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Critical path method

Critical path method

critical path method

critical path method

Critical Path : is a combination of activities that, if any are delayed, will delay the project’s finish date.

Purpose of critical path method:

1. To calculate the project’s finish date.

2. To identify how much individual activities in schedule can slip with delaying project

3. To identify the activities with the highest risk that cannot slip without changing the project finish date.

Float Calculation using CPM

● Float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the project end date.

● Float is always Zero on Critical Path activities.

● Critical Path is longest path of network diagram.


Each activity have same box

ES : Early Start

EF : Early Finish

LS: Late Start

LF : Late Finish

Float = LS-ES or LF-EF

Float Calculation

Late Start(LS) – Early Start(ES)


Late Finish(LF) – Early Finish (EF)


You are the project manager of project at SkillsMag and following activities are identified along with the activity effort.

Project A
Activity Preceding  Activity Duration (Wks)
Start None 0
A Start 1
B Start 3
C Start 5
D A 9
E B,C 2
F C 3
G D 4
H E 8
I F 2
End G,H,I 0

First  prepare schedule network Diagram

network diagram

network diagram

Step 2:

Calculate the ES and EF of each activity using forward pass technique.

Remember the following formulas for calculation.

Early Start (ES) = Early Finish(EF) of Predecessor activity. If no predecessor activity exists then 0.

Early Finish (EF) = Early Start (ES) + Activity Duration

Activity E is highlighted as it has 2 predecessor activities. we take higher one.

network diagram

network diagram

Step 3:

Under this technique, we will start calculating the value from last activities on the path i.e. from G,H and I.

Thumb Rule : Take highest EF.

Our case we have EF 15 is highest for activity H.

The formula for LS(Late start) is

Late Start (LS) = Late Finish – Activity Duration

Activity c has 2 successor activity,take lowest one.

network diagram

network diagram

Step 4 : Float calculation





Project Integration management

Project Integration management

Project integration management

Project integration management

Project Integration management is main responsibility of project manager. Here project manager has to do high level of project work and balancing between different processes.

[box] As per PMBOK®

“Project Integration management includes the process and activities need to be identify, define, combine, unify and coordinate the various process and project management activities within the project management process groups.”[/box]

Figure given Below shows project integration management processes and their respective process groups

Project integration management Process group (done during )
Develop project charter Initiating
Develop project management plan Planning
Direct &manage project work Executing
Monitor  & control project work Monitoring and controlling
Perform integration change control Monitoring and controlling
Close project or phase Closing


Let’s have better understanding for each process of integration management.

Develop Project Charter:

This is very first part of integration management.

Develop Project Charter

1.       Project Statement of work

2.       Business case

3.       Agreements

4.       Enterprise environmental factors

5.       Organizational process assets

 Tool  and Techniques

1.   Expert judgement

2.   facilitation techniques


1.       Project charter



[box]As per PMBOK®

“Develop project Charter is the process of developing a document that formally authorize a project or a phase and documenting initial requirement that satisfy the stakeholder need and expectation. ”[/box]

Project charter should be developed by project sponsor, Customer, PMO or they can delegate duty to Project manager.

Project Manager is assigned in this process.

It formally authorizes the project.

Now let’s have a look on input, tool & technique and outputs of project charter


Project statement of work:

[box]As per PMBOK®

“The statement of work (SOW) is a narrative description of product or a services to be delivered by project.” [/box]

The project statement of work contains

  • Business need
  • Product description
  • Strategic plan

Business case:

Business case provides necessary information from business point of view whether project is feasible or not.

Business case is created based on one of following points

  1. Market demand
  2. Organizational need
  3. Customer request
  4. Technological advance
  5. Legal requirement
  6. Ecological impact
  7. Social need


When working for external customer the contract is used as an input.

Enterprise environmental factors:

Enterprise environmental factors that can affect the development of project charter.That can be

  1. Government & industry standards
  2. Organizational infrastructure
  3. Marketplace condition
  4. Environment of project

Organization Process assets:

The organizational process assets that can effect development of project charter process may contain Organization standard process, Templates, Historical information and lesson learned and knowledge base.

Tool & Techniques

  1. Expert judgement

Expert judgement technique is used in every integration management process.

In this judgement is provided based on expertise by expert person of their fields.

They can be individuals, subject matter expert (SME), Consultant, stakeholder or group(s).


  1. Facilitation techniques

Brainstorming, managing meetings and keeping them on track, resolving conflict, and resolving problems are part of facilitation techniques. These techniques are used by facilitator.


  1. Project Charter

Project Charter is final outcome of develop project process. It provides summary of project.

Project Charter contains following things

  1. Project proposal or justification
  2. Summary budget
  3. Summary milestone
  4. High level or requirements
  5. High level of project risks
  6. Measurable success criteria
  7. Assigned project manager.

Project management basics part 2

Project management basics part 2

Project Management Basics

Project Management Basics

In continues series of project management basics, in this article going to learn about different type or organizations and various project management roles. To understand project role first we need to know well about different type of organizations.

Different kind of organization types

Functional organization

In this type of organization project is performed under functional department. This kind of organization structure is very common .Here project team member are not dedicated to project they are loaned from functional departments.

Pro :

These organization have experts by functions.

Easy resources scheduling.


Project manager having very less authority towards a project.

Projects have lower priority.

Matrix organization

It’s a hybrid type of organization in that project manager share responsibility with functional manager for project resources, priorities.

This type of organization can be divided in weak matrix, balanced matrix and strong matrix organization

Pro :

They have well managed  project as well as experts and specialists.


Resources have to report to both project and functional manager.

Higher chances of conflicts between Project Manager and Functional manager.


Projectizied organization

This kind of organization is separate from functional department. The organization is designed according to the project not based on functional department.


Project manager is fully responsible for project and its outcome.

Team is highly committed to project.

Easy and smooth communication.


Project team  belongs to project not to functional department.

There is no home for team members once project is over.

Note:  for more detail about organization types and their comparison see my upcoming articles.

Now let’s have a look at different project management roles. It is very important to know difference between various project roles for PMP,CAPM and other project management  exam point of view. Additionally it also helps you to work more efficiently in organization if you understands different roles and their responsibilities.

Project Manager

He is the person who is completely responsible for all project activities and results of project. They found in matrix and projectized organization. Project manager should not escalate any project related issue or problem to someone else.

Project Coordinator

Weak matrix or functional organization does not have role for project manager. They have role called project coordinator.  This role have less authority then project manager. This role is not allowed to make budget decision but have little authority to reassign resources.

Project Expeditor

This is weakest role in project management. Project expeditor only make sure that things complete on time.  This role has no formal authority. This kind of role is found in functional organization.


Person who is involved or affected by project in either positively or negatively know as a stakeholder.


The person who is paying all expenses of project. Sponsor may be from organization itself (internal) or external to the organization. Sponsor and customer may or may not be same.

Program manager

Program manager is responsible for program. Program manager manages project and programs at higher level than project manager.

Functional manager

Functional manager is also known as a line manager. He actually manages group or department that actually perform a service or create a product.


Project management basics

Project management basics

Project Management basics

Project Management basics


To learn more about project management we have to get familiar with some basics of project management. Here we are going to learn few project management concepts.Even these terms are very easy to learn but they have important place in project management learning as well as PMI’s project management professional (PMP) and Certified associate in project management (CAPM).

  1. What is process?

A set of action to achieve specific end result or output for the project.

PMP and CAPM exam points of view process is group of input, tools & technique and outputs.

Output of one process may input of another process.

Process can be performed more than one time on the project.

  1. What is Operations?

Operation is ongoing process and always gives same outcome. They are not part of Project but can be part of a program.

Example of operation is, School management is daily managing students for day to day routine.

  1. What is Project?

Project is always temporary.

It has predefined start and end date.

It has a set of operation to achieve a single goal.

At the end it creates unique product, service or result.

[box type=”shadow”]

Examples of Project:

A new Venture. (Goal: Product)

Market research (Goal: Result)

Process improvement (Goa: Service)



  1. What is Program?

Program is group of related projects and sub-program. Program may also contain operations.

  1. What is Portfolio?

Portfolio is group of related programs and projects. It should be aligned to meet business objectives.

  1. What is progressive elaboration?

The iterative process of getting detail about project as we progress. At the start of project we know very little about project.

  1. What is project Management?

Project Management is combination of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to full fill project requirement.

  1. What is baseline?

Simply we can say it is original plan or any approved changes in project plan from formal change control procedures.

  1. What is lesson Learned?

The experience gained during a project in each phase of project.

It is an organizational asset.

It is used as an input in many project planning processes.

In this we focus on what was happen instead of what should happen and how we can handle this kind of situation in current project.

  1. What is historical information?

All the information and data from previous project is known as a historical information. It is part of organizational process asset.

project management basics Part -2 

Project selection methods

Project selection methods

Project selection methodsThere are various project selection methods. They are divided in two categories

  1. Benefit measurement method
    • Murder board
    • Scoring model
    • Peer review
    • Economic model
  2. Constrained optimization method (Mathematical )
  • Linear programming
  • Dynamic programming
  • Integer programming
  • Multi-objective programming

Let’s have some introduction of  different project selection methods.

Benefit cost ration (BCR):

It is a ratio of benefit over cost. If the Value of benefit cost ration (BCR) is grater then 1 (one) it is good.

Example 1: If project one is having BCR ratio of 1.9 and project two is having BCR ration of 2.2.Which project you will you choose?


Project two as it has a greater BCR Value than project one.

Example 2:

If you expect cost of project is $90,000 and you expect to gain $1,80,000 from complete project. Calculate BCR for that.


Benefit cost ratio (BCR): benefit over cost= benefit/cost

Here benefit is $1,80,000 and cost is $90,000

So BCR= 180000/90000=2


Internal rate of return (IRR) :

It means project’s return as an interest rate. Bigger internal rate of return (IRR) is always better.

Example: You have two projects, Project one has IRR of 10% and project two has IRR or 20%. Which one will you choose?


Project two as it has bigger IRR(20%) than project one (10%).


Present value (PV) & Net Present value (NPV) :

present value means current value today of future cash flow. You can calculate with the help of

PV=FV/ (1+r) n


PV= Present value

FV= future value

R= rate of return

N=number of time period.

Bigger PV or NPV is better.

Example: You have two projects. Project one has NPV of $90,000 and project two has NPV of $60,000. Which one you are going to choose from those?


Project one as it has greater NPV.

Opportunity cost:

It means selecting one project over another by giving up opportunity. Smaller opportunity cost is better for project selection.


If you have two projects project one has NPV of $38000 and project two has NPV of $90000.What is opportunity cost for selecting project two.

Solution: $38000 is opportunity cost.

Payback period:

It measure time that how long it will take to get an investment back from project.

Example: You have two projects project one have payback period of 3 months and project two has payback period of 6 months. Which one you choose?

Solution: It is project one as it has less payback period.

Return on investment (ROI):

It shows how much percentage you make by investing in project. Bigger ROI is always better.

Returned on individual capital (ROIC):

It shows how money is used in invested project. We display this as a percentage.

ROIC= Net income/total investment

Economic value added (EVA):

It represent how much value a project has truly created for its stakeholders. In other words we can say whether project returns to the company more value than its cost.

project management plan

project management plan


Project management plan is master plan for project. It is developed once project charter is approved.

[box] “Develop project management plan is process of documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate and coordinate all subsidiary plans. The project management plan define how the project is executed, monitored & controlled and closed.”[/box]

It integrates all the knowledge area. It also include baseline of project. Project baseline once defined can only be change through perform integrated change control process.

To develop successful project plan one should have following skills.

  • Negotiation
  • Leadership
  • Active listing
  • Brainstorming
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution


Develop project Management plan

·         Project Charter

·         Output from planning process

·         Enterprise environment factor

·         Organizational process assets

Tool & Techniques

·         Expert judgement

·         Facilitation techniques


·         Project Management plan




Project Charter: Please click here to see more about project charter.

Output from planning process:

Information from other planning processes help to develop project  plan.

Table below shows various planning process

Scope management plan
Requirement management plan
Project scope statement
Scope baseline
Schedule management plan
Schedule baseline
Cost management plan
Cost performance baseline
Quality management plan
Process improvement plan
Human resource plan
Communication management plan
Risk management plan
Procurement management plan
Stakeholder management plan


Enterprise environment factors: Please click here to see more about Enterprise environment factors.

Organizational process assets: Please click here to see more about Organizational process assets.


Tools and Technique:


Expert judgement

Expert judgement technique is used in every integration management process. In this judgement provided based on expertise by expert person of their fields. They can be individuals, subject matter expert (SME), Consultant, stakeholder or group(s).


Facilitation techniques

Brainstorming, managing meetings and keeping them on track, resolving conflict, and resolving problems are part of facilitation techniques. These techniques are used by facilitator.



Project management plan is main output of this process. It is a formal approved document. Table above shows components of that.

pmp formulas

pmp formulas

pmp formulas

pmp formulas


Here is list for pmp formulas.

PERT = (P+4M+O)/6

P = Pessimistic

M= Most Likely

O= Optimistic

Standard deviation = (P-O)/6
Variance = {(P-O)}/6
Project PERT = Sum of PERT value of each task


Project Variance = Sum of variance of each task
Normal distribution (sigma)

6 sigma = 99.99%

3 sigma = 99.73%

2 sigma = 95.46%

1 sigma = 68.26%

No of communication channel = N*(N-1)/2

Here N is number of member in project team

If team have 10 member then =10 *(10-1)/2 =>10*9/2=>45 Communication channel

Float = LF – EF = LS- ES

LF = Late finish

EF = Early finish

LS = Late start

ES = Early start

Float value is 0(zero) on critical path.

Schedule variance (SV) = EV-PV     (Positive variance is good)

EV = Earned value     PV=Planned value

Cost Variance (CV) = EV- AC    (Positive variance is good

EV = Earned value     AC= Actual cost

Cost performance index (CPI) = EV/AC

(>1 are good)

Schedule performance index (SPI) = EV/PV

(>1 are good)

Estimate at complication  (EAC) =

1.       Estimating assumptions are not  valid = AC+ETC

2.       Current variance are atypical = AC+BAC-EV

3.       Current variance are Typical =AC+(BAC-EV)/CPI

4.       Variance to continue at current rate = BAC/CPI

5.       EAC = AC + [(BAC -EV)/(CPI*SPI)]

Estimate to complete (ETC)  = EAC-AC
Variance at complete (VAC) = BAC-EAC

1.       TO Complete performance index based on BAC= (BAC-EV)/(BAC-AC)

2.       To complete performance index based on EAC= (BAC-EV)/(EAC-AC)

Percentage complete of budget=(EV/BAC)* 100
Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) = Payback/project cost

Bigger is better

Net present value (NPV) bigger is better

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) bigger is better

Present Value PV=  FV / ((1 + r)^term)
Expected Monetary Value = Probability * Impact
Procurement related

Actual cost (AF) ={(TC-AC)*SSR}+TF

TC = target cost

AC = actual cost

SSR= Sellers share ration

TF= target fee

Project Management Process

Project Management Process

Project Management Process

Project Management Process

This article is going to brief about Project Management Process. You are going to find word “process” more frequently during study of PMP exam. It is most important word for project management professional (PMP) exam.

Process is combination of input, tool& technique and output. You are going to manage your project with help of different processes.

Input: This is known as an entry point of process. It can be internal or external or an outcome of a other process, which can be used as an input.


Tool can be anything like software for development or management, templates.


Technique is a systematic way to solve the problem.


It is final outcome of a process which can be product, result or a service.

Project Management Institute (PMI) defines 47 processes and 5 Process groups. Each process  belongs to one of the five process group.

Here is list of five process group

  1. Initiating processes
  2. Planning processes
  3. Executing processes
  4. Monitoring and controlling processes
  5. Closing processes

Apart from that process  also belongs to one of ten knowledge area which is defined by Project Management Institute (PMI).

Here is list of ten knowledge areas

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communication Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management


Here is the list of 47 Processes with their mapping with process group and knowledge areas


Process group/knowledge area Initiating (2) Planning(24) Executing (8) Monitoring and controlling (11) Closing (2)
Integration (6) Develop Project Charter Develop Project Management Plan Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
Close Project or Phase
Scope (6)
  • Plan Scope Management
  • Collect Requirements
  • Define Scope
  • Create WBS
  • Validate Scope
  • Control Scope
Time (7)
    • Plan Schedule Management
    • Define Activities
    • Sequence Activities
    • Estimate Activity  Resources
    • Estimate Activity Durations
    • Develop Schedule
Control Schedule
Cost (4)
  • Plan Cost Management
  • Estimate Costs
  • Determine Budget
Control Cost
Quality (3) Plan Quality Management Perform Quality Assurance Control Quality
Human Resource (4) Plan HR Management
  • Acquire Project Team
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team
Communication (3) Plan Communications Management Manage Communications Control Communications
Risk (6)
  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Plan Risk Response
Control Risks
Procurement (4) Plan Procurement Management Conduct Procurements Control Procurements Close Procurements
Stakeholder (4) Identify Stakeholders Plan Stakeholder Management Manage Stakeholder Engagement Control Stakeholder Engagement

What is project management professional?

What is project management professional?



Please go through this series of  PMP exam. Here is first part What is project management professional ?

Project management professional (PMP ®) is a globally industry recognized Qualification. In better words we can say certification program, which is offered by Project Management Institute (PMI). Project Management Institute offers nine different certification program of project management for different skills sets and education level.

PMP exam does not belong to any particular industry such as Information technology or construction etc. It is widely accepted in all major industries.

Anyhow wherever you are in your career, PMI has certification for you. Express your proficiency with PMI Certification.

Below is list of certification programs offered by PMI. Choose the best suited to you.

Let’s know what is project Management professional (PMP) and how can you achieve it?

Project management professional certification exam is based on PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK® Guide. Currently 5th edition is latest edition of PMBOK® Guide. The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions from which 25 (which are chosen randomly) are not evaluated. Prometric testing centres provides online computer based Exam. Computer based exam have duration of 4 Hours. There is provision of Paper base test to candidates if they are not having prometric test centres in nearby locations.

The exam contain question from different Project management domains defined in PMBOK®.

  1. Initiating 13%
  2. Planning 24%
  3. Executing 31%
  4. Monitoring and Controlling. 25%
  5. Closing 7%

Result of computer based test is received immediately upon finishing the exam. While for Paper based exam the result takes up to 4 weeks.

Test report have two sections

  1. Pass/fail score is generated based on your performance in exam.
  2. Second level indicate three level of proficiency in each domain -Proficient, Moderately proficient, and below proficient. This is generated based on question answered correctly on that domain.

Project Management professional is exam to judge your management experience and knowledge of industry practices.

Gelatinize your expertise and face project challenges with a PMI Certification.

To know more about eligibility and apply process of Project Management Professional certification wait for the next article