project starters - curious questions about project management practice

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Project Starters challenging puzzles to create positive attitude to real projects 20016, © Gerry Geek

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Project Starters

Project Starterschallenging puzzles to createpositive attitude to real projects

20016, Gerry Geek

1. Repair ProjectJohn is going to repair his house. There are three major activities: electrical installation takes 3 man-days; sanitary installation takes 4 man-days; and garden work takes 5 man-days.

His girl-friend Mary agrees to participate in the project. They have the same skills and productivity, but refuse to work on the same activity at the same time. What is the project duration if they work together?

20016, Gerry Geek

2. Completion StrategyJohn works on three projects.

He can complete the first project in 10 days. He complete the second project in 20 days. He can complete the third project in 30 days.

What is better: to launch all three projects at the same time or completing it one by one?How long does the execution last if three other people join him?

20016, Gerry Geek

3. Magic WordsA manager pays John $80 for each customer feedback and fines him $20 for each input that does not include the phrase completely satisfied. This month, John received $1500 as a result of 50 customers responses.

How many responses include the magic words?

20016, Gerry Geek

4. Mentors and apprenticesThree mentors and four apprentices produce as many devices in five days as two mentors and four apprentices do in six days.

Who is the best performers : mentors or apprentices?

20016, Gerry Geek

5. Mary works faster than JohnMary can complete a job in 40 days. John can complete the job in 50 days.

Estimate for how many days they work on two such activities if they change them at the best moment.

20016, Gerry Geek

6. CommunicationJohn sent an email to his three partners. Everybody answered and copied the answer to all others. A total of 12 emails were sent.

How many emails are sent if there are 40 people communicating in the same manner?

20016, Gerry Geek

7. The Best PerformerAnna (A), Bill (B), Cindy (C), and Daniel (D) work on a project.

Together, A, B, and C can complete it in 10 days. Together, B, C, and D can complete it in 11 days. Together, C, D, and A can complete it in 12 days. Together, D, A, and B can complete it in 13 days.

Who is the best performer?

20016, Gerry Geek

8. More PeopleOne hundred workers complete a project in 100 working days.Adding ten more people decreases the productivity of every worker by 1%.

How many days would it take to complete a similar project using 110 people?

20016, Gerry Geek

9. ErrorsJohn detected two errors and Mary three errors in a code. There is one error in common.

How many errors are still undetected?

(This looks like a joke. However, there is a mathematical solution to the problem that shows the number of undetected errors. We are sure that you can easily find it. 99.9% fail or refuse to solve it.)

20016, Gerry Geek

10. Busy BossCEO of a start-up company Big Money, James Jones, is expecting two important 10-minute phone calls from two investors today at a randomly selected time from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

What is the probability that the two calls don't overlap?

20016, Gerry Geek

11. Project DurationThe picture shows a project plan. Arrows indicate where an activity must be finished before the next activity can start. The number shows the duration of the activity in days.

20016, Gerry Geek

What is the duration of the project in days?


Project Starterschallenging puzzles to create a positive attitude to real projects

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