The Dynamic Progress Method: Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Dynamic Progress Method

Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management, 1st Edition

By J. Chris White, Robert M. Sholtes

CRC Press

223 pages | 173 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466504370
pub: 2016-04-01
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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.

Table of Contents


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

About the Authors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology