ANZAM Operations, Supply Chain and Services Management SIG Meeting – Melbourne: 10 October 2014

This lecture focuses on the front end or the initiation phase of the project life cycle. Front end activities are critical to successful outcomes of the any project. The project front end is defined as the period between when an opportunity for a new project is first considered, and when the charter for the new project is issued, a project manager is appointed and resources are committed to the project. In other words, the project front end starts with an idea for a new project, and ends with the decision to launch a formal project or, alternatively, not to launch such a project.

The fuzzy front end is often ill-defined and characterized by ad-hoc decision-making. Researchers and practitioners agree that there is a need for tools, techniques and a well-defined process for managing the project front end.

This lecture is based on the Enterprise version of the Project Team Builder, a simulation based tool that was developed at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. PTB is designed to provide an environment in which the Front End team can generate alternatives for the project, develop Key Performance Indictors (KPIs) such as requirements, cost, time and risk. The team can perform trade off analysis based on the KPIs in order to select the best alternatives for the project, and finally simulate the selected alternative to test whether requirements are satisfied while testing resource feasibility, sensitivity to risk as well as time and cost performances.