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8.7: Software and Technology Exercises

  • Page ID
    4931
  • Learning Objectives

    1. Use dedicated project management software to manage changes to the work breakdown structure (WBS).
    2. Use the outline and subtotal features in a spreadsheet to create a low-complexity WBS.
    3. Use the outline feature in a word processor to create a low-complexity WBS.

    Using Dedicated Project Management Software

    General purpose software such as word processing or spreadsheet programs are not capable of managing changes in relationships between activities or determining the critical path. They might suffice for the simplest projects, but more sophisticated interactive programs are needed for determining the effects of changes to interconnected activities. Small projects performed by groups with limited budgets can use open-source software such as OpenProj.

    To complete this exercise, you must have permission to download and install software on your computer or use a computer that has OpenProj installed on it.

    Install OpenProj

    Complete the exercise by following these instructions:

    1. Open a web browser and go to http://openproj.org. The program may be downloaded from this site, as shown in Figure 8.18 “Single User and Collaborative Versions”.

      Figure 8.18 Single User and Collaborative Versions

      Single User and Collaborative Versions

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

     

    OpenProj is an open-source project management software that resembles Microsoft Project.

    • Click the Download now button. You must have administrative privileges to install software on the computer you are using.
    • Click the arrow next to the Save button, and then save this program to your computer in a location where you can find it again.
    • Open Windows explorer or your file finder program, locate the file you downloaded, and then double-click on it. Run the installation program and follow the directions on the screen.

      Figure 8.19 Single User and Collaborative Versions

      Single User and Collaborative Versions

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

     

    • Open Windows explorer or your file finder program, locate the file you downloaded, and then double-click on it. Run the installation program and follow the directions on the screen.
    • After OpenProj is installed, start the program. Choose to create a new project. In the New Project dialog box, in the Project Name box, type Ch08StudentName replacing StudentName with your name without spaces.
    • In the Manager box, enter your name. The current date will display in the Start Date box by default. Your date will differ from the example shown in Figure 8.20 “Identify the Project and Its Manager”.

      Figure 8.20 Identify the Project and Its Manager

      Identify the Project and Its Manager

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

     

    • Capture this screen. Paste it into a blank word processing document named Ch08OpenProjStudentName and save the file using the Word 2003 .doc file format.
    • In OpenProj, click OK. Leave this program running for use in the next section.

    Import WBS from Excel

    1. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the location where the supplemental files for this chapter are stored. Download the Excel spreadsheet Ch08JohnsMove.xls and then open it in Excel.
    2. Select cells B3 through C36, as shown in Figure 8.21 “List of Activities and Their Durations Selected in a Spreadsheet”.
    3. Copy this range of cells to the clipboard. (Use CTRL+C in Windows.)
    4. Switch to the OpenProj window. In row 1, below Name, click the empty box. Paste the content. (Use CTRL+V in Windows.) The activities and their durations are placed in the project window, as shown in Figure 8.22 “List of Activities and Their Durations Pasted into OpenProj”.

      Figure 8.22 List of Activities and Their Durations Pasted into OpenProj

      List of Activities and Their Durations Pasted into OpenProj

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

     

    • Capture this screen and paste it into Ch08OpenProjStudentName.doc.
    • In OpenProj, move the pointer to the vertical line to the right of the Start column heading. Drag this line to the left to minimize the width of the Start column. Repeat this process to minimize the width of the End column to minimize both columns, as shown in Figure 8.23 “Reduce Size of Start and End Columns”.

      Figure 8.23 Reduce Size of Start and End Columns

      Reduce Size of Start and End Columns

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

     

    • In the first column, click the cell with a 2 in it. Press and hold the Shift key. In the first column, click the cell with a 5 to select rows 2 through 5.
    • On the toolbar, click the Indent button. The four selected activities are indented as subordinate activities, and the activity in the row above becomes the group name. A black group symbol spans the group in the chart at the right, as shown in Figure 8.24 “Group Defined”.

      Figure 8.24 Group Defined

      Group Defined by a group name, indent, and group symbol

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

       

    • In the Predecessor column, in rows 3–5, type 2, 3, and 2.

      The Gantt chart at the right adjusts the positions of the bars automatically and connects them with arrows to indicate their finish-start relationship, as shown in Figure 8.25 “List of Activities and Their Durations Selected in a Spreadsheet”. Notice that Saturdays and Sundays are gray. They are not included as workdays. This will be addressed in a later step.

       

      Figure 8.25 List of Activities and Their Durations Selected in a Spreadsheet

      List of Activities and Their Durations Selected in a Spreadsheet

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

       

    • Repeat this process to indent the activities under the Prepacking, Packing, Moving, Unpacking, and Project Closeout headings.
    • Indent activities 16–19 another level to make them subactivities under Pack Apartment.
    • Fill in the remaining predecessors. Refer to the Predecessors column on the John’s Move worksheet or Figure 8.25 “List of Activities and Their Durations Selected in a Spreadsheet” . Notice where two predecessors are indicated, they are separated by a semicolon. Notice that activities that span the weekend days are extended by two days, as shown in Figure 8.26 “Bar Chart Showing Durations and Relationships”.

      Figure 8.26 Bar Chart Showing Durations and Relationships

      Bar Chart Showing Durations and Relationships

      Source: Courtesy of Serena Software.

       

    • Capture this screen and paste it into Ch08OpenProjStudentName.doc.
    • In OpenProj, on the menu bar, click File and then click Save. Navigate to a folder where you save your files for this class and save the project file. Notice the project file name extension is .pod. Leave the project open.
    • Review your work in OpenProj and use the following rubric to determine its adequacy:
      Element Best Adequate Poor
      File name Ch08StudentName.pod Ch08StudentName.pod Used a different name
      Use dedicated project management software to manage changes to the WBS Activities imported from Excel; correct groups; correct predecessors; dates will differ from figures Same as Best Mistakes with multiple predecessors; incorrect groupings
    • Review your work in Ch08OpenProjStudentName.doc and use the following rubric to determine its adequacy:
      Element Best Adequate Poor
      File name Ch08OpenProjStudentName.doc Same name saved as .docx file Used a different name
      Use dedicated project management software to manage changes to the WBS Three screen captures that show the development of the WBS in OpenProj Same as Best Missing screens or lack of student name in first screen
    • Save the files and submit them as directed by the instructor.