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Cost and Scheduling

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Scenario:
You are a project manager in the marketing department for a county funded hospital. The hospital is launching an extensive public service program for cardiac health. The program will involve print ads in local newspapers, television spots, posters at local eateries and health clubs, and sponsorship of events at the county fair. You have been discussing the project with your boss, the director of marketing, Walter Jones, and you are discussing options for a local celebrity to be a key spokesperson. You are hoping to have one of the local professional basketball players because they are typically available during the summer county fair season. The goal is that the first splash of public service announcements and ads takes place in the next 90 days, in conjunction with "Heart Healthy Month."
This is a critical project for the hospital, and you are honored (and a little nervous) to be the project manager. This project is part of a larger strategic initiative to develop community awareness of the hospital's expertise in cardiac care and increase the hospital's revenues over a 3-year period. The budget for the project is clearly defined and seems to be adequate. The various departments of the hospital are supportive of the project, and there is clarity and consensus around the scope and objectives of the campaign.
Unfortunately, the hospital's project budgets are under fire for experiencing significant budget overruns within the last year on a number of projects. The hospital's CFO has made it clear to your director that the project will need to be diligent in managing this project so that schedule and cost overruns do not occur.
You will need to build the project schedule that meets the required dates for the upcoming "Heart Healthy Month," plus the schedule for the remaining deliverables. Good luck!

Question 1
Georgia just left you a voicemail. One of the vendors told her to send him a copy of the project's schedule using a Gantt chart view, highlighting the critical path of the activities related to the county fair. She was not sure she should send him the project plan, as it has proprietary information from other vendors. He was very rude to Georgia when she asked him how to find that, and they exchanged heated words. At the end, Georgia slammed the phone down on him in the middle of one of his insults to her. She went to lunch and will be back in an hour and would like to talk with you for some advice. Unfortunately, you will be in a meeting with a different vendor the rest of the afternoon at the television studio.
Prepare an e-mail to Georgia that gives her the advice you think she is seeking. Answer the following questions:
? What is a Gantt chart? Critical path?
? What schedule tool is better?Gantt, PERT, or CPM?
? What type of schedule information is appropriate for Georgia to send to the vendor?
? How should Georgia approach the vendor to resolve the conflict?

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Solution Preview

? What is a Gantt chart? Critical path?

A GANTT CHART is a bar chart that shows different activities over time. The commencement and end of the blocks in the chart depict the commencement and culmination date of the activity;
This is what the website http://www.me.umn.edu/ says: "Gantt charts are a project planning tool that can be used to represent the timing of tasks required to complete a project. Because Gantt charts are simple to understand and easy to construct, they are used by most project managers for all but the most complex projects.

In a Gantt chart, each task takes up one row. Dates run along the top in increments of days, weeks or months, depending on the total length of the project. The expected time for each task is represented by a horizontal bar whose left end marks the expected beginning of the task and whose right end marks the expected completion date. Tasks may run sequentially, in parallel or overlapping.

As the project progresses, the chart is updated by filling in the bars to a length proportional to the fraction of work that has been accomplished on the task. This way, one can get a quick reading of project progress by drawing a vertical line through the chart at the ...

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