1st Edition

The Dynamic Progress Method Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management

By J. Chris White, Robert M. Sholtes Copyright 2016
    240 Pages 173 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    239 Pages 173 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Recent computer-based tools for project planning and management focus on user-friendliness and interconnectivity. However, these programs function on the Critical Path Method, or CPM, which was created in the 1950s. These programs, which involve simplistic models and methods, ignore the fact that the underlying computations on which they function have become woefully inadequate for the complex projects of today.

    The product of nearly a decade of work, The Dynamic Progress Method: Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management provides an overview of the research conducted while illustrating some of the issues with current approaches. It presents the Dynamic Progress Method (DPM), an innovative simulation-based approach to project management. It also includes instructions on how to use the accompanying DPM-based simulation tool pmBLOX to plan, manage, and analyze projects.

    This groundbreaking book is a must-have resource for project planning and management. It introduces a new and better way of planning, estimating, and managing projects that corrects some of the fundamental flaws of the CPM. It brings the computational integrity of planning simulations up to speed with modern needs, making it useful not only to current project managers but also to students who will become project managers.

    Background of Research
    Getting Good Projects for the Research
    Results of the DARPA SBIR Effort
    Example: Large Defense Contract
    Basic Issues with Microsoft Project Algorithms (and the CPM)
    Direct Comparisons between Microsoft Project and pmBLOX
    What Does This Mean for Project Managers?

    Why "Dynamic Progress Method?"
    Understanding Systems and System Complexity
    Classes of Business Models
    System Complexity and Project Complexity
    Introducing the DPM

    The Current Status of Project Management
    Project Failure Rates Are Greater Than Zero
    Larger Projects Suffer More Than Smaller Projects
    Some Project Failures Are Preventable
    The Need for a Revolutionary Project Planning and Management Tool

    Critical Path Method and Earned Value Management
    CPM Refresher
    Some Comments on Program Evaluation and Review Technique
    Benefits and Disadvantages of PERT/CPM
    Some Comments on Critical Chain
    Uncertainty and Monte Carlo Analysis
    Additional Issues with PERT/CPM
    EV Refresher

    The New Approach of Dynamic Progress Method
    A Simple Project Framework for Consideration
    DPM and PERT/CPM: Different Sides of the Same Coin
    CPM and System Dynamics

    Overview of the Dynamic Progress Method Simulation Model
    Basic Task Structure
    Resource Productivity
    Management Corrective Actions
    Consequences of Corrective Actions
    A Final Note on the DPM Model

    Overview of pmBLOX
    Installing and Running pmBLOX
    Example 1—Creating Your First Project Plan
    Example 2—Defining a Task Resource
    Example 3—Productivity Impacts
    Example 4—Varying Productivity Impacts
    Example 5—Responding to Reduced Productivity
    Example 6—Multiple Task Resources
    Example 7—The Role of Scope Mode
    Example 8—Task Dependencies
    Example 9—Working with Materials
    Final Comments

    Advanced Capabilities of Dynamic Progress Method
    Example Microsoft Project File
    Importing a Microsoft Project XML File into pmBLOX
    Accelerating the Project
    Schedule and Cost Trade-Offs


    J. Chris White earned his BS in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MS in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan. He is President of ViaSim Solutions and is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Texas at Dallas and Texas A&M University–Commerce. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) as well as a Lean Sensei and a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He has published numerous articles in the fields of leadership, total quality management, Six Sigma, project management, strategic management, and simulation.

    Robert M. Sholtes earned his BS in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and his MS in engineering and public policy from Washington University in St. Louis. He has been a special instructor at the George Washington University and an assistant instructor and research assistant at Washington University. He has published several articles and presented several conference papers in the fields of software development, simulation, and genetic algorithm optimization techniques.