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 Reflect on the assigned readings for Week 5 and then type a two page paper regarding what you thought was the most important concept(s), method(s), term(s), and/or any other thing that you felt was worthy of your understanding.  Define and describe what you thought was worthy of your understanding in half a page, and then explain why you felt it was important, how you will use it, and/or how important it is in project management.   After submitting your two page paper as an initial post in the “Reflection and Discussion Forum,” then type at least two peer replies in response to your classmates posts (200 word minimum each). 


Responses 

1) response for Suresh 


 

Generally, an organization have two sorts of resources, human resources and non-human resources. The human resources are the workers and members of an organization and the non-human resources comprise the machinery and other equipment in the organization. When doing any project, the manager of the project assigns the resources to every activity. The target of the manager is to finish the project within the provided time. Therefore, the manager might allocate more resources to a project, which may cause resource overload.

The problem of resource overload can be tackled through a proper schedule. The manager can make use of any chart such as Gantt chart, histogram, etc., for making the schedule. In the schedule, the manager could do a number of alterations such as divide the over-scheduled activities (if it is possible), reordering of activities, levelling of resources, altering the scope, etc. In addition to the above adjustments, the manager can also notify the sponsor or top management about the resource overloading so that they can either support or manage it.

Two of the most popular working schedules that are being practised across the globe are flextime and compressed workweek. A Compressed Workweek is a traditional approach that has been followed for a long period and it has proven successful over this tenure. A typical compressed workweek indicates the weekly hours that were scheduled to be completed within 5 days are now being completed in 4 days by putting in extra hours on the working days. This enables an extra day off to the employees. A flextime schedule, on the other hand, provides the employees with the option to manage the work timings in order to suit their own requirements and complete the weekly allocated hours as and when they prefer. This provides better flexibility for the employee to manage the hours as per their needs.

Advantages of flextime approach:

  • Employees can manage the work schedule as per their convenience
  • Provides employees an opportunity to pursue other areas of life while not disrupting the working schedule
  • Ensures employees are satisfied as they meet their personal needs and demand
  • Better job satisfaction and fewer occurrences of burnout

Advantages of a compressed workweek approach:

  • Additional time off from work and extended weekends
  • Round the clock support for customers and business
  • Higher energy savings for the firm by ensuring the infrastructure is used for fewer days

Disadvantages of flextime approach:

  • Improper communication can lead to a lack of clarity and planning of shifts
  • Can lead to delay in completing collaborative work
  • Group related tasks will be hindered if all employees are not following a similar schedule

Disadvantages of flextime approach:

  • Longer hours each day will lead to fatigue and undue stress
  • Managing longer hours every day could be challenging for a few employees who have other daily dependencies

While both approaches provide benefits to employees and firms, one cannot overlook the challenges that come along with each approach. Flextime works well in areas where teams understand each other and their needs. Compressed workweek provides an additional day off but that comes at the price of putting in long hours every single day. This can often lead to additional fatigue over the weekend leading to wastage of extra day off to recover from the additional work.

Reference:

Kloppenborg, T., Anantatmula, V., & Wells, K. (2019). Contemporary project management (4th ed).  Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.


response for Sana Khan


 

Reflection and Discussion Forum Week 5

Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells (2019) discussed resourcing projects in Chapter 9, which is closely related to project scheduling and budgeting. This chapter highlighted important aspects of project resource management, such as resource identification, resource availability, and estimation, along with different techniques that are used to avoid under or over using the resources (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).

According to Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells (2019), Project Manager must look at all the tasks or activities that are part of a project in order to make an estimation of the available resources that will be required to carry out those activities. In some cases, the project manager may have to negotiate in order to acquire the appropriate services required to perform the project activities (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). In some cases, human resources need appropriate training or mentoring before they are assigned to a project and in other cases project teams need the assistance from co-located or outsourced members of their team (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).   

According to Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells (2019), the Project Manager may use several tools to identify and schedule the project team, such as a human resource management plan that clearly defines the roles of each team member. This management plan is attached to or posted on the Gantt chart project schedule (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). RACI chart is another technique that the Project Managers use to portray work activities in the form of a work breakdown structure (WBS), wherein the activities go on the vertical scale and the task owners go on the horizontal scale (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).

The Project Managers must ensure that the work activities are equally divide among the team and no team member is overloaded (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). To avid overloading team members, the Project Managers use critical path schedule, resource assignments, and the resource histogram (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).

Resource leveling is one of the techniques that enable the Project Managers to prioritize the activities based upon their criticality, so the task or activity owners are not overloaded (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). According to Hariga, Shamayleh & El (2019), resource leveling is one of the most complicated project optimization issues and/or techniques, but it is mostly used in time-constrained projects to effectively utilize and allocate the resources.

By using this technique, the Project Managers can balance the demand for resources with the available supply of the resources while keeping the fluctuations to the minimum in resource utilization (Hariga, Shamayleh & El, 2019). However, in some cases projects’ deadlines seem unattainable, which calls for changes in the projects schedule which is done by using techniques, such as accelerating and compressing (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).

Crashing and fast tracking are among the other most frequently used techniques to speed up the project activities in order to meet the set deadlines (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). Project Managers should use the project scheduling applications, such as Microsoft Project to determine the resources for a project and make all decisions in collaboration with the project sponsor (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).

In chapter # 10 Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells (2019) highlighted one of the most critical areas of project management, which is cost management or budgeting. The cost management plan contains all the budgeting information about how the project manager can control the project costs (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). Smaller projects usually have simpler cost management plans because budgeting is simple for smaller projects, but large projects have complex budgeting and require complex structure (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). Cost management can be challenging for the project manager because some activities have a lot of variation, but by using some effective cost-estimation techniques, such as aggregating individual costs, analysis of cost reserves needs for uncertain activities, and calculating cash inflow and outflow (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019). In addition to these things, it is project manager’s responsibility to put in place cost controls by enforcing cost reporting systems (Kloppenborg, Anantatmula, & Wells, 2019).

In conclusion, I have learned from the chapter # 9 and 10 that I strongly believe will be very beneficial in real-life. The key takeaways from these two chapters include resource management, resource leveling, cost management and cost controlling.

References

Hariga, M., Shamayleh, A., & El, W. F. (2019). Integrated time–cost tradeoff and resources leveling problems with allowed activity splitting. International Transactions in Operational Research, 26(1), 80–99. https://doi.org/10.1111/itor.12329

Kloppenborg, T., Anantatmula, V., & Wells, K. (2019). Contemporary project management (4th ed).  Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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