PERT Analysis

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Activity I -Taking a situation analysis, evaluation of internal and external competition in both the micro-environment and the macro-environment.  It is important to establish a study that gives a candid situation of the corporation’s competitive advantage vis a vis those of serious competition mainly Walmart and Kmart. The most likely period of time that this activity can take is 8 working days. However, if the researchers and evaluators as well as the analysts’ tasked with this job work at an extremely high speed while maintain quality at the same time, the activity can take as few as $ working days and as many as 12 on the other extreme.

Activity ii- Evaluation of the market and determination of ways of making the same more competitive in terms of product differentiation, cost and segmentation. Here, the evaluators will use the data collected in activity one and hence this activity must be conducted after activity 1. This activity is most likely to take 10 working days but may take as little a 6 and as many as 18 according to the speed of those involved in the same.

Activity iii- Development and evaluation of strategy. The annual marketing strategy will need to be evaluated if it is feasible through analysis and forecasting of the cash flow and conducting a break-even and a resource deployment analysis. The strategy also needs to be evaluated if its suitable i.e. if it makes economic sense and is in line with Target’s core values. Acceptability to all the stakeholders should also be determined.

Activity iv- Organizing. After the initial activities, strategy implementation based on the findings will take place. These changes may constitute some organizational changes especially at the branch level, such as creation of new units or merging some existing ones or in some cases even moving an outlet from a geographical location to another. This activity is most likely to take 14 working days but can take as few as 8 or as many 40 depending on the number of recommendations from the earlier stages.

Activity v- Resourcing- The implementation of the plan may require a significant shift budget,  and thus impact capital expenditure as well as human resource. Again the time frame will depend with the number of changes in the organization. The process will therefore take place concurrently with activity for and will normally take 8 working days but can take as little as 6 and as many as 14.

 Activity vi- Managing Change- Involves observing whether the changes that have taken place do have effect in terms time, efficiency and sales and establishing problems arising from the changes and the appropriate mitigation measures. Since Target Corporation is retailer dealing with daily household goods, making an informed conclusion will normally take 8 working days but on the optimistic side, it can take 6 working days and on the pessimistic side 16 working days.

Gantt charts, critical path analysis, critical chain scheduling Versus PERT analysis

There are quite a number of similarities between the PERT analysis, critical chain scheduling, Gantt charts, and critical path analysis and equally many significant differences.

One similarity of course is that they are all used in scheduling. A similarity between Gantt and PERT is that both fail to adequately cover the projects’ triple constraints of cost, time and scope as both lay their primary focus on schedule management. The Gantt charts are highly effective for small projects but unlike PERT which can be used for projects of any magnitude, Gantt cannot be used for big projects as it is extremely difficult for the chart to handle more projects with more 30 activities.

Critical chain project management is a unique in that it lays the main emphasis on the resources for project tasks and as such:

It uses resource dependencies that are usually implicit.

It fails to search the best (optimum) solution instead settling for “good enough” since inherent estimates are much bigger than the corresponding analyses as is the difference between the near-optimum and optimum ("good enough" solutions).

It also inserts buffers such project, resource and feeding buffers. The project progress is monitored by the buffers’ consumption rates rather than monitoring individual task performance independently. The critical path analysis on the other hand is almost similar to PERT and both are in many occasions used together as they can be used for all sizes of projects.

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