Project Management

Generic Situation:

Perhaps the greatest personal responsibility a manager assumes is promising to complete a project. And successfully completing a project requires a thorough analysis of the tasks involved, accurate estimates of time and resources required, and a strong understanding of the physical and logical interdependencies involved.


McMurty Construction is a general contractor specializing in small single family homes. The owner, Sean McMurty, has lately been taking on an increasing number of projects as the housing market for summer homes in Michigan really takes off. Because this increase in volume is new to him he wants to investigate project scheduling techniques to insure that he can take control of this new business opportunity. Sean has identified the major activities required to construct a home which are listed below:

ActivityDescriptionDays RequiredImmediate Predecessor
Blay foundation4A
Crough plumbing3B
Efinish exterior8D
Finstall HVAC4D
Grough electric6D
Hsheet rock8C, E, F, G
Iinstall cabinets5H
Kfinal plumbing4I
Lfinal electric2J
Minstall flooring4K, L

The key to successful project management is determining the Critical Path, that is, that sequence of tasks which must be completed within a particular time frame in order to ensure that the entire project is a success.

Profit Maximizing Solution:

The Project Summary Table Terms:

EST = Earliest Start Time;

EFT = Earliest Finish Time;

LST = Latest Start Time;

LFT = Latest Finish Time.

CR = Critical Event

Blay foundation43737CR
Crough plumbing3710222515
Efinish exterior817251725CR
Finstall HVAC4172121254
Grough electric6172319252
Hsheet rock825332533CR
Iinstall cabinets533383338CR
Kfinal plumbing438423842CR
Lfinal electric2384040422
Minstall flooring442464246CR

Based upon the Table results, Mr. McMurty knows that those events marked CR cannot be delayed without delaying the entire project. Those activities not marked CR have some "wiggle room".