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New tools in project planning: An introduction to the Rodenbeck Project Tower

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2 Author(s)
Rodenbeck, P. ; Rose-Hulman Inst. of Technol., Terre Haute, IN, USA ; Schumacher, T.

Gantt and PERT charts are well known and widely used among project managers. However, these tools have seen little change in past decades, even as the environment in which they function has changed dramatically. Globalization, the computer age, virtual teaming, and contracting technology cycles - these elements have permanently altered project environments. A great need now exists for innovation in project planning to better suit the modern project environment. This paper introduces the Rodenbeck Project Tower (RPT) - an innovative new tool and framework for project planning. The RPT is a 3D graphic that represents project tasks as elements of a physical building. It is composed of pillars, bridges, and floors representing work tasks, dependencies, and milestones, respectively. These building elements are displayed in three dimensions: Criticality, Resourcebility, and Time. Criticality - a measure of importance and difficulty - and Resourcebility - a measure of dedicated resources - define the width and length of pillar and floor elements while the height of the RPT is defined by Time (project duration). Through this structure, RPT communicates information on core competencies, cross-functional need and support, the suitability of resource allocations, the critical set of tasks, general project stability, and many other insights previously unavailable through PERT or Gantt tools.

Published in:

Technology Management for Emerging Technologies (PICMET), 2012 Proceedings of PICMET '12:

Date of Conference:

July 29 2012-Aug. 2 2012