Student Projects: The University of Pittsburgh

Simulation Approach for Estimating Project Completion Time Under Uncertainty

by E. Cakit
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The management of large scale projects requires lots of activities. To show relationships between these activities, two closely related operations research techniques are used. These are PERT (program evaluation and review technique) and CPM (critical path method). Both methods help us to find the total project completion time. CPM assumes the activity times to be constant; in real life it is not constant. On the other hand PERT assumes activity times as Beta distribution and results as a Normal distribution. This means this method is restricted by beta and normal distribution. Simulation approach can be more flexible unlike restrictions above. Therefore, in this project, SIMIO software is used to find out more meaningful results by trying other distributions.

Briefly, the first objective of this project is to approach differently in a project activity network model. The second objective is to compare the results of other approaches and simulation approach. For the comparison, MS Project software will be used and for simulation approach; Simio software will be used. The desired output is getting the comparable estimated project completion time between two approaches.

Summary and Conclusions

In this project, one of the project management tools was applied to SIMIO program. The uncertainty in project management was considered mainly. I believe that this made the problem more interesting rather than using constant variables. The results were compared with MS Project software and results supported that SIMIO can handle these kinds of approaches and be more competitive in project management area.

In conclusion, this project shows that uncertainty in project management can be handled more flexible in simulation package. Of course, these models that I discussed in this project should be improved for more complex situations. In this context, this study can be a good motivation and reference for future studies and it can be a basic of simulation approach in project management by using simulation package.