Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Rocket clouds

1. Project Management across the Organization

1.1. A project is an interrelated set of activities with a definite starting and ending point, which results in a unique outcome for a specific allocation of resources.

1.1.1. The three main goals of any project are (1) complete the project on time or earlier, (2) do not exceed the budget, and (3) meet the specifications to the satisfaction of the customer.

1.1.2. A program is an interdependent set of projects with a common stra- tegic purpose.

1.2. A Project management is a systemized, phased approach to de- fining, organizing, planning, monitoring, and controlling projects, is one way to overcome that challenge.

1.2.1. All departments in a firm benefit from sound project management practices, even if the projects remain within the purview of a single department.

2. Defining and Organizing Projects

2.1. Defining the Scope and Objectives of a Project

2.1.1. This statement is often referred to as the project objective statement. The scope provides a succinct statement of project objectives and captures the essence of the desired project outcomes in the form of major deliverables, which are concrete outcomes of the project.

2.2. Selecting the Project Manager and Team

2.2.1. Once the project is selected, a project manager must be chosen. The qualities of a good project manager should be well aligned with the roles a project manager must play. Facilitator Communicator Decision maker

2.2.2. Selecting the project team is just as important as the selection of the project manager. Several characteristics should be considered. Technical competence Sensitivity Dedication

2.3. Recognizing Organizational Structure

2.3.1. The relationship of the project manager to the project team is determined by the firm’s organizational structure. There are three types of organizational structure and each one has its own implications for project management. Functional. The project is housed in a specific department or functional area, presumably the one with the most interest in the project. Pure Project. The team members work exclusively for the project manager on a particular project. Matrix. Is a compromise between the functional and pure project structures. The project managers of the firm’s projects all report to a “program manager” who coordinates resource and technological needs across the functional boundaries.

3. Planning Projects

3.1. After the project is defined and organized, the team must formulate a plan that identifies the specific work to be accomplished and a schedule for completion.

3.1.1. Defining the Work Breakdown Structure The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a statement of all work that has to be completed. The project manager must work closely with the team to identify all activities. An activity is the smallest unit of work effort consuming both time and resources that the project manager can schedule and control. Major work components are broken down to smaller tasks that ultimately are broken down to activities that are assigned to individuals.

3.1.2. Diagramming the Network A network diagram consists of nodes (circles) and arcs (arrows) that depict the relationships between activities. Establishing Precedence Relationships. It determines a sequence for undertaking activities; it specifies that one activity cannot start until a preceding activity has been completed. Estimating Activity Times. When the same type of activity has been done many times before, time estimates will have a relatively high degree of certainty. Using the Activity-On-Node Approach. The diagramming approach is referred to as the activity-on-node (AON) network, in which nodes represent activities and arcs represent the precedence relationships between them.

3.1.3. Developing the Schedule A key advantage of network planning methods is the creation of a schedule of project activities that will help managers achieve the objectives of the project. Critical Path.The sequence of activities between a project’s start and finish that takes the longest time to complete. Project Schedule. The project schedule is specified by the start and finish times for each activity. Activity Slack. The maximum length of time that an activity can be delayed without delaying the entire project is called activity slack. Gantt Chart The project manager, often with the assistance of computer software, creates the project schedule by superimposing project activities, with their precedence relationships and estimated duration times, on a time line.

3.1.4. Analyzing Cost–Time Trade-Offs Keeping costs at acceptable levels is almost always as important as meeting schedule dates. Total project costs are the sum of direct costs, indirect costs, and penalty costs. Cost to Crash To assess the benefit of crashing certain activities—from either a cost or a schedule perspective—the project manager needs to know the times and costs. Minimizing costs. The objective of cost analysis is to determine the project schedule that mini- mizes total project costs.

3.1.5. Assessing Risks Risk is a measure of the probability and consequence of not reaching a defined project goal. Risk involves the notion of uncertainty as it relates to project timing and costs. Risk-Management Plans. A major responsibility of the project manager at the start of a project is to develop a risk-management plan, which identifies the key risks to a project’s success and pre- scribes ways to circumvent them. Statistical Analysis The statistical analysis approach requires that activity times be stated in terms of three reasonable time estimates:

3.1.6. Simulation. PERT/CPM networks can be used to quantify risks associated with project timing. Often, the uncertainty associated with an activity can be reflected in the activity’s time duration.

4. Monitoring and Controlling Projects

4.1. Once project planning is over, the challenge becomes keeping the project on schedule within the budget of allocated resources.

4.1.1. Monitoring Project Status. A good tracking system will help the project team accomplish its project goals. Effective tracking systems collect information on three topics: Open Issues and Risks. One of the duties of the project manager is to make sure that issues that have been raised during the project actually get resolved in a timely fashion. Schedule Status. A tracking system that provides periodic monitoring of slack time in the project schedule can help the project manager control activities along the critical path.

4.1.2. Monitoring Project Resources . Experience has shown that the resources allocated to a project are consumed at an uneven rate that is a function of the timing of the schedules for the project’s activities. The phase that takes the most resources is the execution phase, during which managers focus on activities pertaining to deliverables. Resource Leveling. The attempt to reduce the peaks and valleys in resource needs by shifting the schedules of conflicting activities within their earliest and latest start dates. Resource Allocation. The assignment of resources to the most important activities. Resource Acquisition. The addition of more of an overloaded resource to maintain the schedule of an activity.

4.1.3. Controlling Projects . Project managers have the responsibilities of accounting for the effective use of the firm’s re- sources as well as managing the activities to achieve the time and quality goals of the project. The project close out is an activity that many project managers forget to include in their consideration of resource usage. The purpose of this final phase in the project life cycle is to write final reports and complete remaining deliverables.