1. 1.     Background

You have been assisting with the management of the university enrolment system.  There were a number of issues with the planning last semester. You are asked to use MS Project Schedule to manage next semester’s tutorial enrolments.

  1. 2.     Scenario

The following is the scenario for your MS Project schedule:

The University Tutorial Enrolment System

The University runs a tutorial enrolment system, where students can enter their preferences for tutorials in the units in which they are enrolled.

The process starts when the University creates the timetable for the following semester. To create the timetable, the UC Timetable Officer (UCTO) consults with the lecturer-in-charge (LIC) of units about the possible times and the size of tutorials in their units (along with other details- details that are outside the scope of this exercise).

Later on, the class timetables are imported into the tutorial enrolment system and the UCTO talks to the LICs about which tutorials to open or close when the student enrolment numbers mean the number of tutorials presented to the students in the system is inappropriate.

Once the tutorial enrolment system is set up, when the start of the semester is approaching, students then enter their preferences for the various tutorials in the units in which they are enrolled.

Students are subsequently allocated to tutorials at set times throughout the process using a matching algorithm. After the allocation processes, students can access the system to swap their tutorials if there is a place available in an alternative tutorials that suits them better than the one to which they have been allocated.

Various processes occur in the background, with the (UCTO) setting up the tutorials in the system to start with (as noted above) and running the allocation processes.  At the start of the semester, the LIC gets the lists of students in each tutorial in their unit from the system to give to their tutors

  1. 3.     Tasks to be undertaken to complete the report.

3.1       Identify at leas8 tasks.

2.2       Prioritise the tasks in the order in which they were undertaken.

3.3       Develop a Gantt chart of the above tasks using MS Project.

The entails using a number of functionality of MS Project Schedule and some         of these have been demonstrated in T12: Creating Gantt Chart of the Lab     work posted in week 4.

3.4       Write a paragraph on the key features of MS Project.

3.5       State two (2) reasons for your preference for Gantt chart over Pert Chart         or vice versa.  You may need to research this answer.


Introduction to Tutorial Enrolment System in University



The main challenge faced by universities before semesters is to manually allocate the classes or creating timetable for thousands of students enrolled in tutorials. This is tedious and time consuming work for the university staff as well as for the students also. The students have to juggle the classes and sorting out the class allocations consisted of errors which were inevitable and even the staff needs to spend their precious time on better things to be done than working on manual allocation classes to the students.

There is a Tutorial Enrolment System (TES) which is run by University and in this newly developed system the students can enter their preferences for the particular tutorials in which they have enrolled. This kind of fully-integrated system allows the student to access all the enrolment details and classes related information round-the-clock through web and they can also register the preferences for different classes for different units at one place.

Both the individual class preferences and the timetabling is properly synchronised using the batch transfers and the students get automatic notification about any changes in the class schedules.

The beginning of the Tutorial Enrolment System is commenced with the preparation of Timetable for the coming semester. In order to create the perfect timetable the UC Timetable Officer (UCTO) needs to consult the Lecturer-in-Charge (LIC) of every unit and collects all the information about the possible times as well as the size of the tutorials in every unit they have.

These class-wise timetables are being imported into the Tutorial Enrolment System and the tutorials are closed or opened as per the discussion between the UCTO and LIC when the student’s enrolment numbers or the numbers of tutorials which are being allocated to the students as per the system are incorrect.

After setting up the whole TES, just before the semester starts the students start choosing their tutorial as per their preferences from the units in which they have been enrolled. Using the matching algorithm the students are being given proper timetables or time period is allocated.

Once the allocation Process is complete the students have the option of swapping the tutorial if there is any place vacant in any other alternative tutorial, which the student feels is better than the allocated one.

Once the semester starts the LIC has the list of all the students enrolled in the particular tutorial in their units with the help of the system which LIC gives to the respective tutor.



Identification of Eight tasks


Tasks in project management are the group of activities which are required to be completed within a definite time frame. Mostly all the tasks are dependent upon each other and they have a time constraints and resources attached with them. The tasks are sometimes interdependent upon or interrelated to each other (Murdoch University streamlines class allocation with Callista Attend, n.d.).


Now let us identify the eight tasks from this whole process of Tutorial Enrolment System for University.

  1. Preparing the Timetable for the semester
  2. UCTO consults LIC of every unit (to collect all the information regarding the size of tutorials of every unit and the amount of time each unit will take).
  3. Class-wise timetables are integrated with  Enrolment System
  4. Student gets enrolled in particular tutorial of unit and a student enrolment number is allocated.
  5. Students enter their enrolment number for their preferences in which they have enrolled.
  6.  With the help of matching algorithm they get proper timetables for class schedules.
  7. If there is any place vacant in any tutorial the student can swap their tutorial which they find is better.
  8. LIC gets a list of the students based on their enrolment in particular tutorial which they give to the tutors of respective unit.



Prioritise the Tasks


Prioritising the tasks means preparing the tasks or the activities for implementation using the Project team. It is done by finding the deliverables using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Since we have broken the whole project of Tutorial Enrolment System into small manageable chunks which are also called tasks or deliverables, now we need to prioritise them to develop a whole flow of the work .We can also make the WBS in the form of flow chart.

Below is the whole WBS depicted in the form of flow chart which shows how all the tasks have been prioritised.



Preparation of Timetable for semester




























Developing a Gantt chart using MS Project


Gantt Charts can be made easily using either MS excel or simple spreadsheet, but here we will use MS project to create a Gantt chart for the whole process. Gantt charts are very useful in planning and analysing very complex and huge projects. Follow the below listed steps to draw a Gantt chart perfectly (Chapman, 2010).


Step 1: Make a list of all the activities in the project plan

For every task that you have listed indicate the earliest start date and the estimated or the approximate time span it will take to complete that task and finally show whether it is a parallel or sequential activity. If the activity is sequential then indicate that on which all stages it depends (Gantt Charts, 1996-2012).


Step 2: Setting Gantt chart in the MS Project by saving it as a new project

Here we will save it as Tutorial Enrolment System Project.


Step 3: Plot the tasks

The Gantt chart gets plotted on the MS Project as bars. The length of the bars depicts the length of the time task needs to get completed and the starting of the bar indicates the earliest possible date for the task. The bars also depict the name of the task they stand for. Schedule the tasks in proper sequential manner by mentioning the predecessors on the MS Project sheet (Gantt Charts, 1996-2012).


Step 4: Analysis of the Gantt chart

The Gantt chart shows the sequence of all the activities and the total time which will be taken by the whole project to be on time and to be profitable with the available resources. It also helps in finding the Critical path activities, means the activities which are very vital for the task to be on time and any delay in these activities will result in delaying the whole project. While scheduling the project in MS project do keep in mind that all the resources are used in the best possible manner and there is proper resource allocation also. Over commitment of the resources will result in completing the project faster but will increase the cost of the project thus making the whole project a venture of loss (Gantt Charts, 1996-2012).



Key features of MS Project


A unique and well coordinated task where a set of deliverables are required to be delivered within set time, cost and with specified quality constraints is called a Project.

Features of projects

  • Unique in nature without any repetitive processes.
  • Contain well defined timescales
  • Have a permitted Budget.
  • They are allocated limited resources.
  • Risk element is involved.
  • Help in accomplishing changes which are beneficial. (Westland, 2003)


The set of skills and tools along with the gamut of management processes in order to complete a project successfully together form Project management.MS –Project or Microsoft Project is a kind of software application which is created and sold by Microsoft which makes available the project management tools to the users in order to manage large and complex projects in successful manner. MS Project is helpful in (Westland, 2003):

  • Understanding and taking control of finances and the schedules of the projects.
  • Helps in organising the manpower as the work so that the project is completed right on schedule.
  •  Helps in communicating and representing information related to the project in concise form. (What is Microsoft Project?, 2012)


Features of MS Project 2007

The effectual features of MS project help any organisation in controlling and attaining better visibility across all the projects in the organisation, which results in better decision-making and advanced and alignment with the strategies developed for the business. This results in increased operational efficiency (Kumar, 2007). Some of the key features of MS Project are listed below:

  • Helps in better planning of work.
  • Helpful in better Resource management
  • Helps in effectual communication and collaboration in organisation.
  • Provides very faster access to all the information and data.
  • It is very helpful in leveraging the existing data. (Kumar, 2007)

However over the time Microsoft has launched the latest version called MS Project 2010 which has more advanced updates and visually enhanced features like:

  • User interface is Microsoft Fluent
  • Easier and Flexible just like MS-Excel
  • Scheduling is now user controlled also.
  • Timeline view helps in creating graphical timeline
  • Team Planner helps in task-task resource planning
  • Enhanced collaboration of teams with Connected teams

(Microsoft Project 2010 – Top 10 Features & Benefits, 2011)


Thus it is beneficial in saving time and efforts because it is much familiar and is intuitive also. The flexibility and the amazing power of MS Project makes the projects to be shared easily and to view them has also become easier. With the team planner you can get a glance at the whole project. You can control the capabilities by controlling and delivering the actual and forecasted budgets for project. Enhanced performance with the help of collaboration with others (Ratliff, 2009).


Two reasons for choosing Gantt chart over PERT Chart


Project Evaluation and Review Technique ( PERT) charts just like Gantt charts also map the total time which is taken by nay project  while highlighting the bottlenecks existing in the project in an instant (McKinney, 2011). But it is found that the GANTT charts are better than the PERT charts because in PERT chart there is no calendar which is found in Gantt charts so it is difficult to find when to perform the activities in precise manner in case of PERT chart (Darwin, 2012). Moreover the Gantt chart has main focus on the timeline that is when the project organised will be completed, while PERT chart shows the interdependency of the factors associated with the project and how they are related to the data. Moreover this is a simple project for which Gantt charts would be better option that is why we have chosen then over the PERT which is better for complex projects (Katrina, 2011). Moreover the time resources are depicted in numerical manner in PERT charts whereas in Gantt charts they are shown in graphical manner, so it becomes tougher to find out that which areas of the project are using the maximum amount of time resources in case of PERT charts, that is why we have chosen Gantt charts (Grover, 2002)




Chapman, A. (2010) project management, [Online], Available: http://www.businessballs.com/project.htm [22 March 2012].

Darwin, P. (2012) GANtt Chart, [Online], Available: http://www.12manage.com/methods_gantt_chart.html [22 March 2012].

Gantt Charts (1996-2012), [Online], Available: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_03.htm [22 March 2012].

Grover, D. (2002) Graphical Project Planning Techniques:An Overview of Gantt, PERT, and CPM Charts, 1 June, [Online], Available: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~jps7/Aircraft%20Design%20Resources/project%20management/ganttv1.pdf [22 March 2012].

Katrina (2011) Difference Between Gantt Charts and Pert Charts, 24 July, [Online], Available: http://differencesbetween.com/difference-between-gantt-charts-and-pert-charts/ [22 March 2012].

Kumar, T. (2007) Features of Microsoft Project 2007, 9 October, [Online], Available: http://www.articlesbase.com/e-learning-articles/features-of-microsoft-project-2007-230001.html [22 March 2012].

McKinney, L. (2011) 5 Great PERT Charts And Diagrams For The Productive Project Manager, 18 September, [Online], Available: http://smartlifeblog.com/5-great-pert-chart-programs-for-the-productive-project-manager/ [22 March 2012].

Microsoft Project 2010 – Top 10 Features & Benefits (2011), 13 May, [Online], Available: http://eprogramme.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/microsoft-project-2010-top-10-benefits/ [22 March 2012].

Murdoch University streamlines class allocation with Callista Attend, [Online], Available: http://www4.callista.com.au/download/attachments/3441127/casestudy_murdochuni.pdf [22 March 2012].

Ratliff, B. (2009) Top 5 New Features in Microsoft Project 2010 Desktop, 16 September, [Online], Available: http://www.solarity.com/budblog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=192e87fc-9847-4c57-baf6-48227f662c7e&ID=15 [22 March 2012].

Westland, J. (2003) Method123 Empowering Managers to succeed, Method 123 Ltd.

What is Microsoft Project? (2012), [Online], Available: http://www.mpug.com/Pages/whatismicrosoftproject.aspx [22 March 2012].


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