About a year ago I was working my first big job on a large web project. I had to teach myself pretty much everything along the way. My supervisor asked me many many times when (approximately) I would finish each part of the project. I never really understood what all the fuss was about regarding timelines. I never knew what to say. On the inside I always thought that I would just get it done when I got it done. I was not able to predict efficiently until the very end of activities how long they would take because everything was relatively new to me. Now in hindsight I see how helpful these planning concepts and skills would have been in planning and changing the project according to time constraints. Learning planning techniques in class such as identifying activities, mapping out precedence, estimating time and identifying critical activities/paths is very new for me but finally brings all those questions I was being asked into perspective. I knew that having time estimates was important and necessary to plan but I never realized how important and complex planning could be. I now plan to take a more proactive approach and will do my best to give time estimates when possible in future projects.
I am glad to say that as I am learning how to plan in class I am applying what I am learning in another classroom. In another class I am currently in we have to plan, design and build a web application in 10 weeks. This means that time is valuable and we need to balance it out with the other key project metric triangle components to make sure performance and cost (our personal time in this case) are within reason. In this project we have had to develop a GAANT chart and plan out some of the most meticulous details of the project weeks ahead of even starting to build it. In addition, we had to plan out how long activities would take. When the planning requirements were brought up in the class I was one of the only students in the group familiar with the basic terms due to MGT 301. I have been able to help the team and manage our time so that we do not get behind in our project. We have identified activities that can be crashed (by investing more time in the week and putting our more experienced group members on specific tasks) as well as identifying activities that could be run concurrently (done at the same time) so that we can get more done in the same amount of time by splitting our group into mini groups.
– Have any of you had the above issues at a new job or on a unique project?
– Have any of you seen the lessons and concepts we are learning in class come up in a current or past class?
– How did these concepts help you to do better or contribute in that class?
– Have you applied these concepts to a class or work project?