Project Scheduling using MS Project

MIS 3770System Analysis Method
Homework assignment #1 (project scheduling using Microsoft project)
Deliverables (to be submitted via dropbox on eCourweware)
1. MS project file from Part 1
2. MS project file from Part 2
3. Word document which include answers for the questions from Part 1&2
*** please save the files using your last name and first name initial followed by the deliverable number, e.g., LeeJ1.mpp, LeeJ2.mpp,

and LeeJ3.docx

Note: you will need to use Microsoft Project to complete this homework. There are two ways to obtain access to Microsoft Project – see

below and also refer to 3 lecture (part 2) for detailed instructions.

1. Use the cloud-based Microsoft Project:

(a) Go to
(b) Login with your U of M user ID and password
(c) Find “Microsoft Project 2013” and launch the software.

2. Download and install Microsoft Project on your PC or laptop (it works only on Windows):

As a U of M student taking an MIS course, you can download Microsoft Project and several other Microsoft programs. Here are the

1. Copy and paste this URL into a separate browser window (if you just click on this link, you will end up in Microsoft “Outlook”

which is not where you want to be):
2. When you get to this site, login with your U of M user ID and password.
3. Locate either Microsoft Project 2010 or 2013. Click through the options to indicate that you want to download and install the

program. If you are provided with a CD-key, make sure you write it down because you will need it to install the program.
4. Click the ‘installer’ icon to install the installer. On the Windows desktop, click to run the installer, then click the MS

project icon to install the program.
5. The MS Project program will install on to your hard drive. When the installation process is complete, the program should appear

on your “programs” list on the Windows desktop.
Part 1

Use the project information in the table below to create a network diagram using MS Project. After having done so, answer


Activity Predecessor Days to Complete
1 Contract Signoff – 5
2 Art Design 1 10
3 Code Design 1 5
4 Database Design 1 10
5 Build Site 2,3,4 8
6 Test Site 5 9
7 UAT 6 10
8 User Signoff 7 5
9 Close Project 7,8 5
Question 1) what is the overall project schedule (duration)?

Question 2) name the activities that are on the critical path.

Question 3) what is the total “time slack” of this project? (hint: time slack is the amount of time an activity can be delayed before

it delays the project)
Part 2
Description of the Project
You are currently managing an IT project that was initiated to build a new web site to support a product launch for a major

telecommunications company. There are many parts of the value chain in play, including marketing, IT, customer service and operations.

Youneed to derive and manage an acceptable project plan based on the provided Microsoft Project Template.

To begin with, download a copy of the file named “TigersProject.mpp”fromeCourseware.

General Tips
Read instructions very carefully and follow them step-by-step (skipping a step may result in errorr). As you follow the instructions,

simultaneously make notes and/or answer questions. Also, think logically what each step implies as opposed to mechanically following

the instructions. Lastly, your answers should be specific and demonstrate your thought process and reasoning.

1) Set up the project to begin on 2/12/2016.
a. Set WBS 1.1.1 to Start on 2/12/2016.
b. Go to the top menu and click on Project, and then click “Project Information”. It will pop up a window, and there you can

modify the start date – set it to 2/12/2016
*** When you change the start date, start date for every other activity should be adjusted automatically

2) Now, you will notice the start date for some of the tasks is too early. This is because no predecessor relationships have been

set on some tasks. Assign predecessors to these tasks as follows:
a. Set WBS 4.1 to have predecessor WBS 3.2.9 (line 43).
b. Set WBS 4.2 to have predecessor WBS 4.1 (line 52).
c. Set WBS 4.5 to have predecessor WBS 4.2 and 4.3 (lines 53 and 54).

3) Now that you have an initial project schedule, baseline the project.
a. On the Project tap, select Set Baseline, then click the baseline you want to save (select Baseline, and Entire project).

Question 4) on the Project tap, select Project Information, then click Statistics, what is the duration, work, and costs for this

current “Baseline” set?
4) OK, you now have an initial baseline. However, you only have “generic” resources such as programmer, QA, developer. You need to

assign real resources (i.e., people) so you can start understanding the costs as not all resources are billed equally. Select “Task” –

“Gantt Chart” – “Resource Sheet”. The starting Resource Sheet looks something like this:

5) Make it look more like this (notice the change in rates and names).

6) Now, change the working time.
a. Choose “Change Working Time” on the Project tap.
b. Select “Standard (Project Calendar)” – this will make changes apply to entire calendar, not just an individual resource.
c. Go to “Work Weeks”, click Details.
d. Select the M, T, W, Th, F columns on the calendar.
e. Set selected date(s) to “Set day(s) to these specific working times”… and select 9AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM. Close “OK”
f. Click Options at the bottom and set to 6 hours per day instead of 8 hour per day.
g. Save a project Baseline to “Baseline 1”.

Question 5) what is the DURATION for the “Baseline 1”? Is it longer or shorter than the “Baseline”? Explain why? Also, what is the

COST for the “Baseline 1”? Is it a greater or lesser cost than the “Baseline”? Explain why?

You need a visual representation of the critical path to be able to answer the next set of questions. Please use “Gantt Chart” and

“Network Diagram” view.

Now, looking at the schedule, the project sponsor would like to see two weeks shaved off the project schedule (duration). They are

willing to make cost accommodations (within a reasonable amount) to meet that timeline. They would like to keep the cost increases to

minimum (i.e., less than 5% over the current budget). Fortunately, we also have an outsourcing relationship with an offshore team in

Brazil with specialties in both QA Testing (Joanne Fitch) and Development (Rita Das). Their resources can’t work faster than ours, but

they have the ability to repartition some of the tasks. Furthermore, their rates are nearly half as much as our internal billing rate.

For example, QA cost would be $40/hr and Development cost would be $55/hr.

Question 6) what does “crashing the project” mean? (Check the book, slides, Google, etc.)?

Question 7) do you see any opportunities for crashing in our project to shave off two weeks utilizing our outsourced partner? If so,

provide a few sentences on how you would go about doing this. If not, explain why not.

Question 8) assuming you crash the project and reduce our critical path, is it possible that another critical path could present

itself? Is it possible to have more than one critical path? Answer yes or no, then explain for both of these.

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