Evaluation of networks
- CPA provides a visual representation of a project, which makes it simpler to interpret.
- Drawing up a CPA requires careful analysis of the project, the resources required and the timings of activities, which should help the project to run smoothly. Forward planning should identify potential problems.
- CPA encourages teamwork and consultation, especially if employees are consulted in the process of identifying durations and resource requirements for the various activities.
- Identifying activities that can be run simultaneously, shortens the duration of the project and minimises costs, allowing a more competitive bid to be made if a project is offered for tender.
- The project manager can identify resource requirements in advance of the project start and ensure they are available when they are required, but not before or later. Daily charges for large pieces of equipment such as cranes can be very expensive so hire periods need to be minimised, by linking the hire to the EST of the activities where equipment is required.
- Network diagrams can include skills groups to allow for better flexibility in planning. So where spare capacity exists, the project manager knows the skills these employees have.
- The management of a project using CPA should allow the financial and cash implications to be more clearly identified and it also promotes clarity in stock control and the use of just-in-time methods.
- The sequential and quantitative nature of the CP process is very suited to computer operations.
- It is an expensive and time-consuming procedure as it involves the time of highly skilled personnel.
- Complex projects may be difficult to represent visually and can make the process unmanageable and pointless.
- It requires trained staff to manage it effectively, which adds to the cost of the project and must be built into any bidding process.
- Drawing the network diagram does not ensure effective management of the process, nor does the plan necessarily accurately represent the actual project and its progress. The diagram is only as good as the data that is used to prepare it - as they say in computing; 'Garbage In, Garbage Out'.
- The network is drawn up using quantitative data; qualitative factors such as motivation are not considered directly in the process, although durations may reflect this.
- All staff that will come in contact with it, or its consequences, needs to understand the method, its philosophy and its use.