Homework Assignments

There will be a total of six (6) homework assignments throughout the term. The assignments are designed to reinforce key concepts from class and focus on applications of specific methods and tools. Our objective is not to make you an expert user of any particular method (e.g. PERT/CPM, DSM, SD) or particular tool (e.g. OpenProj, Microsoft Project, Vensim). We are assuming that you will be in a leadership position at your company and that others will carry out the mechanics of maintaining project plans and documents under your supervision. Therefore, it is important that you understand the basic workings of the different methods and tools and grasp their relative advantages and limitations.

The homeworks are a pedagogic means of ensuring some uniformity in achieving the learning objectives across the class that would not be guaranteed by the term projects alone.

  • Homeworks are intended to be solved individually. Verbatim copying from others is not allowed. MIT's standard rules of academic honesty apply:
  • If students want to cooperate on the homework, they can do so, provided that they properly reference the contributions that others have made on the first page. There will be no deduction if cooperation is properly referenced.
  • Each student needs to upload their own solution.
  • We might gather and publish anonymous time-spent statistics for assignments.
  • In the past, some students have shown a tendency towards perfectionism and spent up to 30–40 hours on a single homework. That is excessive. Our intent is that a homework assignment should be able to be solved within a maximum 10–12 hours of effort.
  • A master solution will be worked out, posted and discussed for each homework within one week after the due date. The master solution will be delayed if extensions have been granted to some students.
  • The homework topics are summarized in the table below.

Summary of Homework Topics

1 Create a project plan and find the critical path (CPM)
2 Create a DSM model and analyze the iterations
3 Create a basic project dynamics model in Vensim (SD)
4 Setup project monitoring and cost control (EVM)
5 Manipulate an advanced project dynamics model (SD)
6 Design and analyze project organizations

In 2012 we will use the MIT CityCar electric car project as the common context for all the homeworks. See here for more details: