Project Management



Project:  temporary endeavor with a specific objective to be met within prescribed time and dollar limitations and that has been assigned for definition or execution


**Most effective way to develop a project budget is to use earliest and latest start and end time**


**Project Crashing:  shortening a project by assigning more resources to one or more of the critical activities**


Characteristics of a Project:

·         Numerous sequential and interrelated activities

·         Unique set of events

·         Finite with a beginning and end date

·         Limited resources and budget

·         Many people involved

·         Goal-oriented

·         End product or service must result

·         Had methods for handling problems during project execution


Three Phases of Project Management

1.       Planning:  MOST IMPORTANT

a.       Form project team

b.      Determine deliverables and success indicators

c.       Determine tasks to be completed

d.      Schedule tasks

e.      Allocate human resources

f.        Set a project budget

g.       Obtain funding

h.      Obtain senior management sponsorship

i.         Establish communication network

2.       Implementation

a.       Complete tasks

b.      Track and report status

c.       Communications:  periodic reviews, effective meetings, and spontaneous dialogues

d.      Resolve conflicts and solve problems

e.      Manage change

3.       Close Out

a.       Conduct closeout meeting

b.      Ensure that deliverables have been delivered

c.       Document and share lessons learned

d.      Wrap up administrative tasks

e.      Prepare closing documentation

f.        Examine lessons learned


Organization and Structure of Projects

·         Project Team

o   Project Sponsor

§  Runs Interference

§  Mediator for organizational issues

§  Supports project director

§  Interfaces with members of senior management

§  Obtains resources

§  Resolves problems

o   Project Director/Leader “torchbearer”

§  Runs interference

§  Mediator for organizational issues

§  Negotiates with project manager on phases to be used on project and associated criteria

§  Helps with details of work breakdown structure

§  Demonstrates effective leadership

§  Conducts projects reviews

§  Recruits resources

§  Supports project manager in any way possible

o   Project Manager

§  Has ultimate accountability and responsibility for a project’s success or failure

§  Must use INFLUENCE to get the job done, full authority is never quite provided

§  Consists primarily of HUMAN RELATIONS and PEOPLE MANAGEMENT rather than technical expertise and individual contribution

o   Customer

§  Ultimate approval for project sign-off

§  Establishes requirements

§  Decides where changes must occur

§  Requires constant communication

§  Develops communication plan

§  Involved in determining project scope


Project selection and evaluation

·         Be realistic

·         Deal with multiple time periods

·         Be easily modified

·         Not require special interpretation

·         Use a standard computer package

·         Be relative to the cost of the project


Capital Funding Methods

·         Average return on investment:  average annual cash flow generated by investment divided by cost of the project

·         Net Present Value

·         Payback Method:  provides a measure of the time required to recover the initial amount invested in a project


Weaknesses of traditional capital justification

·         Encourages short-term outlook

·         Assumes project-by-project analysis

·         Ignores competitive impacts

·         Fails to consider learning potential

·         Encourages major projects

·         Detracts from building blocks of smaller projects

·         Limits involvement of operations

·         Requires staff specialists


Innovative evaluation of projects

·         Focus on strategic relevance

·         Analyze expected benefits

o   Equipment related

§  Hardware

§  Software

§  Programming

o   Data-related costs

§  Initial and ongoing collection

§  Ongoing maintenance

§  People-related costs

o   Implementation team/project manager

§  Education and training

§  External consulting services

§  New positions required

·         Understand competitive implications

·         Understand interdependencies among proposals


Resource Planning and Project Organization

·         Scheduling of available resources so that project deliverables are produced on time and within budget

·         3 basic approaches

o   Unlimited resource scheduling

o   Time-limited resources scheduling

o   Resource-limited resources scheduling


Roles and responsibilities chart

·         RASIC

o   Responsible

o   Approves

o   Supports/assists

o   Informed… must be kept informed

o   Consulted… must be consulted


Evolution and Team Development

·         Forming stage:  starting to build relationships

·         Storming stage: conflict is natural and inevitable

·         Norming stage:  acceptable unwritten rules/codes of conduct and behavior are developed

·         Performing stage:  team is ready to perform

·         Reforming stage:  celebration and goodbyes


Effective Leaders

·         Proactive

·         Begin with the end in mind

·         Put first things first

·         Think win-win

·         Seek first to understand, then to be understood

·         Seek synergies

·         Sharpen the saw

·         Are results driven

·         Are good communicators


Approaches to conflict resolution

·         Competing approaches

·         Collaborating approaches

·         Compromising approaches

·         Avoiding approaches


Project Control

·         Review project team activities frequently

o   Formal project reviews with stakeholders conducted monthly

o   Project status for last month reviewed

o   Anticipated project progress over next two months discussed

o   Address changes since last reviewed

·         Provide support that the team needs to complete activities

·         Provide the team with the status of the project

·         Communicate problems or changes to the customer, management, and project team as soon as possible

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