This Guest paper, originally published at the 2012 PMI Global Congress Proceedings in Vancouver, Canada, was submitted for publication in February 2021
It is copyright to Eric Uyttewaal, 2021.
Published here May 2021

Introduction | When Can You Call a Program "In Control?" 
Why Break a Program Down into Subprojects? | Work Breakdown Orientations: Good and Bad
Consequences of Breaking a Program into Subprojects | Hunting for the Critical Path in an IMS
Dealing with Sharing Resources across Programs | Simulating the Critical Path
In Summary: Our Recommendations and References

Eric Uyttewaal is founder of ProjectPro, specializing in Microsoft Project, Project Server and Project Online. During his career, he has served in large programs at the Canadian Forces, IBM Cognos, Northrop Grumman, SanDisk, Investors Group and others. Eric has authored several books including: Forecasting Programs, Forecast Scheduling with Microsoft Project 2010/2013/Online, and Dynamic Scheduling. In 1997, he was president of PMI-Ottawa, and over the years has received many awards for his work.

Editor's Introduction

This case study by Eric Uyttewaal and Al Rusnak is a valuable read as a companion to our book review of Craig's paper: "How the Great Pyramid was built". Why? Because, as Craig explains, this was a building program on a massive scale. So today we would need a massive scheduling program to handle the amount of complexity and work involved.

In this case study, Eric and Al report on the application of such a scheduling program to an actual large-scale project conducted just recently.

Authors' Introduction

In this article, we will discuss a product development program at SanDisk involving 5,000 tasks broken down into eight subprojects, with 250 dependencies between the subprojects. The scheduling application used at SanDisk was Microsoft Project. We will present insights that are important to programs of similar size and nature.

Abstract Summary

This paper discusses the scheduling of a new product development program at SanDisk, a major designer of Flash Storage products. Because of the first-to-market nature of SanDisk's business, the critical path needed to be as short as possible. The program had about 5,000 tasks and 250 cross-project dependencies. The program was considered to be in control when the forecast completion dates of the next major milestone would display a high probability, in Monte Carlo simulations of its detailed critical path. The program and particularly the critical path needed to be resource-loaded and leveled.

This article describes how SanDisk was able to meet these scheduling requirements and maintain an important program in control. This was done with the help of some state-of-the-art software from ProjectPro. ProjectPro provided SanDisk with the capability to identify the Resource-Critical Path across a number of subprojects in an integrated program.


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