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What purpose(s) might be served by using each of the following priority rules for allocating scarce resources? a.

As late as possible. b. Shortest task duration time first. c. Minimum slack first. a. Starting a task as late as possible preserves resources and delays cash flows as long as possible. b. Allocating resources to tasks with the shortest durations first maximizes the number of tasks that can be completed within a certain time period. c. The minimum slack priority rule is used to minimize the number of late activities. Describe in your own words what is meant by Goldratts critical chain. Traditionally, in project management the concept of the critical path is used. More specifically, the critical path is defined as the path(s) that if delayed will delay the completion of the entire project. One shortcoming of the critical path approach is that it only considers task precedence information and does not consider issues related to resource usage. The critical chain addresses this concern and considers both technical precedence relationships as well as the resources that will be used to complete the tasks. Therefore, the critical chain refers to the longest chain of consecutively dependent events including both technological as well as resource dependencies. How does Goldratts critical chain work? The critical chain works by defining two sources that can delay the completion of the project. One source of delay is uncertainty in the tasks that comprise the critical chain. A project buffer is added to guard against these uncertainties. The second source of delay is uncertainty in the tasks external to the critical chain. A feeding buffer is added to these paths to help ensure they do not delay the tasks on the critical chain. Explain the difference in the problems faced by a PM who is short of secretarial resources and one who is short of a Walt. The PM that is short of secretarial resources does not face that great of a problem as this type of resource is relatively abundant and not usually critical to the projects ultimate success or failure. The PM that is short of a Walt (i.e., an individual with expertise and knowledge in an area) faces a much more daunting problem because a Walt is a scarce resource that is important to the projects successful completion and there are no readily available substitutes for a Walt. The arrival and departure times of commercial aircraft are carefully scheduled. Why, then, is it so important to have excess capacity in the airport control tower? Although the arrival and departure times may be carefully scheduled, we all know that actual arrivals and departures often deviate significantly from these schedules. Therefore, a significant amount of uncertainty is present and greatly complicates the ability of the airport control system to handle arrivals and departures.

Indeed unplanned events (e.g., weather delays, equipment malfunctions, late flight crews, and so on) often cascade through the system further compounding the problem. Therefore, excess capacity in control towers is needed as a buffer given this level of uncertainty. Clearly, the cost of not having this capacity greatly exceeds the cost of some idle capacity.