The Project Group, LLC

The Project Group, LLC Newsletter

  Advancing Project Management

March 2003  


in this issue


The Project Group, LLC

We specialize in assisting corporate and government clients in learning to improve their productivity while planning and executing projects.

Our three-phase approach yields faster, more efficient project initiation, planning and execution results.

Attend the Scaramento Project Management Nuts and Bolts Course May 20 - 21, 2003

Our two-day course covers the processes of Project Management.

Audience: Managers tasked with small to medium-sized projects

Covers best practices of:

Initiation -- Project Objective Statements, Project Chartering, Project Organization

Project Planning -- Work Breakdown
Structure, Task Estimating, Resource Planning, Structured Risk Management

Leadership & communication issues underlying good team-building

Bring your own projects to work on as exercises!

Attend the Scaramento Microsoft ProjectTM In One-Day Course May 22, 2003

Learning this popular software tool can be very daunting! It's very helpful to have someone to help you understand which of the myriad features you'll probably never use so you can focus on the ones you'll use all the time.

After years of teaching Ms-Project and applying it in the field, Roger Kent created this class to focus on the basics needed to build a task-based plan. It is delivered in a combination lecture, 'follow me' through the software and individual challenge exercises.

Unless you are familiar with best-practice planning models, we recommend you take Project Management Nuts and Bolts first. Most of us learned word processing because we understood the model it was based on: a lined piece of paper with top, bottom, left and right margins. People have difficulty learning Ms-Project because they're not clear on the planning processes that form its underlying model. Project Management Nuts and Bolts is the ideal preparation for Ms-Project.

To Learn More Or To Enroll In A Class Click Here



Each month our newsletter delves into a specific step in the phases of Initiation, Planning and Execution of projects. Our methodology is applicable to any project in any industry. Our systematic approach to Project Management is designed to help your company's projects gain traction quickly, communicate clearly to all parties and keep them on track to reach a successful conclusion.

We facilitate workshops that jump-start your teams, making sure they know what they are going to do and validating they have the time and resources with which to do it.

This newsletter focuses on Process 7:

Setting The Schedule






Setting A Project Schedule


A Gantt Chart depicts tasks graphically on a fixed calendar. It also can show tasks and their sequence in relation to other tasks.

Wait until you have achieved clarity about all tasks and their dependencies before you create a Gantt Chart. (See our January 2003 newsletter article on Dependency Diagrams.)

To View A Gantt Chart Click Here


Dependency Types


Dependencies, representing task logic, may be classified as Hard or Soft. In a hard dependency, for example, you would have to create a cement form, before pouring the concrete. With a Soft dependency, the order of tasks may be altered at your discretion. In the morning you may have your coffee before or after your shower. Their logical progession is flexible.

You can link tasks in three ways:

  1. Finish to Start
  2. Start to Start
  3. Finish to Finish.

Finish to Start is by far the most frequently used dependency. Task A must finish before Task B can begin. You must paint a primary coat on the wall before you apply a finish coat.

In a Start to Start the beginning of the successor task is dependent on the beginning of the predecessor task. You want to start warming up the oven when you begin mixing the cake.

The Finish to Finish dependency is sometimes called the "Cook's Dilemma". The finish of the predecessor drives the finish of the successor. Two or more tasks must complete at the same time. You want the turkey to finish cooking at the same time as the sweet potatoes and the vegetables are done so they call can be served together.

Click Here to See How Microsoft Project
Displays a Critical Path


Previous Newsletters


To View Previous Newsletters


Who Was Henry Gantt?


Henry Gantt stands out in history for his development of the Gantt Chart and his influence on modern day management. Born in 1861 in Calvert County Maryland, Gantt led an active life as an industrial engineer and consultant. He worked directly with Frederick W. Taylor for a number of years and in 1917 invented the Gantt chart, a horizontal bar chart that was an innovative way to manage overlapping tasks. Useful for coordinating and scheduling, the Gantt chart was a revolutionary development and was based on time rather than quantity, volume or weight. Henry Gantt also played a significant role in management history as one of the early few who recognized the importance of motivation, a psychological phenomenon, in the work place. He focused on reward systems, where he would reinforce good work instead of penalizing poor work. A pioneer for this management approach, Gantt initiated a new way of relating to workers and emphasized good leadership on the part of management. Gantt recognized the importance of treating the employee well, and instituted minimum wages and pay incentives for his employees. 1

Henry Gantts contribution to the management process is honored today through the The Henry Laurence Gantt Medal. Established in 1929, the award is given for distinguished achievement in management and for service to the community.

1Computer Science Illuminated Chapter 10

For More Information On The Henry L Gantt Award Click Here


Additional Information


For additional information on Gantt charts we suggest you click here


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