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This week you will prepare an individual response to the following cost and schedule estimation problem. Your response should be no longer than 2 pages, not including references and any figures or charts you choose to include.
Watch the video tutorial on Using Excel for Cost & Schedule Estimation (Welcome to the Excel demo. The goal of this one is to make a pretty chart. And you will see the word pretty is in quotation marks. That’s because it will become clear as we go on that they’re not at all pretty. I will admit upfront that my artistic ability is low, but I am going to tell you how to make the charts. I’m also not going to worry about colors and all kinds of other things, which I will leave to you.
This is a project management demo, not a general Excel demo, because we’re going to cover the things that we need to do in order to make effective project management presentations. And I’m going to specifically orient this to custom schedule presentation and presentation of the data. So it’s not a general purpose Excel demo. It’s going to be heavily chart oriented, which is a useful skill anyway.
So project management is 90% communication, as VJ always says. And then every time he says that, I always say, yeah, but what are you going to communicate? You’re always going to communicate the cost and the schedule, so that’s what this is about. But more than that, it’s also about professionalism. As a project manager, you’re going to be in the position of presenting to the customer the cost and the schedule.
And there are two aspects to that– the technical aspect of calculating the cost. And then the second aspect is credibility, convincing the customer that you know what you’re doing. There’s nothing worse than having a badly formatted presentation up on the screen and people in the audience are saying, this idiot doesn’t know how to draw a chart. How is he or she supposed to be able to possibly calculate the cost? Right? So we’re going to avoid looking like an idiot. And we’re going to go and show you how to make professional looking charts. You have the job of making them look cute.)
Use the following file (See Attached) to make a chart and present it in a Microsoft Word document. You may make up any explanation or rationale to describe the data. Present the chart in a persuasive format. File for download: F-Pretty Data-Raw.xlsx Click for more options
This is a paper assignment and should, therefore be in APA format—title page, abstract, paper, and Appendices. Appendix 1 should contain any references. Figures require figure numbers and captions. Figure captions should describe what is significant about the figure. Don’t say “Figure 1: A plot of the cost.” That will be obvious from the figure. If you use a figure, there should be a reason for it. The abstract should be advertising for your paper (it is not a summary) and showcase the key results. (So that the reader wants to read the paper and discover how you got those fascinating results.)
This does not need to be a long paper—two pages is quite sufficient. The main goal is to show that you can manipulate Excel and present PM data in a clear and appropriate context. You may make up any scenario for the data that you like. Have fun. Present the data in any context you can make a case for.
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