This task requires candidates to prepare a program evaluation and review technique (PERT) chart and apply critical path method (CPM) techniques.
Company A is installing a web-based customer feedback system to meet customer needs for quick response when rolling out new products. A new product line is rolling out in 48 weeks, and the customer feedback system must be installed and running in time for the new product launch. Table 1.1 in the attached “QAT1 Task 4 Spreadsheet” shows three estimates of the time it will take Company A to complete each of the project activities in the customer feedback system project: optimistic, probable, and pessimistic.
Company B is installing a similar feedback system to accompany a new product line and just announced that its new product line is ahead of schedule and will be launched in 45 weeks. Because the web-based customer feedback system must be installed and running in time for the revised date of the product launch in 45 weeks, something must be done to shorten implementation time required for the customer feedback system project. Refer to Table 1.2 in the attached “QAT1 Task 4 Spreadsheet” that lists the time it will take to complete the activities using normal resources (normal time), the expected time it will take to complete the activities if shortened as much as possible (crash time), the cost to complete the activity using normal resources (normal cost), and the cost of completing the activity on an accelerated basis (crash cost).
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- Use the estimates for Company A in Table 1.1 from the attached “QAT1 Task 4 Spreadsheet” to do the following:
- Determine the expected completion time for each of the nine project activities.
- Include all your answers for part A1 in Table 1.1, showing all of your work for one activity.
- Determine the variance for each of the nine project activities.
- Include all your answers for part A2 in Table 1.1, showing all of your work for one activity.
- Develop a PERT chart showing the network diagram with the activities and their expected times.
- Identify the critical path.
Note: Any additional numbers (e.g. start and finish times) included in the PERT chart will not be evaluated for correctness.
Note: If you don’t have software to build a PERT chart, use text boxes and lines with arrows in a word processing program or a spreadsheet program.
- Determine the value of each of the following, showing all of your work or reasoning:
- expected duration of the entire project, showing all of your work or reasoning.
- slack for project Activity E, showing all of your work or reasoning.
- slack for project Activity C, showing all of your work or reasoning.
- earliest start time for project Activity F, showing all of your work or reasoning.
- latest finish time for project Activity G, showing all of your work or reasoning.
Note: Work or reasoning must be included along with each response for credit. Referencing a value in the PERT chart is not considered showing work. Please explain how each value was determined.
- Determine the probability of completing this project in time for the product launch in 48 weeks, showing all of your work.
Note: you may want to use, with appropriate citation, the “Finding Probabilities from Z-Scores.” Web link below.
- Use the data for Company B in Table 1.2 from the attached “QAT1 Task 4 Spreadsheet” to do the following:
- Determine the maximum reduction in time for each of the ten project activities.
- Include your answers for part B1 in Table 1.2, showing all of your work for one activity.
- Determine the crash cost per week for each of the ten project activities.
- Include your answers for part B2 in Table 1.2, showing all of your work for one activity.
- Use your results from part B (i.e., Table 1.2, given PERT diagram, activities L-U) to do the following:
- Identify the activities, considering all paths, to be crashed to meet the following criteria:
- completion of the project within 22 weeks
- achievement of the lowest possible cost
- Determine the number of weeks each of the activities identified in part C1 should be crashed.
- Determine the sum of the individual costs of crashing each activity identified in part C1.
- When you use sources, include all in-text citations and references in APA format.
Note: To reduce unnecessary matches select ignore “small matches <20 words” and “bibliography.”
Note: For definitions of terms commonly used in the rubric, see the Rubric Terms web link included in the Evaluation Procedures section.
Note: When using sources to support ideas and elements in an assessment, the submission MUST include APA formatted in-text citations with a corresponding reference list for any direct quotes or paraphrasing. It is not necessary to list sources that were consulted if they have not been quoted or paraphrased in the text of the assessment.
Note: No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from outside sources, even if cited correctly. For tips on using APA style, please refer to the APA Handout web link included in the APA Guidelines section.
QAT1 – Task 4 – Finding Probabilities from Z-scores
Once you have the z-score you can use a Standard Normal Cumulative Distribution Table (there is one attached to this document, scroll to bottom of page) to look up the corresponding probability.
For example, what is the probability that corresponds to z = 0.55?
- Look for the ones and tenths place of the decimal down the left hand column (that would be 0.5 for our example)
- Match that to the hundredth place column (that would be 0.05 for our example)
- The corresponding probability is 0.7088 or 70.88%.
Alternatively you can use an Excel function “=NORMSDIST(z)”, replacing “z” in the function with your z-score value.
- Using the Excel function with our example we would type “=NORMSDIST(0.55)” to determine the probability that corresponds to z = 0.55
- If you have a newer version of Excel you may need to use =NORM.S.DIST(0.55,true). You have to use the true but the z is from your calculation.
- After we hit enter we should see .7088 or however many decimal places our cell is defaulted to.
- We can still see the formula if we double click the cell or look at the formula bar while we are in the cell
- There are also web sites with calculators. For example, you would take the resulting Z value, plug it into the following website, and hit “calculate”.
- Use the number in the top box, the “Left-tailed P-value (Z < 1)” is the probability.
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