Project Management

Assignment

Objective: Select the company from the Fortune 500 list at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/full_list/.

Prepare a 8-10 page Research paper on one of the following topics:

Changing Organizational Priorities that change scope of projects
Change Management impact on Projects and/or Change management impact on operations management
Lack of accountability on project requirements
Unrealistic deadlines for project completion
Relationship of project to strategy of the business

Guidelines:

Relate the paper to a specific project or initiative (this can be a past or future project at your organization, a past project from another company or a future project you wish to undertake). In review of all of the aspects of Project Management what one area do you believe will be your biggest challenge? Explain for the project chosen, explain, analyze, synthesize, and summarize the impact that the application of operations management will have. Provide examples of specific projects or operations failures for the chosen company, and relate how this conforms or deviates from effective project management standards/theory.

Research Paper will be in APA format

Unit 7 Lecture

Slide 1

Operations and  Project Management
MBA 631
This is unit 7
Managing Projects

Slide 2

The objectives of this presentation are to :
-Define what a project is and is not
-Define project management
-Understand the history of project management
-Understand the skills necessary to lead projects
The remainder of this presentation will follow a question and answer format in an effort to maximize interest and interactivity.

 

Slide 3

What changes are organizations making to achieve better value on their projects?
The changes organizations are making include organizational structure and philosophical changes. These changes are intended to make the organization leaner, adaptable, and better handlers of change by creating project management offices and dedicated project managers. These project managers can have varying degrees of influence and control of their project(s).
While project management has limitations, most organizations receive real benefits from its use. Benefits include better control, better customer relations, increase in projects’ return on investment, etc. Project management is not easy; for the participants (to paraphrase Churchill) it may seem to be the worst form of management except all the others that have been tried. In spite of that, project management is a growing career path which is highly rewarding.
Further, my experience in teaching project management to hundreds of technical professionals is that they are usually in the class for one of three reasons:
• They are seeking new opportunities. I’ve heard many students say something like “I don’t want to be sitting at the same lab bench for the next twenty years.”
• They have been thrust into a project manager’s role by their management and figure they better learn something about it.
• They have been a project manager, sometimes for years, and want to find out “how to do it right.”

Slide 4

What are the potential advantages to using a structured project management approach?
The key benefits of a structured project management process are: improvement in customer satisfaction, better cost performance, better schedule performance, increased quality, and increased number of delivered features.

 

Slide 5

What were some of the earliest tools and techniques used by project managers?
Some of the earliest tools and techniques utilized by project managers were Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) charts, work breakdown structures (WBS), Gantt charts, critical path method (CPM), and ultimately the creation of standard bodies such as the Project Management Institute (PMI).

 

Slide 6

What were the primary reasons for the growth in project management during the 1970s?
The primary reasons for the growth seen in project management during the 1970s were: the growing demand for sophisticated and complex products, the growth of companies in terms of size and complex activities, and the necessity for large companies to compete in a global dynamic business environment.

 

Slide 7

What were the primary reasons for the growth in project management during the 1990s?
In the 1990s interest in project management soared because of a convergence of: more powerful computers and software, standard practices and processes defined and adopted, widespread use of the Internet, and global competition.
With increased international competition, customers are demanding to have their products and services developed and delivered better, faster, and cheaper. Since project management techniques are designed to manage scope, quality, cost and schedule, they are ideally suited to this purpose.

Slide 8

What is the definition of project?
Many people do not understand the basic characteristics of projects. You should focus on the definition of a projectas a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The attributes of a project should be noted as well. A project:
• Has a unique purpose.
• Is temporary.
• Is developed using progressive elaboration.
• Requires resources (often from various areas).
• Should have a primary sponsor or customer.
• Involves uncertainty.
The broader answer is: a project is an endeavor that requires an organized set of work efforts that are planned in a level of detail that is progressively elaborated as more information is discovered. Projects are subject to limitations of time and resources such as money and people. Projects should follow a planned and organized approach with a defined beginning and ending. Project plans and goals become more specific as early work is completed. The output often is a collection of a primary deliverable along with supporting deliverables such as a house as the primary deliverable and warranties and instructions for use as supporting deliverables. Each project typically has a unique combination of stakeholders – persons or organizations … that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by … the project”.

 

Slide 9

The proposed goal for the project is something that is routinely created by an in-control process. An example would be a “project” to print next month’s payroll checks using the existing process. A project would be to install new payroll software in time for next month’s payroll. Something new and unique. Once it’s accomplished, the project is over and it’s back to routine process.
The solution is not discrete. For example, “world hunger” does label a real need, but the solution to that need is hardly a discrete solution appropriate to project management. However, providing disaster relief to a famine stricken area of the world within a finite period of time or achieving a stated level of performance for famine relief might benefit from project management approaches.
Direct project goals are the goods and services produced by the project for the customer. Ancillary goals are those that benefit the organization performing the project and are usually a by-product of the project. The ancillary goals are usually things that the sponsor or senior management wants and expects as part of project success. An example might be a project with the direct goal of creating a new piece of software and an ancillary goal of training ten people in a new programming technique.
There are innumerable examples of projects:
The cleanup of the World Trade Center site after 9/11. This project grew from the chaos of the immediate rescue efforts to a well-run process that succeeded in erasing the physical evidence of the attack.
The Columbia Accident Investigation. This project is both in terms of the investigation process and as a case study in how to screw up. This is the third excellent report produced by NASA on problems within their project management environment.
The Mars Rovers. This resounding success for NASA, as the plucky rovers become the world’s most beloved robots after R2D2.

 

Slide 10

What are the key characteristics that describe a project?
A project is defined by having three key characteristics: it is temporary and has a beginning and an end.
The purpose of a project is to change the existing status quo by providing discrete solutions that solve real needs. Project management will not be effective if:
A real need does not exist or the organization has not clearly defined the need that the project should solve. In order to be effective, project managers should understand what would be required to complete the project successfully.

 

Slide 11

A project manager manages projects by doing what four high-level activities?
The project manager performs the following four activities: setting clear and achievable objectives, identifying requirements, adapting the project to the various concerns of the stakeholders, and balancing the demands of the triple constraint.
The project manager is ultimately responsible for acting with competence to provide the solution authorized by the project’s sponsor. A project manager should be able to successfully organize, execute, and control the project without damaging the performing organization. Because most projects will have a sponsor and a user or customer, the project manager should be able to balance competing demands as well. From a strategic perspective, the project manager should organize the project and control its execution in a manner that wins for all relevant stakeholders.

Slide 12

What is the triple constraint of project management?
All projects are constrained by their scope, time, and cost referred to as the triple constraint. Project managers must continually balance the three to be successful. If any one of the constraints changes either by intended or unintended factors, the project manager must negotiate changes in the others to keep the project on target.

 

Slide 13

What is the fourth constraint of project management that some authors include?
The fourth constraint that some authors include is quality. It is impossible to make a change to any of the three traditional variables of the triple constraint without impacting quality in some fashion.

 

Slide 14

What are the six basic functions project managers perform to run successful projects?
Project managers must manage scope, human resources, communications, schedule, quality, and costs to run successful projects.
The project manager is ultimately responsible for acting with competence to provide the solution authorized by the project’s sponsor. A project manager should be able to successfully organize, execute, and control the project without damaging the performing organization. Because most projects will have a sponsor and a user or customer, the project manager should be able to balance competing demands. From a strategic perspective, the project manager should organize the project and control its execution in a manner that wins for all relevant stakeholders.

 

Slide 15

What are the common causes of project failure?
Not enough resources are available for project completion,
Not enough time has been given to the project,
Project expectations are unclear,
Changes in the scope are not understood or agreed upon by all parties involved,
Stakeholders disagree regarding expectations for the project, and
Adequate project planning is not done.
Project failure is not meeting all of the success criteria listed above. Serious project failure is when some of the success criteria are missed by a large amount and/or when several of the success criteria are missed by even a small margin.
Project success is creating deliverables that include all of the agreed upon features (meet scope goals). The outputs should satisfy all specifications and please the project’s customers. The customers need to use the outputs effectively as they do their work (meet quality goals). The project should be completed on schedule and on budget (meet time and cost constraints).
Project success also includes other considerations. A successful project is one that is completed without heroics – that is, people should not burn themselves out to complete the project. Those people who work on the project should either learn new skills and/or refine existing skills. Organizational learning should take place and be captured for future projects. Finally, the parent organization should reap business level benefits such as development of new products, increased market share, increased profitability, decreased cost, etc.

 

Slide 16

What is the role of the project executive, managerial, and associate?
There are three project executive level roles: the steering team, the chief projects officer, and the project sponsor. A steering or leadership team for an organization is often the top leader (CEO or other) and his or her direct reports. The chief projects officer is the keeper, facilitator, and improver of the project management system. The sponsor has a financial stake in the project, charters the project, reviews project progress, is often part of the steering team, and often mentors the project manager.
The four project managerial level roles are the project manager, functional manager, facilitator, and senior customer representative. The project manager: is directly accountable for the project results, schedule, and budget; is the main communicator; and often must get things done through the power of influence since his or her formal power may be limited. The functional managers are department heads that determine how the work of the project gets accomplished; often supervise that work and often negotiate with the project manager regarding which workers are assigned to the project. A facilitator is sometimes assigned to complex or controversial projects to assist the project manager with the process of running meetings and making decisions. The senior customer representative ensures that the needs and wants of the various constituents in the customer’s organization are identified and prioritized and that project progress and decisions continually support the customer’s desires.
The two associate level project roles are core team members and subject matter experts. Core team members are assigned to the project for its entire duration if possible and jointly make decisions with the project manager. Subject matter experts are brought in as needed to help with specific project activities.

 

Slide 17

What needs must a project manager simultaneously champion?
The project manager needs to simultaneously champion the needs of the project, the team, and the parent organization.

 

Slide 18

What makes a person or group a project stakeholder?
Stakeholders are people or organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by either the process of performing the project or the project results.

 

Slide 19

What are the nine project management knowledge areas?
The nine knowledge areas are: scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, procurement, and integration.

 

Slide 20

This concludes the presentation for this unit. Please direct any questions, comments, or concerns to your instructor.

Last Updated on March 20, 2020