Managing Systems Projects

What is a work breakdown structure? 

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is where you breakdown a project into smaller tasks. 

How do you create one? 

There are two types of charts that project managers can use to breakdown a project: Gannt charts and PERT/CPM charts. 

What are task patterns, and how can you recognize them. 

Task patterns in a work breakdown structure are tasks that are arranged in a logical sequence. According to Systems Analysis and Design (3.3 Task Patterns), “Tasks patterns can involve dependent tasks, multiple successor tasks, and multiple predecessor tasks.” 

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of Gantt and PERT/CPM charts. 

A Gantt chart uses a horizontal bar chart for tasks. The chart can show the individual tasks of a project, the start and end time of the task, the length of time each task will take, and the progress of the task. Gantt charts can provide a project overview but with complex projects, does not provide enough detail. 

PERT/CPM charts are charts used to manage complex projects. PERT or Program Evaluation Review Technique and Critical Path Method (CPM), were both developed around the same time as separate concepts, but over time, both methods have lost their distinctiveness. 

To create a PERT/CPM chart, the project manager first identifies the tasks, estimate how long each task will take and puts the tasks in the order in which they need to be performed. PERT/CPM charts have an advantage over Gannt charts in that they are more useful for scheduling, keeping track and controlling the work of a project. 

Iris Gomez

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