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Project Management

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Project Management ­MGMT627
Cost Management
Cost Control
Management Cost and Control System (MCCS)
Understanding Control
Operating Cycle
Cost Account Codes
Cost Management:
It is widely used in business today and is the process whereby companies use cost accounting to
report or control various costs of doing business. Cost Management generally describes
approach and activities of managers in short range and long range planning and cost decisions
that incorporate value for customer and lower costs of product and services.
Manager make decisions on amount and kind of material used, changes of plant processes,
changes in product designs and information from accounting system helps managers make such
decisions, but information and accounting system not "cost management" project cost
management broad focus includes continuous control of costs. Planning and cost is usually
linked with revenue and profit planning.
In the context of project:
Cost management involves overall planning, co-ordination, and control and reporting of all
cost-related aspects from "project initiation" to "operation and maintenance".
Process of identifying all costs associated with investment, making informed choices about
options that will deliver best "value for money" and managing those costs throughout life of
project. Techniques (value management) help to improve value and reduce costs.
Cost Control:
Cost control is equally important to all companies, regardless of size. Small companies
generally have tighter monetary controls, mainly because of the risk with the failure of as little
as one project, but with less sophisticated control techniques. Large companies may have the
luxury to spread project losses over several projects, whereas the small company may have few
Cost control is not only "monitoring" of costs and recording perhaps massive quantities of data,
but also analyzing of the data in order to take corrective action before it is too late. Cost control
should be performed by all personnel who incur costs, not merely the project office. Cost
control implies good cost management, which must include:
 Cost estimating
 Cost accounting
 Project cash flow
 Company cash flow
 Direct labor costing
 Overhead rate costing
 Others, such as incentives, penalties, and profit-sharing
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Management Cost and Control System (MCCS):
Cost control is actually a subsystem of the Management Cost and Control System (MCCS)
rather than a complete system per se. This is shown in Figure 40.1, where the Management Cost
and Control System (MCCS) is represented as a two cycle process: a planning cycle and an
operating cycle. The operating cycle is what is commonly referred to as the cost control system.
Failure of a cost control system to accurately describe the true status of a project does not
necessarily imply that the cost control system is at fault. Any cost control system is only as
good as the original plan against which performance will be measured. It is more common for
the plan to be at fault than the control system.
Figure 40.1: Phases of a Management Cost and Control System
Therefore, the designing of a company's planning system must take into account the cost control
system as well. For this reason, it is common for the planning cycle to be referred to as
planning and control, whereas the operating cycle is referred to as cost and control.
Note that the planning and control system selected must be able to satisfy management's needs
and requirements in order that they can accurately project the status toward objective
completion. The purpose of any management cost and control system is to establish policies,
procedures, and techniques that can be used in the day-to-day management and control of
projects and programs. The planning and control system must, therefore, provide information
Gives a picture of true work progress
Will relate cost and schedule performance
Identifies potential problems with respect to their sources.
Provides information to project managers with a practical level of summarization
Demonstrates that the milestones are valid, timely, and auditable
The planning and control system, in addition to being a tool by which objectives can be defined
that is hierarchy of objectives and organization accountability, exists as a tool to develop
planning, measure progress, and control change. As a tool for planning, the system must be able
Plan and schedule work
Identify those indicators that will be used for measurement
Establish direct labor budgets
Establish overhead budgets
Identify management reserve
The project budget that is the final result of the planning cycle of the MCCS must be
reasonable, attainable, and based on contractually negotiated costs and the statement of work.
The basis for the budget is historical cost, best estimates, or industrial engineering standards.
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The budget must identify planned manpower requirements, contract-allocated funds, and
management reserve. Establishing budgets requires that the planner fully understand the
meaning of standards.
We should know that there are two categories of standards. Performance results standards are
quantitative measurements and include such items as quality of work, quantity of work, cost of
work, and time-to-complete. Process standards are qualitative, including personnel, functional,
and physical factors relationships.
Standards are advantageous in that they provide a means for unity, a basis for effective control,
and an incentive for others. The disadvantage of standards is that performance is often frozen,
and employees are quite often unable to adjust to the differences. As a tool for measuring
progress and controlling change, the systems must be able to:
Measure resources consumed
Measure status and accomplishments
Compare measurements to projections and standards
Provide the basis for diagnosis and re-planning
In using the Management Cost and Control System (MCCS), the following guidelines
usually apply:
 The level of detail is specified by the project manager with approval by top management.
 Centralized authority and control over each project are the responsibility of the project
management division.
 For large projects, the project manager may be supported by a project team for utilization of
the Management Cost and Control System (MCCS).
Almost all project planning and control systems have identifiable design requirements.
These include:
 A common framework from which to integrate time, cost, and technical performance
 Ability to track progress of significant parameters
 Quick response
 Capability for end-value prediction
 Accurate and appropriate data for decision making by each level of management
 Full exception reporting with problem analysis capability
 Immediate quantitative evaluation of alternative solutions
Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) planning activities include:
 Contract receipt (if applicable)
 Work authorization for project planning
 Work breakdown structure (WBS)
 Subdivided work description
 Planning charts
Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) planning charts are worksheets used to create
the budget. These charts include planned labor in hours and material dollars. Management Cost
and Control System (MCCS) planning is accomplished in one of these ways:
One level below the lowest level of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
At the lowest management level
By cost element or cost account
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Even with a fully developed planning and control system, there are numerous benefits and costs.
The appropriate system must consider a cost-benefit analysis, and include such items as:
Project benefits:
o  Planning and control techniques facilitate:
-- Derivation of output specifications (project objectives)
-- Delineation of required activities (work)
-- Coordination and communication between organizational units
-- Determination of type, amount, and timing of necessary resources
-- Recognition of high-risk elements and assessment of uncertainties
-- Suggestions of alternative courses of action
-- Realization of effect of resource level changes on schedule and output
-- Measurement and reporting of genuine progress
-- Identification of potential problems
-- Basis for problem solving, decision making, and corrective action
-- Assurance of coupling between planning and control
Project cost:
o  Planning and control techniques require:
-- New forms (new systems) of information from additional sources and
incremental processing (managerial time, computer expense, etc.)
-- Additional personnel or smaller span of control to free managerial time for
planning and control tasks (increased overhead)
-- Training in use of techniques (time and materials)
A well-disciplined Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) will produce the
following results:
 Policies and procedures that will minimize the ability to distort reporting
 Strong management emphasis on meeting commitments
 Weekly team meetings with a formalized agenda, action items, and minutes.
 Top-management periodic review of the technical and financial status
 Simplified internal audit for checking compliance with procedures
Furthermore, for Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) to be effective, both the
scheduling and budgeting systems must be disciplines and formal in order to prevent
inadvertent or arbitrary budget or schedule changes. This does not mean that the baseline budget
and schedule, once established, is static or inflexible. Rather, it means that changes must be
controlled and result only from deliberate management actions.
Disciplined use of Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) is designed to put pressure
on the project manager to perform exceptionally good project planning so that changes will be
minimized. As an example, government subcontractors may not:
Make retroactive changes to budgets or costs for work that has been completed.
Re-budget work-in-progress activities
Transfer work or budget independently of each other
Reopen closed work packages
In some industries, the Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) must be used on all
contracts of $2 million or more, including firm fixed-price efforts. The fundamental test of
whether to use the MCCS is to determine whether the contracts have established end-item
deliverables, either hardware or computer software, that must be accomplished through
measurable efforts.
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Currently, two new programs are being used by the government and industry in conjunction
with the Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) as an attempt to improve effectiveness
in cost control. The zero-base budgeting program was established to provide better estimating
techniques for the verification portion of control. The design-to-cost program assists the
decision-making part of the control process by identifying a decision-making framework from
which re-planning can take place.
Understanding Control:
Effective management of a program during the operating cycle requires that a well-organized
cost and control system be designed, developed, and implemented so that immediate feedback
can be obtained, whereby the up-to-date usage or resources can be compared to target objectives
established during the planning cycle. The requirements for an effective control system (for
both cost and schedule/performance) should include:
Thorough planning of the work to be performed to complete the project
Good estimating of time, labor, and costs
Clear communication of the scope of required tasks
A disciplined budget and authorization of expenditures
Timely accounting of physical progress and cost expenditures
Periodic re-estimation of time and cost to complete remaining work
Frequent, periodic comparison of actual progress and expenditures to schedules and
budgets, both at the time of comparison and at project completion
It is essential that the management must compare the time, cost, and performance of the
program to the budgeted time, cost, and performance, not independently but in an integrated
manner. Being within one's budget at the proper time serves no useful purpose if performance is
only 75 percent. Likewise, having a production line turn out exactly 200 items, when planned,
loses its significance if a 50 percent cost overrun is incurred.
All three resource parameters (time, cost, and performance) must be analyzed as a group, or else
we might ''win the battle but lose the war." The use of the expression "management cost and
control system" is vague in that the implication is made that only costs are controlled. This is
not true-- an effective control system monitors schedule and performance as well as costs by
setting budgets, measuring expenditures against budgets and identifying variances, assuring that
the expenditures are proper, and taking corrective action when required.
Previously, we defined the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as the element that acts as the
source from which all costs and controls must emanate. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
is the total project broken down into successively lower levels until the desired control levels
are established. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) therefore serves as the tool from which
performance can be subdivided into objectives and sub-objectives. As work progresses, the
WBS provides the framework on which costs, time, and schedule/performance can be compared
against the budget for each level of the WBS.
The first purpose of control therefore becomes a verification process accomplished by the
comparison of actual performance to date with the predetermined plans and standards set forth
in the planning phase. The comparison serves to verify that:
The objectives have been successfully translated into performance standards.
The performance standards are, in fact, a reliable representation of program activities and
Meaningful budgets have been established such that actual versus planned comparisons can
be made.
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In other words, the comparison verifies that the correct standards were selected, and that they
are properly used. The second purpose of control is that of decision making. Three useful
reports are required by management in order to make effective and timely decisions:
The project plan, schedule, and budget prepared during the planning phase.
A detailed comparison between resources expended to data and those predetermined. This
includes an estimate of the work remaining and the impact on activity completion.
A projection of resources to be expended through program completion.
Afterwards, these reports are then supplied to both the managers and the doers. Three useful
results arise through the use of these three reports, generated during a thorough decision-making
stage of control:
Feedback to management, the planners, and the doers.
Identification of any major deviations from the current program plan, schedule, or budget.
The opportunity to initiate contingency planning early enough that cost, performance, and
time requirements can undergo corrected action without loss of resources.
These reports, if properly prepared, provide management with the opportunity to minimize
downstream changes by making proper corrections here and now. As shown in Figures 40.2
and 40.3, possible cost reductions are usually available more readily in the early project
phases, but are reduced as we go further into the project life-cycle phases. Downstream the
cost for changes could easily exceed the original cost of the project. This is an example of
the "iceberg" syndrome, where problems become evident too late in the project to be solved
easily, resulting in a very high cost to correct them.
Figure 40.2: Cost Reduction Analysis
Figure 40.3: Ability to Influence Cost
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Operating Cycle:
The Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) takes on paramount importance during the
operating cycle of the project. The operating cycle is composed of four phases:
Work authorization and release (phase II)
Cost data collection and reporting (phase III)
Cost analysis (phase IV)
Reporting: customer and management (phase V)
These four phases, when combined with the planning cycle (phase I), constitute a closed system
network that forms the basis for the management cost and control system.
Phase II is considered as work release. After planning is completed and a contract is received,
work is authorized via a work description document. The work description, or project work
authorization form, is a contract that contains the narrative description, organization, and time
frame for each Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) level. This multipurpose form is used to
release the contract, authorize planning, record detail description of the work outlined in the
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and release work to the functional departments.
Note that the contract services may require a work description form to release the contract. The
contractual work description form sets forth general contractual requirements and authorizes
program management to proceed.
Program management may then issue a subdivided work description form to the functional units
so that work can begin. The subdivided work description may also be issued through the
combined efforts of the project team, and may be revised or amended when either the scope of
time frame changes. The subdivided work description generally is not used for efforts longer
than ninety days and must be "tracked" as if a project in itself. This subdivided work description
form sets forth contractual requirements and planning guidelines for the applicable performing
Also, the subdivided work description package established during the proposal and updated
after negotiations by the program team is incrementally released by program management to the
work control centers in manufacturing engineering, publications, and program management as
the authority for release of work orders to the performing organizations. The subdivided work
description specifies how contractual requirements are to be accomplished, the functional
organizations involved, and their specific responsibilities, and authorizes the expenditure of
resources within a particular time frame.
The work control center assigns a work order number to the subdivided work description form,
if no additional instructions are required, and releases the document to the performing
organizations. If additional instructions are required, the work control center can prepare a more
detailed work release document (shop traveler, tool order, work order release), assign the
applicable work order number, and release it to the performing organization.
In addition to this, a work order number is required for all in-house direct and indirect charging.
The work order number also serves as a cross-reference number for automatic assignment of the
indentured work breakdown structure number to labor and material data records in the
In case of small companies, they can avoid this additional paperwork cost by going
directly from an awarded contract to a single work order, which may be the only work
order needed for the entire contract.
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Cost Account Codes:
It must be noted that since project managers control resources through the line managers rather
than directly, project managers end up controlling direct labor costs by opening and closing
work orders. Work orders define the charge numbers for each cost account. By definition, a cost
account is an identified level at a natural intersection point of the work breakdown structure and
the Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) at which functional responsibility for the work
is assigned, and actual direct labor, material, and other direct costs are compared with actual
work performed for management control purposes.
Cost accounts are the focal point of the Management Cost and Control System (MCCS) and
may comprise several work packages, as shown in Figure 40.4. Work packages are detailed
short ­span job or material items identified for the accomplishment of required work. To
illustrate this, consider the cost account code breakdown shown in Figure 40.5 and the work
authorization form shown in Figure 40.6. The work authorization form specifically identifies the
cost centers that are "open" for this charge number, the man-hours available for each cost
center, and the operational time period for the charge number. Because the exact dates of
operation are completely defined, the charge number can be assigned perhaps as much as a year
in advance of the work-begin date. This can be shown pictorially, as in Figure 40.7.
Figure 40.4: Cost Account Intersection
If the man-hours are assigned to cost center 2400, then any 24xx cost center can use this charge
number. If the work authorization form specifies cost center 2610, then any 261x cost center
can use the charge number.
However, if cost center 2623 is specified, then no lower cost accounts exist, and this is the only
cost center that can use this work order charge number. In other words, if a charge number is
opened up at the department level, then the department manager has the right to subdivide the
assigned man-hours among the various sections and subsections.
Company policy usually identifies the permissible cost center levels that can be assigned in the
work authorization form. These permissible levels are related to the work breakdown structure
level. For example, cost center 5000 (i.e., divisional) can be assigned at the project level of the
work breakdown structure, but only department, sectional, or sub-sectional cost accounts can be
assigned at the task level of the work breakdown structure.
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Figure 40.5: Cost Account Code Breakdown
Figure 40.6: Work Authorization Form
Figure 40.7: Planning and Budgeting Describe, Plan, and Schedule the Work
If a cost center needs additional time or additional man-hours, then a cost account change notice
form must be initiated, usually by the requesting cost center, and approved by the project office.
The following Figure 40.8 shows a typical cost account change notice form.
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Figure 40.8: Cost Account Change Notice (CACN)
Almost all large companies have computerized cost control and reporting systems. Small
companies have manual or partially computerized systems. The major difficulty in using the
cost account code breakdown and the work authorization form (shown in Figures 40.5 and 40.6)
is related to whether the employees fill out time cards, and frequency with which the time cards
are filled out.
Project-driven organizations fill out time cards at least once a week, and the cards are inputted
to a computerized system. Non­project-driven organizations fill out time cards on a monthly
basis, with computerization depending on the size of the company.
Cost data collection and reporting constitute the second phase of the operating cycle of the
Management Cost and Control System (MCCS). Actual cost for work performed (ACWP) and
the budgeted cost for work performed (BCWP) for each contract or in-house project are
accumulated in detailed cost accounts by cost center and cost element, and reported in
accordance with the flow charts shown in Figure 40.9. These detailed elements, for both actual
costs incurred and the budgeted cost for work performed, are usually printed out monthly for all
levels of the work breakdown structure. In addition, weekly supplemental direct labor reports
can be printed showing the actual labor charge incurred, and can be compared to the predicted
Figure 40.9: Cost Data Collection and Reporting Flow Chart
The following Table 40.1 shows a typical weekly labor report. The first column identifies the
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) number. If more than one work order were assigned to this
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) element, then the work order number would appear under
the WBS number. This procedure would be repeated for all work orders under the same WBS
number. The second column contains the cost centers charging to this WBS element (and
possibly work order numbers). Cost Center 41xx represents department 41 and is a rollup of
Cost Centers 4110, 4115, and 4118. Cost Center 4xxx represents the entire division and is a
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rollup of all 4000-level departments. Cost Center xxxx represents the total for all divisions
charging to this Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) element. The weekly labor reports must list
all cost centers authorized to charge to this WBS element, whether or not they have incurred
any costs over the last reporting period.
Table 40.1: Weekly Labor Report
Note that most weekly labor reports provide current month subtotals and previous month totals.
Although these also appear on the detailed monthly report, they are included in the weekly
report for a quick and dirty comparison. Year-to-date totals are usually not on the weekly report
unless the users request them for an immediate comparison to the estimate at completion (EAC)
and the work order release.
Weekly labor output is a vital tool for members of the program office in that these reports can
indicate trends in cost and performance in sufficient time for contingency plans to be
established and implemented. If these reports are not available, then cost and labor overruns
would not be apparent until the following month when the detailed monthly labor, cost, and
materials output was obtained. In Table 40.1, Cost Center 4110 has spent its entire budget. The
work appears to be completed on schedule. The responsible program office team may wish to
eliminate this cost center's authority to continue charging to this Work Breakdown Structure
(WBS) element by issuing a new SWD or work order canceling this department's efforts. Cost
Center 4115 appears to be only halfway through.
If time is becoming short, then Cost Center 4115 must add resources in order to meet
requirements. Cost Center 4443 appears to be heading for an overrun. This could also indicate a
management reserve. In this case the responsible program team member feels that the work can
be accomplished in fewer hours.
Work order releases are used to authorize certain cost centers to begin charging their time to a
specific cost reporting element. Work orders specify hours, not dollars. The hours indicate the
''targets" that the program office would like to have the department shoot for. If the program
office wished to be more specific and "compel" the departments to live within these hours, then
the budgeted cost for work scheduled (BCWS) should be changed to reflect the reduced hours.
Four categories of cost data are normally accumulated:
 Other direct charges
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We know that the project managers can maintain reasonable control over labor, material, and
other direct charges.
On the other hand, overhead costs are calculated yearly or monthly and applied retroactively to
all applicable programs. Management reserves are often used to counterbalance the effects of
adverse changes in overhead rates.
The project budget, which is the final result of the planning cycle of the Management Cost and
Control System (MCCS), must be reasonable, attainable, and based on:
 Contractually negotiated costs, and
 The statement of work
The basis for the budget is:
 Historical cost,
 Best estimates, or
 Industrial engineering standards
The budget must identify:
 Planned manpower requirements,
 Contract allocated funds, and
 Management reserve.
All budgets must be traceable through the budget "log," which includes:
 Distributed budget
 Management reserve
 Undistributed budget
 Contract changes
It is important to note that the management reserve is the dollar amount established by the
project office to budget for all categories of unforeseen problems and contingencies resulting in
out-of-scope work to the performers. Management reserve should be used for tasks or dollars,
such as rate changes, and not to cover up bad planning estimates or budget overruns. When a
significant change occurs in the rate structure, the total performance budget should be adjusted.
In addition to the "normal" performance budget and the management reserve budget, there also
exists the following:
Undistributed budget, which is that budget associated with contract changes where time
constraints prevent the necessary planning to incorporate the change into the performance
budget. (This effort may be time-constrained.)
Unallocated budget, which represents a logical grouping of contract tasks that have
not yet been identified and/or authorized.
A variance is defined as any schedule, technical performance, or cost deviation from a specific
plan. Variances are used by all levels of management to verify the budgeting system and the
scheduling system. The budgeting and scheduling system variance must be compared together
The cost variance compares deviations only from the budget and does not provide a
measure of comparison between work scheduled and work accomplished.
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The scheduling variance provides a comparison between planned and actual performance
but does not include costs.
There are two primary methods of measurement:
 Measurable efforts: Discrete increments of work with a definable schedule for
accomplishment, whose completion produces tangible results.
 Level of effort: Work that does not lend itself to subdivision into discrete scheduled
increments of work, such as project support and project control.
Variances are used on both types of measurement:
In order to calculate variances we must define the three basic variances for budgeting and actual
costs for work scheduled and performed. Archibald defines these variables:
Budgeted cost for work scheduled (BCWS) is the budgeted amount of cost for work
scheduled to be accomplished plus the amount or level of effort or apportioned effort
scheduled to be accomplished in a given time period.
Budget cost for work performed (BCWP) is the budgeted amount of cost for completed
work, plus budgeted for level of effort or apportioned effort activity completed within a
given time period. This is sometimes referred to as "earned value."
Actual cost for work performed (ACWP) is the amount reported as actually expended in
completing the work accomplished within a given time period.
Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Broad Contents, Functions of Management
  2. CONCEPTS, DEFINITIONS AND NATURE OF PROJECTS:Why Projects are initiated?, Project Participants
  5. PROJECT LIFE CYCLES:Conceptual Phase, Implementation Phase, Engineering Project
  6. THE PROJECT MANAGER:Team Building Skills, Conflict Resolution Skills, Organizing
  7. THE PROJECT MANAGER (CONTD.):Project Champions, Project Authority Breakdown
  9. PROJECT FEASIBILITY (CONTD.):Scope of Feasibility Analysis, Project Impacts
  10. PROJECT FEASIBILITY (CONTD.):Operations and Production, Sales and Marketing
  11. PROJECT SELECTION:Modeling, The Operating Necessity, The Competitive Necessity
  12. PROJECT SELECTION (CONTD.):Payback Period, Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  13. PROJECT PROPOSAL:Preparation for Future Proposal, Proposal Effort
  14. PROJECT PROPOSAL (CONTD.):Background on the Opportunity, Costs, Resources Required
  15. PROJECT PLANNING:Planning of Execution, Operations, Installation and Use
  16. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Outside Clients, Quality Control Planning
  17. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Elements of a Project Plan, Potential Problems
  18. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Sorting Out Project, Project Mission, Categories of Planning
  19. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Identifying Strategic Project Variables, Competitive Resources
  20. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):Responsibilities of Key Players, Line manager will define
  21. PROJECT PLANNING (CONTD.):The Statement of Work (Sow)
  22. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE:Characteristics of Work Package
  24. SCHEDULES AND CHARTS:Master Production Scheduling, Program Plan
  25. TOTAL PROJECT PLANNING:Management Control, Project Fast-Tracking
  26. PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT:Why is Scope Important?, Scope Management Plan
  27. PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT:Project Scope Definition, Scope Change Control
  28. NETWORK SCHEDULING TECHNIQUES:Historical Evolution of Networks, Dummy Activities
  29. NETWORK SCHEDULING TECHNIQUES:Slack Time Calculation, Network Re-planning
  34. QUALITY IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT:Value-Based Perspective, Customer-Driven Quality
  35. QUALITY IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT (CONTD.):Total Quality Management
  38. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT TOOLS:Data Tables, Identify the problem, Random method
  39. PROJECT EFFECTIVENESS THROUGH ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY:Messages of Productivity, Productivity Improvement
  40. COST MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL IN PROJECTS:Project benefits, Understanding Control
  42. PROJECT MANAGEMENT THROUGH LEADERSHIP:The Tasks of Leadership, The Job of a Leader
  44. PROJECT RISK MANAGEMENT:Components of Risk, Categories of Risk, Risk Planning