SPU = PMBok, or is everything new - well forgotten old?

    It is known that the contours of project management as a modern scientific and engineering discipline began to take shape in the 50s of the 20th century in the United States. During this period, the beginning of the methodology of network planning was laid.

    However, one should not forget that back in the 1920s, the development of design technologies was proceeding actively with us. The country with the largest planned economy in the world, the USSR from the 30s of the last century began to implement a number of large-scale projects, and the names of some became known throughout the world.

    Little is known that in the USSR there was a separate discipline called “Scientific Organization of Labor” (abbreviated as NOT), which included key design methods and tools that are successfully applied today at PMBok.

    But first things first.

    Scientific and technological progress, accelerated with the beginning of the century, greatly complicated the task of coordinating and performing current operations, which served as an incentive to improve methods of planning and managing technical developments in production.

    To effectively manage the enterprise’s resources within the framework of project activities, a network planning and management (SPU) methodology was developed , which has become one of the NOT elements.

    By the end of the 60s, the methods of network planning and management as an integral part of project activities were widely used in our country, successfully applied in all key sectors of the economy: construction, industry, research institutes.

    The issues of developing network planning as a scientific discipline and methodology for project implementation were supervised by special institutions - Scientific Research Institute of Public Administration, at many enterprises created units involved in network planning. SPUs were taught and continue to be taught in all construction universities and construction departments of the country, they are included in the curriculum of continuing education programs.

    So, what is the network graphical model of the project, what elements does it consist of?

    Network planning and management is based on a network model, or, in other words, a graphic image of a work plan that clearly reflects the sequence of all stages of a project from its launch to a specific result.

    Job- these are actions performed over a certain period of time, aimed at achieving a specific result and, accordingly, requiring resources. The graph is shown in the form of arrows.

    Work can also be understood as an expectation that does not require labor, but takes time.
    In addition, the work may reflect the logical sequence and relationship of events. An example of this is the transmission and reception of information.

    An event is the end result of one or more work. The final event of each work is simultaneously the start for the next. Only the final event has no subsequent work. Any sequence of work from event to event is called a path. The graph displays as a circle or other grammatical figure.

    The initial event accompanies the initiation of the project, and the final event, respectively, of its implementation.

    A path is a chain of sequential work between the starting and ending events.

    When performing unique projects, a realistic assessment of their complexity is often difficult, and therefore a probabilistic assessment of time costs. Instead of a single number (deterministic estimate), two estimates are given — the minimum (optimistic) estimate and the maximum (pessimistic).

    The minimum (optimistic) assessment reflects the time of the event under the most favorable circumstances, and the maximum (pessimistic) - under the most unfavorable.

    The difference between the late and early dates of the event is a reserve of time.

    The logical connection between the two events is work. To carry out certain work, a time reserve is also calculated, calculated from the difference between optimistic and pessimistic terms for its implementation.

    In order to make the estimation of the duration of operations the most accurate, PMBok uses the program evaluation and analysis method (PERT). This method allows you to evaluate the range of duration of operations:

    1. most probable (tM). The duration of the operation is determined taking into account the preliminary allocation of resources, their productivity, realistic assessment of their availability for the operation, the dependence on other participants and delays.
    2. optimistic (tO). The duration of the operation is based on the analysis of the most favorable scenario for the development of the operation.
    3. pessimistic (tP). The duration of the operation is based on the analysis of the most unfavorable scenario for the development of the operation.

    PERT analysis allows you to determine the expected (tE) duration of an operation by calculating the weighted average of three estimates:

    tE = (tO + 4tM + tP) / 6

    It would seem, what does PMBok have to do with it?

    PMBok concentrates a number of areas of expertise in the field of project management. Including phased planning of project activities taking into account control events (Milestone Schedule), project content management (Project Scope Management), which provides a hierarchy of work.

    The formula for calculating the duration of operations given above is used today at PMBok, where this method is called program evaluation and analysis (PERT).

    The fundamental difference between the two disciplines - PMBok and SPU - lies precisely in the fact that the first is a universal methodological base for organizing project management in any areas of activity, and the second, respectively, is a utilitarian inherently work management system in production, scientific and technical areas.

    And in conclusion - a training video of 1973, which is accessible and clearly telling about what network project planning and management (SPU) is, what is the usefulness of this discipline for the enterprise. Recommended for viewing:

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