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 2: The Manager, the Organization, and the Team

True/False

 

  1. It is common practice to select the project manager prior to the project being selected.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. The functional manager has expertise in the function he or she manages, but the project manager rarely has expertise in many of the projects technical areas.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section2.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. The project manager is supposed to facilitate the work of the project team and must, therefore, stay aloof from the conflicts arising among project team members.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. The project manager should take a careful, analytic approach to making decisions about projects.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.3

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. If the performance of all subsystems is optimized, it follows that the overall system is optimum.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. The project manager must maintain a high level of flexibility in dealing with people.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.4

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. It is appropriate for the project manager to play an active role in communications between the client and the senior management of the organization conducting the project.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.4

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. The individual with responsibility for performing a task is more likely to overestimate the time required to complete the task than his/her immediate supervisor.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. The most effective program managers tell their project managers exactly what to do.The project manager should not allow functional managers to usurp his or her control of the project.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.4

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. When it comes to assigning individuals to work on projects, functional managers and project managers are often in conflict.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. It is critical to a project’s success to have top management support.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: easy

 

 

 

  1. Conflict occurs mainly at the beginning of the project.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. A matrix organization is a combination of pure project organization and functional organization.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. A pure project organization is usually too expensive for the management of small projects.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. An advantage of pure project organization is its great depth of technical knowledge.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Cross divisional project communication is enhanced when a project is organized in a functional project organization.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Functional project organizations have higher personnel costs than pure project organizations.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Functionally organized projects are not seen as a high priority by functional managers.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. It is common to have more than one boss in a matrix organization.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.6

Level: easy

 

 

 

  1. Project team members are often faced with conflicting orders in a matrix organization.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Intrateam conflicts are minimal in a matrix organization.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Since the PM has position power there is no need for them to have credibility

 

 

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: easy

 

 

 

  1. Political savvy is not only an important characteristic of a project manager but is also important for project team members.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.3

Level: easy

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Morale of the project team is a key responsibility of the project manager.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.3

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Project team conflict stifles team creativity.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Project “war rooms” discourage team cooperation, morale and communications.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Matrix, pure project, and functional project organizations may exist in the same company.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. When making trade-offs on a project, the project manager needs to be aware that profit for the firm is always the most important of the project’s goals.

 

Answer: False

Response: See section 2.2

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

  1. The job of managing work across multiple groups is called integration management.

 

Answer: False

Response: Seesection 2.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

 

  1. In order for a PM to be “believable” the PM must have technical and administrative credibility.

 

Answer: True

Response: See section 2.3

Level: medium

 

 

Multiple Choice

 

 

  1. Fiona and her team are working on a complex project. After multiple conflicts in the initial stages of the project, the team establishes a set of guidelines and is now working cohesively to accomplish the project goals. In the given scenario, Fiona’s team is in the _____ phase of team development.
  2. a) norming
  3. b) forming
  4. c) storming
  5. d) adjourning
  6. e) performing

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 2.6

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Samuel is a project manager who is working on his first project. He assembles a multidisciplinary team and assigns roles and responsibilities to each team member. In this scenario, Samuel is in the _____ phase of team development.
  2. a) storming
  3. b) norming
  4. c) performing
  5. d) adjourning
  6. e) forming

 

Answer: e

Response: See section 2.6

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Laura worked with a cross-functional team on a project. After the completion of the project, she held a meeting with the team members after which they returned to their respective departments. Which of the following phases of team development does this scenario exemplify?
  2. a) Storming
  3. b) Norming
  4. c) Performing
  5. d) Adjourning
  6. e) Forming

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 2.6

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Albert is managing a team that comprises individuals from various departments in his company. After facing some difficulties initially, the team members work toward resolving the issues and collectively establish certain rules to avoid any future conflict. In this scenario, Albert’s team is in the _____ phase of team development.
  2. a) storming
  3. b) norming
  4. c) performing
  5. d) adjourning
  6. e) forming

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 2.6

Level: difficult

 

 

  1. Sarah is handling a project team whose members are spread across different geographical regions. The members work independently, and this leads to several conflicts among them. In this scenario, Sarah’s team is in the _____ phase of team development.
  2. a) storming
  3. b) norming
  4. c) performing
  5. d) adjourning
  6. e) forming

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 2.6

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Maria’s team starts working on a new project. Halfway through the project, the client visits the team and requests some changes in the specifications of the project. This alters both the cost and the schedule of the project. The given scenario exemplifies the concept of _____.
  2. a) storming
  3. b) interface coordination
  4. c) scope creep
  5. d) integration management
  6. e) administrative credibility

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 2.1

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Roger and his team have been designing a factory that will be modular in nature. They have been working on it for the past seven years, and now it is ending its developmental cycle. Roger has observed that his team is apprehensive.He has also received proposals for a follow-up project in the same area of interest with the same team. This is an example of _____.
  2. a) projectitis
  3. b) analytical approach
  4. c) scope creep
  5. d) systems approach
  6. e) norming

 

Answer: a

Response: See section 2.5

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Cibrastruct, a real estate developer, has undertaken a project to construct a mall. It hires a contractor to call in architects to draft plans, a procurement specialist to gather the best quality of raw materials, a lawyer to ensure the proper planning permits have been obtained, and labor union specialists to assemble a group of workers who will work on this long-term project. This is an example of _____.
  2. a) systems engineering
  3. b) functional project organization
  4. c) scope creep
  5. d) pure project organization
  6. e) technical credibility

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 2.5

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Proteus, a hotel chain, has bought some new kitchen appliances that would enable its kitchen staff to work more effectively. The senior management of the hotel assigns the task of removal of old appliances and installation of new appliances to the respective manager of the food and beverage department in each of its hotels. The manager assembles a team from within the department to perform this task. This scenario exemplifies _____.
  2. a) projectitis
  3. b) functional project organization
  4. c) scope creep
  5. d) pure project organization
  6. e) systemsengineering

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 2.5

Level: difficult

 

 

 

  1. Martha has taken on an ambitious project that requires input from different departments within the organization she works for. She also needs contributions from external experts and contractors. She needs to bring the work of all these groups together in a harmonious whole for the project. In the given scenario, Martha needs to engage in _____.
  2. a) systems engineering
  3. b) integration management
  4. c) scope creep
  5. d) suboptimization
  6. e) conscious capitalism

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 2.6

Level: difficult

 

  1. The _________________ approach centers on understanding the bits and pieces in a system.
  2. a) facilitating
  3. b) analytical
  4. c) systems
  5. d) sensitivity
  6. e) matrix

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. A matrix project that closely resembles the pure project is referred to as
  2. a) a weak matrix
  3. b) a strong matrix
  4. c) a functional matrix
  5. d) a balanced matrix
  6. e) an unbalanced matrix

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 2.6

Level: medium

 

 

 

  1. Which of the following is not a characteristic of effective project team members?
  2. a) They are technically competent.
  3. b) They are politically sensitive.
  4. c) They have a strong orientation to their discipline.
  5. d) They have a strong goal orientation.
  6. e) They have high self-esteem.

 

Answer: c

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Altering the specifications of an ongoing project is referred to as
  2. a) suboptimization
  3. b) scope creep
  4. c) a virtual project
  5. d) projectitis
  6. e) PMI

 

Answer: b

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

  1. The PM’s job includes all of the following except?
  2. a) Convener and chair of meetings
  3. b) Facilitator
  4. c) Communicator
  5. d) Supervisor
  6. e) Virtual project manager

 

Answer: d

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

  1. The four essential skills of persuasion described Jay Conger (1998) include all of the following except:
  2. a) Effective persuaders must be credible to those they are trying to persuade
  3. b) They must find goals held in common with those being persuaded
  4. c) Must give locker-room motivational speeches
  5. d) They must connect with the emotions of those they are trying to persuade

 

Answer: c

Response: Seesection 2.2

Level: medium

 

  1. During project formation stage, the major sources of conflict are all of the following except:
  2. a) Priorities
  3. b) Procedures
  4. c) Technical
  5. d) Schedules

 

Answer: c

Response: Seesection 2.6

Level: medium

 

Short Answer

 

  1. Describe the difference between the analytic approach and the systems approach to solving problems in a project.

 

Answer: The analytical approach to solving problems centers on understanding the bits and pieces in a system. It prompts study of the molecules, then atoms, then electrons, and so forth. The systems approach includes study of the bits and pieces, but also an understanding of how they fit together, how they interact, and how they affect and are affected by their environment. The systems approach manager conducts the group so that it contributes to total system optimization.To be successful, the project manager must adopt the systems approach. Consider that the project is a system composed of tasks (subsystems) which are composed of subtasks, and so on.

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Why are negotiation skills an important criterion of a successful project manager?

 

Answer: It is not possible for aproject manager to fulfil his or her responsibilities without being a skilled negotiator and resolver of conflict. The acquisition of resources requires negotiation. Dealing with problems, conflict, and fires requires negotiation and conflict resolution. The same skills are needed when the project manager is asked to lead the project to a successful conclusion—and to make the trade-offs required along the way. A project managerwho lacks these skills cannot be successful. There is no stage of the project life cycle that is not characterized by specific types of conflict. If these are not resolved, the project will suffer and possibly die.

Response: See section 2.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Define “projectitis.”

 

Answer: A disease called “projectitis” is one of the most serious problems seen in R&D projects or in projects that have fairly long lives. People assigned to a project tend to form strong attachments to it, and the project begins to take on a life of its own. One pronounced symptom of projectitisis worry about “Is there life after the project?” Foot dragging as the project end draws near is common, as is the submission of proposals for follow-up projects in the same area of interest—and using the same project team.

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. It is said that the distinction between the traditional manager-as-supervisor and the modern manager-as-facilitator is diminishing in recent years. Why?

 

Answer: The once sharp distinction between the manager-as-facilitator and the manager-as-supervisor has been softened in recent years. With the slow but steady adoption of the participative management philosophy, the general manager has become more and more like the project manager. In particular, responsibility for the planning and organization of specific tasks is given to the individuals or groups that must perform them, always constrained, of course, by company policy, legality, and conformity to high ethical standards. The manager’s responsibility is to make sure that the required resources are available and that the task is properly concluded. The transition from traditional authoritarian management to facilitation continues because facilitation is more effective as a managerial style.

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What is meant by the phrase “scope creep?”

 

Answer: Sometimes during a project, the client may drop in to check on a project and ask a team member, “Would it be possible to alter the specs to include such-and-such?” The team member may think for a moment about the technical problems involved and then answer quite honestly, “Yeah, that could be done.” Again, the project manager must intervene— if and when the question and answer come to light—to determine the cost of making such a change, as well as the added time that would be required. The project manager must then ask whether the client wishes to alter the project scope given the added cost and delayed delivery. This scenario is called scope creep. It is the project manager’s nightmare.

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. What is a “virtual project?”

 

Answer: More and more often, project teams are geographically dispersed. Many projects are international, and team members may be on different continents, for example, aircraft engine design and engine construction. Many are carried out by different organizations in different locations. Similarly, many projects involve different divisions of one firm where the divisions are in different cities. These geographically dispersed projects are often referred to as “virtual projects,” possibly because so much of the intra-project communication is conducted via email, through websites, by telephone or video conferencing, and other high-technology methods.

Response: See section 2.1

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Briefly describe the project manager’s role as a firefighter. What sorts of obstacles do project managers have to overcome?

 

Answer: A key responsibility of the project manager is to deal with obstacles. All projects have their crises—fires that must be quenched. A successful project manager is also a talented and seasoned fire fighter. Early in the project’s life cycle, fires are often linked to the need for resources. Budgets get cut, and the general cuts must be transformed into highly specific cuts in the quantities of highly specific resources. An X percent cut must be translated into Y units of this commodity or Z hours of that engineer’s time. As work on the project progresses, most fires are associated with technical problems, supplier problems, and client problems. Technical problems occur, for example, when some subsystem (e.g., a computer program) is supposed to work but fails. Typical supplier problems occur when subcontracted parts are late or do not meet specifications. Most experienced project managers are good fire fighters. If they do not develop this skill, they do not last as project managers.

Response: See section 2.2

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Briefly describe and contrast pure project organization, functional project organization, and the matrix project organization.

 

Answer: In a pure project organization, the supplies, equipment, and workers arrive just when they are needed, do the work, complete the project, and disband. The project manager (PM) is, in effect, the CEO of the project. When the project is completed, accepted by the client, equipment returned, and local workers paid off, then the PM and the specialists return to their parent firm and await the next job. For large projects, the pure project organization is effective and efficient, but for small projects it is a very expensive way to operate.

Quite unlike pure projects that are generally separated from the day-to-day operations of the parent organization, functionally organized projects are embedded in the functional group where the project will be used. This immediately corrects some of the problems associated with pure projects. First, the functional project has immediate, direct, and complete contact with the most important technologies it may need, and it has in-depth access. Second, the fractional resource problem is minimized for anyone working in the project’s home functional group. Functionally organized projects do not have the high personnel costs associated with pure projects because they can easily assign people to the project on a part-time basis.

In an attempt to capture the advantages of both the pure project organization and the functionally organized project as well as to avoid the problems associated with each type, a new type of project organization—more accurately, a combination of the two—was developed.

To form a matrix organized project, a pure project is superimposed on a functionally organized system. The project manager reports to a program manager, a vice-president of projects, or some senior individual with a similar title whose job it is to coordinate the activities of several or all of the projects. These projects may or may not be related, but they all demand the parent’s resources and the use of resources mustbe coordinated, if not the projects themselves. This method of organizing the interfacebetween projects and the parent organization succeeds in capturing the major advantagesof both pure and functional projects.

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. Briefly list the primary advantages and disadvantages of a matrix project organization.

 

Answer: One of the most important strengths of a matrix project organization is its flexibility, that is, the way in which it can interface with the parent organization. Because it is, or can be, connected to any or all of the parent organization’s functional units, it has access to any or all of the parent organization’s technology. The way it utilizes the services of the several technical units need not be the same for each unit. This allows the functional departments to optimize their contributions to any project. They can meet a project’s needs in a way that is most efficient. Being able to share expertise with several projects during a limited time period makes the matrix arrangement far less expensive than the pure project with its duplication of competencies, and just as technologically “deep” as the functional project. The flexibility of the matrix is particularly useful for globalized projects that often require integrating knowledge and personnel coming from geographically dispersed independent business units, each of which may be organized quite differently than the others.

The matrix has a strong focus on the project itself, just as does the pure project.

In this, it is clearly superior to the functional project that often is subordinate to the regular work of the functional group. With all their advantages, matrix projects have their own, unique problems. By far the most significant of these is the violation of an old dictum of the military and of management theory, the Unity of Command principle: For each subordinate, there shall be one, and only one, superior. In matrix projects, the individual specialist borrowed from a function has two bosses. The project manager may control which tasks the specialist undertakes, but the specialist reports to a functional manager who makes decisions about the specialist’s performance evaluation, promotion, and salary. Thus, project workers are often faced with conflicting orders from the project manager and the functional manager. The result is conflicting demands on their time and activities.

While the ability to balance resources, schedules, and deliverables between several projects is an advantage of a matrix organization, that ability has its dark side. The organization’s full set of projects must be carefully monitored by the program manager. Further, the movement of resources from project to project in order to satisfy the individual schedules of the multiple projects may foster political infighting among the several project managers.

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

 

  1. List the key characteristics of effective project team members.

 

Answer: Effective team members have some characteristics in common. Some of them are as follows:

  1. They must be technically competent. While functional departments will always remain the ultimate source of technological problem solving for a project, it requires a technically competent person to know exactly when additional technical knowledge may be required by the project.
  2. Senior members of project teams must be politically sensitive. It is rarely possibleto complete a project of reasonable size and complexity without incurring problemsthat require aid from the upper echelons of executive row; that is, from a project sponsor.
  3. Members of a project team need a strong problem orientation. The team’s members should be concerned about solving any problems posed by the project, not merely about those subproblems that concern their individual academic or technical training.
  4. Team members need a strong goal orientation. Projects are uncomfortable environments for people with a 9-to-5 view of work. In particular, neither project teams nor project managers can succeed if their focus is on activity rather than results.
  5. Project workers need high self-esteem. Team members must be sufficiently self-confident and have sufficient trust in their fellow team members that they can immediately acknowledge their own errors and point out problems caused by the errors of others.

Response: See section 2.6

Level: medium

 

  1. What does “PMO” stand for? What is its purpose?

 

Answer: One of the ways of addressing some of the challenges associated with the alternative organizational forms for projects is to set up a project management office (PMO). The parent organization can set up the PMO, more or less like a functional group or as a center of excellence with its own manager. This group may act as staff to some or to all projects. The project office may handle some or all of the budgeting, scheduling, reporting, scope, compliance with corporate governance, and risk management activities while the functional units supply the technical work. The PMO often serves as a repository for project documents and histories. However, the PMO must never replace the project manager as officer in charge of and accountable for the project.

Response: See section 2.5

Level: medium

 

  1. Explain the importance of credibility and why PM’s need it.

 

Answer: For aproject manager, credibility is critical. In essence, it means that the project manager is believable. There are two areas in which the project manager needs believability. The first is technical credibility, and the second is administrative credibility. Aproject manager is not expected to have an expert’s knowledge of each of the technologies that may be germane to the project. The project manager should, however, have expertise in one or more areas of knowledge relevant to the project. In particular, a project manager must know enough to explain the current state of the project, its progress, and its technical problems to senior management who may lack technical training.

While quite different, administrative credibility is just as significant to the project. For management and the client to have faith in the viability of the project, reports, appraisals, audits, and evaluations must be timely and accurate. For the team, resources, personnel, and knowledge must be available when needed. For all parties, aproject manager must be able to make the difficult trade-offs that allow the project to meet its objectives as well as possible. This requires mature judgment and considerable courage.

Response: See section 2.3

Level: medium

 

  1. How are the PMBOK and PMI related?

 

Answer: The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a professional organization that has been devoted to project management. The growth in the field of project management has been exponential. Among other reasons for this growth is the project-oriented organization. The PMI has published the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). It also publishes two professional periodicals; first, the Project Management Journal, oriented to project management theory, though its articles are almost uniformly related to the actual practice of project management; and second, the PM Network magazine, which is a trade journal aimed at practitioners.Both publications are valuable for experienced project managers as well as neophytes or students.

Response: See section 2.4

Level: medium

 

 

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

 

 

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