s) for each activity is counted. Activities with a higher number of critical successors take precedence. The rationale here is that such activities would cause the greatest damage to the desired project schedule if they are late.

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Explain how you would choose a priority rule.

 

Answer: When a resource is overallocated, MSP can level resource usage by adopting a variety of priority rules, including available activity slack. If there is insufficient slack, other priority rules may be used to allocate the scarce resource. Most of the priority rules originated as job shop scheduling rules. The minimum slack rule usually works best. Only a few critical resources are actually scarce in the sense that project schedules must be adjusted to resource availability.

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Explain how the commonly made assumption of known activity times can lead to unrealistic project deadlines.

 

Answer: In order to illustrate this, we take note of three projects occurring simultaneously. Let’s assume that all activity times are normally distributed with a mean of 10 days and standard deviation of three. The results of simulating the completion of the three projects 200 times each are noted down. While the average completion times of the projects are still close to 50, this is simply the average project completion time after simulating the execution of each project 200 times.

That is, approximately 50 percent of the time the projects will be completed in less than 50 days and 50 percent of the time the projects will be completed in more than 50 days under the reasonable assumption that the distribution of project completion times follows a symmetrical distribution.

Here we are referring to the distribution of project completion times as being symmetrical, not the project activity times. In other words, had we determined the project duration based on the assumption that the activity times are known with certainty (when they were actually probabilistic), we would incur a greater than 50 percent chance that the actual project duration would exceed this estimate. This example clearly demonstrates how the commonly made assumption of known activity times in practice can lead to quite unrealistic project deadlines.

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What is the student syndrome? In what ways can it create problems for a project?

 

Answer: Goldratt’s student syndrome states that after receiving approval for a task based on an inflated time estimate, workers may perceive that they now have plenty of time to complete the task and therefore delay starting the task. He likened it to the way students often delay writing a term paper until the last minute. The problem of delaying the start of a task is that obstacles are frequently not discovered until the task has been underway for some time. By delaying the start of the task, the opportunity to cope with these obstacles and complete the task on time is greatly diminished.

The common practice of simply adding up task durations often leads to unrealistic project due dates. This is primarily the result of assuming the task times are known with certainty, and that we ignore path mergers and assume that the paths are independent. A natural consequence of this is that project team members will tend to inflate their time estimates. Inflated time estimates further compound the problem, particularly in cases where the student syndrome comes into play. In other words, this system tends to cause unethical behavior.

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Briefly overview Goldratt’s common chain of events.

 

Answer: According to Goldratt, multitasking between multiple projects in a given time leads to the following chain of events:

  1. Assuming that activity times are known and that the paths are independent leads to underestimating the actual amount of time needed to complete a project.
  2. Because the time needed to complete the project is underestimated, project team members tend to inflate their time estimates.
  3. Inflated time estimates lead to work filling available time, workers not reporting that a task has been completed early, and the ever-present student syndrome.
  4. An important caveat then becomes that safety time is not usually visible to project workers and is often misused.
  5. Misused safety time results in missed deadlines and milestones.
  6. Hidden safety time further complicates the task of prioritizing project activities.
  7. The lack of clear priorities likely results in poor multitasking.
  8. Task durations increase as a result of poor multitasking.
  9. Uneven demand on resources, some overloaded and others underloaded, may also occur as a result of poor multitasking.
  10. In an effort to utilize all resources fully, more projects are undertaken to make sure that no resources are underutilized.
  11. Adding more projects further increases poor multitasking.

According to Goldratt, this chain of events leads to a vicious cycle. Specifically, as work continues to pile up, team members are pressured to do more poor multitasking. Increasing the amount of poor multitasking leads to longer activity times. Longer activity times lead to longer project completion times, which ultimately lead to more projects in the waiting line.

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

  1. Why are scarce resources referred to as “Walts”?

 

Answer: Every time a project falls behind schedule, the project manager is apt to plead for more resources. In spite of the PM’s complaints about the scarcity of resources, serious cases of resource scarcity rarely apply to resources in general, but rather to one or two very specific resources. We call such resources “Walts.” The term was derived from the name of an individual, Walter A., who is employed by a large insurance company. Walt is a specialist in the rules and laws affecting insurance policies for certain types of casualty losses in the firm’s commercial lines of business. He has an excellent analytical mind and many years of experience. His knowledge is required when designing new policies in this area of risk. The firm has only one Walt, and while the firm is training others, such training takes years.

Response: See section 6.4

Level: medium

 

  1. Explain the concept of a feeding buffer.

 

Answer: In the context of a project network, there are two potential sources that can delay the completion of a project. One source of delay is in the tasks that make up the critical chain. The project buffer is used to protect against these delays. The second source of delay is in the tasks external to the critical chain. These tasks can also delay the completion of the project if delays in these “feeder” paths end up delaying one or more of the tasks on the critical chain. Safety time can be added to these paths as well to ensure that they do not delay tasks on the critical chain. The safety time added to chains other than the critical chain is called a feeding buffer since these paths often feed into or merge with the critical chain. Thus, the objective of feeding buffers is to ensure that noncritical chains are completed so that they do not delay tasks on the critical chain.

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

  1. Explain the concept of a project buffer.

 

Answer: While properly scheduling the start of new projects does much to address the problems associated with poor multitasking, it does little to address the problem of setting unrealistic project deadlines and the accompanying response of inflated time estimates. Goldratt suggests reducing the amount of safety time added to individual tasks and then adding some fraction of the safety time reduced back into the system as safety buffer for the entire project. This is called the project buffer. The amount of time each task is reduced depends on how much of a reduction is needed to get project team members to change their behavior. For example, the allotted time for tasks should be reduced to the point that the student syndrome is eliminated.

Response: See section 6.6

Level: medium

 

Chapter 7: Monitoring and Controlling the Project

 

 

True/False

 

  1. Project monitoring and control can be thought of as opposite sides of project selection and planning.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Control is the collection, recording, and reporting of project information.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The purpose of control is to ensure that all interested parties have the information they need.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The most important use of data gathered from monitoring is learning from mistakes.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The most important use of data gathered from monitoring is control.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The plan-monitor-control cycle constitutes a “closed loop” process.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. It is often the case with particularly challenging or uncertain projects that the planning-monitoring-controlling effort is minimized so that the “real work” can be done.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: easy

 

 

  1. In order to manage for overall project success, control should be exercised at a very high and aggregated level and not get bogged down with unnecessary details.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. In order to manage for overall project success, control must be exercised at the detailed work level for each aspect of project performance.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Mechanisms to gather and store data rarely need to be designed.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. One way of linking planning and control is to monitor project progress on the MSP Gantt chart.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Too often, intensity of activity is measured instead of results.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. A common mistake is to focus too much on results and not enough on the intensity of activity.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

  1. Statistical quality control techniques can be helpful for determining what size variances are significant.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. An important use of data analysis is to identify who to properly blame for poor project performance.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Frequent blame is considered a good motivational tool to keep project team members on track.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Everyone associated with the project should receive the same information.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. In general, it is preferable to have periodic reports.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. An overload of reporting is just as dangerous as underreporting.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Exception reports are prepared to disseminate the results of a special study.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Exception reports are primarily intended for unexpected situations.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Project review meetings are always important.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Weekly progress report meetings should be rarely held.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Remarks should be directly attributed to individuals in the meeting minutes.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. To maximize efficiency, project team meetings should follow Robert’s Rules of Order.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Earned value is a measure for overall project progress in terms of performance, budget and schedule.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Lower expendituresthan expected at a given point in time isalways good.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. According to the text, there is no satisfactory way to measure accurately the percent of completion of most tasks.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The percentage of an activity’s budget actually spent by a given date is typically a of that activity’s completion.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The key to setting up a monitoring system is to identify the special characteristics of scope, cost and time that need to be controlled in order to achieve the project goals.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Monitoring is the direct connection between project planning and control.

 

Answer: true

Response: see section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Earned Value is a measure of overall project progress in terms of performance, budget, and schedule.

 

Answer: true

Response: see section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Earned value (EV) of a task is the budgeted cost of the work actually performed.

 

Answer: true

Response: see section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The 50-50 approach for estimating progress overstates the EV of tasks that are near completion and understates the EV of tasks that have recently begun.

 

Answer: false

Response: see section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Control systems that make use of all five components of project control are called cybernetic control systems.

 

Answer: True

Response: see section 7.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The go/no-go control takes the form of tests (sensors) to determine if some specific precondition (standard and comparator) has been met before permission is granted to continue (decision maker and effector).

 

Answer: True

Response: see section 7.5

Level: medium

 

 

Multiple Choice

 

 

  1. Which of the following is not an objective mentioned in the text for data gathered from monitoring?

a) promoting team members

  1. b) keeping management informed
  2. c) auditing
  3. d) learning from mistakes
  4. e) control

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The plan-monitor-control cycle is best described as…

a) an open loop process

  1. b) aclosed-loop process
  2. c) an ad-hoc process
  3. d) an informal process
  4. e) a hierarchical process

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The cost/spending variance is calculated as…

a) AC – EV

  1. b) EV- PV
  2. c) PV – EV
  3. d) AC – PV
  4. e) EV – AC

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Estimated (remaining cost) to completion (ETC) is calculated as…

a) (BAC – EV)/CPI

  1. b) (BAC – EV)/SPI
  2. c) (BAC + EV)/CPI
  3. d) (BAC + EV)/SPI
  4. e) (BAC – AC)/CPI

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. In earned value analysis…

a) it is desirable to have negative variances for both schedule and spending.

  1. b) it is desirable to have positive variances for both schedule and spending.
  2. c) the schedule variance should be positive and the spending variance negative.
  3. d) the schedule variance should be negative and the spending variance positive.
  4. e) ideally both variances would equal zero.

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Which of the following is not a tool used to aid the PM in project control?

a) variance analysis

  1. b) trend projections
  2. c) earned value analysis
  3. d) control charts
  4. e) discounted cash flow analysis

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 7.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. The most common source of changes to a project based on the natural tendency of the client and project team members to improve the project’s output is called…

a) scope creep

  1. b) projectitis
  2. c) multitasking
  3. d) dynamic scoping
  4. e) unfreezing

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 7.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The first step in setting up a monitoring system is to:
  2. a) identify personnel
  3. b) identify all project milestones
  4. c) identify key factors to be controlled
  5. d) identify reports required
  6. e) develop a change request form

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. David, an architect, is in charge of executing a housing project. He appoints Charles to collect, record, and report all the necessary information to David and other relevant stakeholders.In this scenario, Charles will be engaged in _____ the project.
  2. a) scoping
  3. b) monitoring
  4. c) planning
  5. d) controlling
  6. e) scheduling

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 7.1

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Nadia, an intern in a restoration firm, collects data on a project involving the remodeling of an monumentand sends the collected information to Maria, her supervisor. Maria uses this data to estimate the project’s progress. After finding that the project is behind schedule, she makes small changes to the tasks involved in the project to bring the performance into agreement with the plan. In this scenario, Maria is engaged in _____ the project.
  2. a) monitoring
  3. b) planning
  4. c) scoping
  5. d) controlling
  6. e) analyzing

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 7.1

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. MauvinMaz, a fashion boutique, found that its newly acquired batch of raw materials did not meet the company’s quality standards and was affecting the quality of its final products. In order to prevent any financial loss due to this problem, the top managers ofMauvinMaz decided to release a report to the workers asking them to stop using the newly acquired raw materials until a formal quality check is conducted. In this scenario, MauvinMaz most likely released a(n) _____.
  2. a) special analysis report
  3. b) periodic report
  4. c) exception report
  5. d) routine report
  6. e) resource report

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 7.2

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. RenuitMec, a footwear manufacturing company, produces 10,000 shoes per day. In an average, about 200 shoes have more than one defect. However, the company has found that its newly installed machines are producing more defective products than the older machines. In order to prevent the production of more defective products, RenuitMec releases a report to its employees asking them to stop using the newly installed machines. In this scenario, RenuitMec most likely released a(n) _____.
  2. a) periodic report
  3. b) routine report
  4. c) special analysis report
  5. d) resource report
  6. e) exception report

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 7.2

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. The accountants of JunisPlex, a textile company, used to calculate the company’s taxable income manually. However, the management recently adopted a software program that requires only few inputs from the accountants which automatically calculates the taxes owed by the company. The management releases a report for all its operations managers that provides specific instructions on how to use this software. Which of the following types of reports hasJunisPlex used to inform its project managers of the new software program?
  2. a) A special analysis report
  3. b) A semi-periodic report
  4. c) An exception report
  5. d) A routine report
  6. e) A resource report

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 7.2

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. To calculate the variable in its economic growth, Nunclemen Inc., a pharmaceutical company, collects data on the sales of its products based on how many doctors prescribe its medicines to their patients. However, a research study conducted by the company shows that pharmacists are a more reliable source than doctors. Nunclemensubmits a report of this finding to all its stakeholders to review. Which of the following types of reports has the company used to inform its stakeholders of the results of the research study?
  2. a) A resource report
  3. b) A special analysis report
  4. c) A routine report
  5. d) An exception report
  6. e) A semi-periodic report

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 7.2

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Robert, a baker, receives an order for preparing 10 cakes in one day. He is given a budget of $5,000. In six hours, he bakes two-thirds of the order and spends $3,600.Calculate the schedule performance index from the given scenario.
  2. a) 0.55
  3. b) 0.33
  4. c) 0.25

d)0.66

  1. e) 0.75

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 7.3

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Kimberley, a project manager in a software development company, is assigned a new project. She is given a budget of $500,000 and a span of six months to complete the project. In three months, she is able to complete 50 percent of the project. In this scenario, the earned value of the work completed is _____.
  2. a) $350,000
  3. b) $300,000
  4. c) $250,000
  5. d) $200,000
  6. e) $150,000

Answer: c

Response: See section 7.3

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Walter, a luthier, is assigned with the task of building 20 guitars in six months. He is given a budget of $1,500,000 to buy the necessary raw materials required for building 20 guitars of same quality. In a period of four months, Walter is able to complete 75 percent of the work and spends $1,250,000 in the process. The project that Walter is working on has a spending variance of _____.
  2. a) $350,000
  3. b) $150,000
  4. c) $430,000
  5. d) $125,000
  6. e) $500,000

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 7.3

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Paulina, a fashion designer, has a new project that requires her to makefive dresses in seven days. A sum of $2,000 is allotted to her to fund the entire project. In three days, she completes one-third of the work and spends $1,200. Calculate the cost performance index from the given scenario.
  2. a) 0.55
  3. b) 0.75
  4. c) 0.33
  5. d) 0.66
  6. e) 0.25

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 7.3

Level: difficult

 

Short Answer

 

 

  1. Explain why project monitoring and control can be thought to be opposite sides of project selection and planning.

 

Answer:Project monitoring and control are, in some ways, the opposite sides of project selection and planning. The bases for selection dictate what to monitor and the details of planning identify the elements to be controlled. Monitoring is the collection, recording, and reporting of project information that is of importance to the project manager and other relevant stakeholders. Control uses the monitored data and information to bring actual performance into agreement with the plan.

Response: See section 7.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. List and briefly describe the three distinct types of reports.

 

Answer:For projects, there are primarily three distinct types of reports: routine, exception, and special analysis. Routine performance reports include status reports, progress reports, and forecasts. Exception reports are primarily intended for special decisions or unexpected situations in which affected team members and outside managers need to be made aware of a change, and the change itself needs to be documented.Special analysis reports are prepared to disseminate the results of a special study in a project concerning a particular opportunity or problem for the project.

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. List the benefits of reports beyond the purpose of control.

 

Answer: In addition to the benefits of reports for the purposes of control, they offer the following benefits.

  • They provide the mutual understanding between stakeholders in a project regarding the goals, progress, difficulties, successes, and other ongoing events of importance to the project.
  • They help communicate the need for coordination among those working on the tasks and subtasks of a project.
  • They establish and maintain a communication network for global projects.
  • There are often changes to the goals and functioning of projects. Reports can communicate this information in a timely and appropriate fashion, thus minimizing the confusion often encountered during such changes.
  • They help maintain the visibility of the projects, and the project teams, to top management, functional managers, colleagues, and clients.
  • Finally, unless a project is a disaster, status reports help keep the project team motivated.

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What actions can you take to help avoid the common problems associated with meetings?

 

Answer: The following guidelines can help avoid the problems associated with meetings:

  • Try to hold meetings only for making group decisions or generating input among meeting members for dealing with important problems or opportunities.
  • Distribute a written agenda in advance of the meetings.
  • If a crisis arises and a meeting is deemed necessary to deal with it, make sure the meeting is restricted to that issue.
  • If homework needs to be done before the meeting by the attendees, check to be sure they will be prepared, and above all make sure you are prepared.
  • If you chair the meeting, you should take your own minutes. The minutes should contain a final set of action items including what is to be done, by whom, and by when.
  • Avoid attributing remarks to individuals in the minutes.
  • Although courtesy is always in order, excessive formality at project meetings is not.

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Define the terms monitoring and control.

 

Answer: Monitoring is the collection, recording, and reporting of project information that is of importance to the project manager and other relevant stakeholders. Control uses the monitored data and information to bring actual performance into agreement with the project plan.

Response: See section 7.1

Level: easy

 

 

  1. What is the best way to estimate percent completion of activities for finding earned value?

 

Answer:The most popular way to estimate progress on tasksis 50–50: the task is listed as 50 percent complete when work on it is initiated, and the other 50 percent is added when the task is completed. This approach avoids the difficult problem of trying to estimate progress while the task is being executed.Clearly, this overstates the earned value of tasks that have recently begun, but understates the earned value of tasks nearing completion. In a large projectwith multiple on-going tasks starting and stopping at different times, the overstating and understating may tend to even out resulting in a relatively accurate portrayal of project progress.

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What is earned value?

 

Answer:The earned value (EV) of a task (or a project) is the budgeted cost of the work actually performed. It is calculated by multiplying the budgeted cost of the task by the percentage of completion of the task and summing over all tasks for the project.

Response: See section 7.3

Level: easy

 

 

  1. Explain how an earned value chart can be used to help monitor and control a project.

 

Answer: The key to setting up a monitoring system is to identify the special characteristics of scope, cost, and time that need to be controlled in order to achieve the project goals as stated in the project plan. An earned value chart provides a basis for evaluating project cost, schedule, and performance to date. The earned value completed to date tells the project manager whether progress is up to expectation. Any difference is called the “schedule variance,” which shows how much the project is ahead of or behind schedule. The variances on the earned value chart are calculated based on two simple rules: (1) A negative variance is “bad,” and a positive variance is “good”; and (2) the spending and schedule variances are calculated as the earned value minus some other measure. Specifically, the cost or spending variance is the earned value less the actual cost of the work performed.

Response: See section 7.1 and 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Why is control difficult?

 

Answer: Control is difficult for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important of which is that it involves human behavior.The problem that the human element poses for control by the project manager is that it invariably involves the project team—a “we” group ratherthan a “they” group—a group we perceive as our friends. Another reason that control is difficult is that problems are rarely clear cut, so the need for change and redirection is also fuzzy.

Response: See section 7.4

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What are the two primary purposes of control?

 

Answer:There are two primary purposes of control: the stewardship of organizational assets and the regulation of results through the alteration of activities.

Response: See section 7.4

Level: easy

 

 

  1. Explain why virtual projects may be necessary?

 

Answer:The technological progress of the current “turn of the century” only means more effective and timely use of project information for planning, monitoring, and communicating. Utilizing video conferencing, virtual presentations, Web posting, email, etc. greatly enhance the project manager’s ability to manage a project.Thus virtual project teams are created, perhaps spread across continents, with members contributing their own pieces of the project and being monitored and controlled by the project manager at another location.

Response: See section 7.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. State the formula for CPI. Explain what CPI means and its relevance to monitoring and controlling a project.

 

Answer:Cost Performance Index (CPI) is a ratio of the earned value (EV) to the actual cost (AC) of the work performed in a project. An earned value chart provides a basis for evaluating project cost, schedule, and performance to date. The earned value completed to date tells the project manager whether progress is up to expectation. Any difference is called the “schedule variance,” which shows how much the project is ahead of or behind schedule. A way to calculate variances is simply to take the ratios of the measures rather than their differences. This way of handling data is more useful for making comparisons at different points in time, or across different projects, or among different project managers.

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

  1. State the formula for SPI. Explain what SPI means and its relevance to monitoring and controlling a project.

 

Answer:Schedule Performance Index (SPI) is a ratio of the earned value (EV) to the planned cost (PV) of the work budgeted and scheduled to have been performed to date in a project. An earned value chart provides a basis for evaluating project cost, schedule, and performance to date. The earned value completed to date tells the project manager whether progress is up to expectation. Any difference is called the “schedule variance,” which shows how much the project is ahead of or behind schedule. A way to calculate variances is simply to take the ratios of the measures rather than their differences. This way of handling data is more useful for making comparisons at different points in time, or across different projects, or among different project managers.

Response: See section 7.3

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

  1. All good project plans have a change control system as a component. Briefly explain the change control process.

 

Answer:The availability of new technologies and materials and the increase in project requirements and needs lead to changed projects. The later these changes are made in a project, the more difficult and costly they become. The one absolutely certain thing about a project—even though virtually nothing in a project is ever certain—is that there will be concerted attempts to change it. Project managers must expect these attempts and be prepared to deal with them. Fighting change is not appropriate. The best approach is for project managers to set up a well-controlled, formal process whereby such changes can be introduced and accomplished with as little distress as possible.This process is known as the change control system.

Response: See section 7.6

Level: medium

 

 

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