Analyzing Waiting Lines and Project Management

MUST BE IN EXCEL. Questions are in RED.

Instructions

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Work through the homework problems in Excel. Attach your Word file or Excel spreadsheet where indicated.  YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR EXCEL SPREADSHEET OR OTHER WORK IN ORDER TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THE ASSIGNMENT.  FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE EXCEL SPREADSHEET OR OTHER WORK WILL RESULT IN A GRADE OF 0.

Therefore, complete all of the homework problems in Excel, and then enter your answers and upload your Excel file.

 

Unit 8: Homework

Analyzing Waiting Lines and Project Management

Many large organizations have the operations and project management staff located in two different departments, and this is done on purpose.  Operational processes are on-going, whereas projects are: 1) short term; 2) have a definite end state; 3) usually contain many parallel tasks; and 4) the objectives are specific to the project.  There is also more uncertainty with projects because we don’t do them that often, hence there is more risk management required.

Projects are managed by deadlines and utilize a work breakdown structure to divide the total work required to complete the project into manageable tasks that can be scheduled and monitored.  The project manager usually has several tasks going on at the same time on a project, while simultaneously planning the sequencing of upcoming tasks.  These factors require project managers to have a different skill set than operations managers, and quite often project management positions require the person staffing the position to hold a professional certification in project management.

To manage the “work”, i.e. tasks, required to complete a project, the project manager will use tools specifically designed for project management.  Examples are Gantt charts, network diagrams, and computer software such as Microsoft’s Project.  In unit 8, you will utilize these tools as you roleplay a project manager to answer end of chapter problems.

In addition to problems involving project management, you will also apply quantitative analysis to waiting line problems.  Specifically, you will use Markovian models to determine statistics such as the average time waiting in a queue, the average length of a queue, and the probability of n units waiting in a queue.  Understanding waiting lines is important to both operations and project managers, but for different reasons.  Waiting in line for the operations manager usually indicates we have inefficiencies in a machine or service somewhere in the process before the waiting line.  On the other hand, a project manager who detects a long waiting line on a project is concerned about delays to tasks that follow the task causing the wait.  In summary, operations managers want to know how waiting lines affect current operations, whereas project managers are concerned about impacts the waiting lines have on pending tasks.

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