Project Management (Case 2)

Standard

1. How could they manage the project?

It is important to plan the project with the team so that their contributions and commitment are included and developed. Hold a ‘Project Start-up Meeting’ and run through the Aims, Objectives and Scope of the project. Get the team to identify all the tasks and create the work breakdown structure. The Project Definition (PD) is the starting point for this exercise. Run through the PD and make sure that it is well understood by all the team. It is possible that the PD may have to be clarified or even redefined as a result of this exercise, although that should be exceptional if the work in producing the PD has been well done. If so, authorization will need to be sought and gained from the Project Sponsor for any changes. Assign at least one team member to review each task in detail and bring their conclusions to the next project meeting. The team members should report on the feasibility, risks, resources and timeframe of the tasks under their control. For a large project, the review may take all day (or several days) with each team leader making a presentation to the Project Manager in turn. The Project Manager must draw all the information together and present the plan to the project team for review. Only when the team has signed up to the plan should it be presented to the Project Sponsor for authorization. For a large project of high value the Senior Management Team will often require regular phase reviews so that they can be sure that they are satisfied with the way the project is running. A planning phase review may well be the first of these. Work undertaken by more than one person requires co-ordination. If many people are involved it requires organization and structure. This is especially true for projects because they often involve innovative forms of work and work patterns that differ from the norm. In particular, normal patterns of communication may not be appropriate and the structure of the work may be unusual.

A section of the Project Start-up Meeting should be dedicated to creating the appropriate structure and organization of the project. The team should review:- Personnel reporting structures for:- Part-time team members Full time team members Project stage leaders Project managers Program manager Project sponsor Communications:- Meetings – frequency and type; formal, informal, one-to-one, etc. Progress reporting – oral, presentation, written. Validation Project work review Performance testing of business process, product or service Quality evaluation Sign-off (Authorization) The process by which the project is delivered is as important (sometimes more so) than the planning of the tasks. It should be carried out in conjunction with the project planning. Project Planning often includes the production of a PERT or Gantt chart. These will be of use to different viewers only if they show varying levels of detail. Senior managers and team members need only the overview. Project leaders and planners require much more detail. Ensure that you tailor detail and complexity of your plans for the intended audience. Although the project work is completed and delivered by the project team, this work needs guidance and control to ensure it stays on track. This is the primary function of the project manager during the implementation phase. The project manager must have sufficient understanding of the issues involved in the work to guide the team but need not be an expert at any particular type of work. Often it is detrimental to the project if the project manager has a particular expertise because there will be a natural tendency to concentrate on that element, to the detriment of the project as a whole. It is better that there is a peer review meeting with an expert from outside the project (a senior technical manager or business process expert) to review elements that require special expertise. The project manager must use the project organization that has been created (reporting and communications structures, work review and performance testing) to report on and control the project. Swift and decisive action must be taken if the project does not stay on course or work to plan and budget. The project manager must be a diplomat who can persuade but also a force to be reckoned with if the situation demands it. The higher authority of a program manager, project sponsor or even the senior management team should be invoked if necessary to ensure that the timely decisions, necessary resources and removal of obstructions. It is the project team that delivers the implementation, not the project manager. But it is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that the team’s output meets the performance requirements stated in the project definition and delivers the goals of the project. How the implementation is managed has a direct relationship to the quality, time scale and cost of the project. Regular reviews of tasks outcomes from the work being done, training methods and their effectiveness (where applicable), and the comparison between the work completed to date with the project definition and plan are the important items to monitor. Ratios are very useful for monitoring. For example, if your team estimates that half the work has been done (on any stage or task) and you know that 3/5 of the budget has been spent, and then you have a problem that must be addressed immediately and action taken. The project sponsor (or budget owner) should always be kept informed because surprises are more detrimental than budget over-runs. If this pattern is being repeated elsewhere than the cost over-runs could spiral out of control. The same goes for time scales. Maybe you are ahead on time but over budget. Cutting back on labor may balance this out. If the extra expenditure has reduced the project risks then maybe no action is necessary. If you are over time and over budget you have a serious problem that must be addressed, probably at a very senior level. Always report bad news at the earliest possible time and seek authorization for remedial action, even if that means stopping the project. Better to stop the project than drive the organization into budget over-runs or even into receivership. But project management is not just about time and money (important though they are), it is about the performance of the business process, product or service being developed. A compromised performance may ultimately be more damaging than a budget overspends. It’s about balance and who has the authority to make that judgment. Sometimes it can be a team member, often it’s the project manager but, sometimes, it has to be the CEO.

There are many ways on how a team could manage a project and these steps must be considered by the team in order to accomplish a project.

  • Define the Scope The first, and most important, step in any project is defining the scope of the project. What is it you are supposed to accomplish by managing this project? What is the project objective? Equally important is defining what is not included in the scope of your project. If you don’t get enough definition from your boss, clarify the scope yourself and send it back upstairs for confirmation.
  • Determine Available Resources What people, equipment, and money will you have available to you to achieve the project objectives? As a project manager, you usually will not have direct control of these resources, but will have to manage them through matrix management. Find out how easy or difficult that will be to do.
  • Check the Timeline When does the project have to be completed? As you develop your project plan you may have some flexibility in how you use time during the project, but deadlines usually are fixed. If you decide to use overtime hours to meet the schedule, you must weigh that against the limitations of your budget.
  • Assemble Your Project Team Get the people on your team together and start a dialog. They are the technical experts. That’s why their functional supervisor assigned them to the project. Your job is to manage the team.
  • List the Big Steps What are the major pieces of the project? If you don’t know, start by asking your team. It is a good idea to list the steps in chronological order but don’t obsess about it; you can always change the order later.
  • List the Smaller Steps List the smaller steps in each of the larger steps. Again, it usually helps you remember all the steps if you list them in chronological order. How many levels deep you go of more and more detailed steps depends on the size and complexity of your project.
  • Develop a Preliminary Plan Assemble all your steps into a plan. What happens first? What is the next step? Which steps can go on at the same time with different resources? Who is going to do each step? How long will it take? There are many excellent software packages available that can automate a lot of this detail for you. Ask others in similar positions what they use.
  • Create Your Baseline Plan Get feedback on your preliminary plan from your team and from any other stakeholders. Adjust your timelines and work schedules to fit the project into the available time. Make any necessary adjustments to the preliminary plan to produce a baseline plan.
  • Request Project Adjustments There is almost never enough time, money or talent assigned to a project. Your job is to do more with the limited resources than people expect. However, there are often limits placed on a project that are simply unrealistic. You need to make your case and present it to your boss and request these unrealistic limits be changed. Ask for the changes at the beginning of the project. Don’t wait until it’s in trouble to ask for the changes you need.
  • Work Your Plan, But Don’t Die For It Making the plan is important, but the plan can be changed. You have a plan for driving to work every morning. If one intersection is blocked by an accident, you change your plan and go a different way. Do the same with your project plans. Change them as needed, but always keep the scope and resources in mind.
  • Monitor Your Team’s Progress You will make little progress at the beginning of the project, but start then to monitor what everyone is doing anyway. That will make it easier to catch issues before they become problems.
  • Document Everything Keep records. Every time you change from your baseline plan, write down what the change was and why it was necessary. Every time a new requirement is added to the project write down where the requirement came from and how the timeline or budget was adjusted because of it. You can’t remember everything, so write them down so you’ll be able to look them up at the end-of-project review and learn from them.
  • Keep Everyone Informed Keep all the project stakeholders informed of progress all along. Let them know of your success as you complete each milestone, but also inform them of problems as soon as they come up. Also keep you team informed. If changes are being considered, tell the team about them as far ahead as you can. Make sure everyone on the team is aware of what everyone else is doing. There are many ways to kill a chicken and even if it has different kinds of approach the bottom line of the story is that the chicken is dead and cooked so that everyone could eat and benefit from it. So as the project, there are many styles or approach for the team so that they may accomplish a project but what’s important is that they may able to reach their goal and achieved the satisfaction of their clients. They may able to meet their standards and the client is happy with their work. Good leadership and smart project management is the only key for a team to finish and accomplish a project given to them.

Project management in the modern sense began in the early 1950s, driven by businesses that realized the benefits of organizing work around projects, and the critical need to communicate and co-ordinate work across departments and professions. Project management is no small task. It has a definite beginning and end, and is not a continuous process. Project management uses various tools to measure progress and track project tasks.

Projects need ad-hoc resources, as opposed to businesses that have dedicated full-time positions. Project management methodologies consist of four to five process groups, and a control system. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, project management uses the same basic processes. Process groups typically include:

  1. Initiation

All projects start with an idea for a product, service, or other desirable outcome. The initiation process group determines the nature and scope of the project. If this stage is not performed well, it is unlikely the project will be successful in meeting the businesses needs. The key project controls needed, are an understanding of the business environment and making sure all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should be reported and a recommendation made to fix them.

The first project document is the project charter, which includes:

  • Business case
  • Scope and deliverables
  • Objectives
  • Resources needed
  • Milestone plan and timeline
  • Cost estimate
  • Risks and issues
  • Dependencies The charter answers the basic question, “What are we trying to do?”
  1. Planning and Design

The project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purpose is to plan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to manage risk effectively during project execution. This is recorded in the project management plan. As with the initiation process group, a failure to plan adequately lessens the project’s chances of success.

Project planning includes:

  • Developing the scope statement
  • Developing the schedule (Gantt chart)
  • Developing the budget
  • Selecting the team • Creating a work breakdown structure
  • Identifying deliverables
  • Risk planning
  • Communication planning This information forms the project contract, used to gain formal approval to begin work.
  1. Execution

Consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project management plan, to accomplish the project’s objectives. The execution process involves co-ordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project. The deliverables are produced as outputs from the processes performed as defined in the project management plan.

  1. Monitoring and Controlling

The monitoring and controlling process group involves managing and tracking the project, so potential problems can be identified quickly and corrective action taken. To do this the project management plan is used. Monitoring and controlling includes:

  • Measuring the ongoing project activities (where are we, against where we should be?)
  • Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope) against the project management plan and the project baseline (where should we be
  • Identifying corrective actions to address risks and issues (how can we get back on track?)
  • Managing changes using our change control process (what is the impact of this change?) The monitoring and controlling process group ends once the project has achieved its goals and objectives as detailed in the project contract. A project may be stopped before completion for various reasons, including changes in the business, lack of resources or higher priorities.
  1. Closing

Is an important part of project management, sometimes overlooked. A project that is not closed will continue to consume resources. Closing a project means finishing all activities across all process groups, splitting up the project team, and signing off the project with the customer. At this point it is important to know how well the project has performed. This is done using the project closure report. It communicates how well the project has performed against its original business case, quality measures, cost, duration and tolerances. Rather than leave valuable project experiences locked in people’s heads, it’s a good idea to complete and publish a lessons learned report. This is used to pass on valuable learning that can be applied to future projects. Project Control Project control is that part of a project that keeps it on-track, on-time and within budget. Project control begins early in the project with planning, and ends late in the project with post-implementation.

2.What methodology is appropriate for this project to avoid this kind of problem?

A project methodology tells you what you have to do, to manage your projects from start to finish. It describes every step in the project life cycle in depth, so you know exactly which tasks to complete, when and how. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, it helps you complete tasks faster than before. As a Project Manager, you need a Project Management Methodology to steer your projects in the right direction and keep them on track. You also need it to help you manage your projects in a structured, repeatable fashion. That way, you can apply the same approach to every project you undertake. In order to achieve goals and planned results within a defined schedule and a budget, a manager uses a project. Regardless of which field or which trade, there are assortments of methodologies to help managers at every stage of a project from the initiation to implementation to the closure. In this tutorial, we will try to discuss the most commonly used project management methodologies. A methodology is a model which project managers employ for the design, planning, implementation and achievement of their project objectives. There are different project management methodologies to benefit different projects. For example, there is a specific methodology which NASA uses to build a space station while the Navy employs a different methodology to build submarines. Hence there are different project management methodologies that cater to the needs of different projects, span across different business domains. There are many kinds of project management methodologies that are commonly used in project management but in this kind of situation the LEAN DEVELOPMENT is the best methodology that should be used based on the scenario given. Lean development focuses on developing change-tolerance software. In this method, satisfying the customer comes as the highest priority. The team is motivated to provide the highest value for the money paid by the customer. LD focuses on reducing waste. Waste is usually easy to identify and presents ‘problems’ which can be individually solved. Once you have solved all the individual ‘waste’ problems the project will be as running as efficiently as it possible can. In contrasts with the usual approach of working out ‘good’ practices which, may or may not deliver a benefit – reducing waste is an easy win every time. This methodology embodies the notion of dynamic stability which can be thought of as similar to how Scrum embraces controlled chaos. Bob Charette, the originator, writes that the measurable goal of LD is to build software with one-third the human effort, one-third the development hours and one-third the investment as compared to what SEI CMM Level 3 organization would achieve. In 1989, Professor James Womack and consultant Daniel Jones published Lean Thinking, a survey of the lean manufacturing techniques that helped create the “Japanese miracle” of the late 1980s and early 1990s. They chronicled the ideas of lean manufacturing, with their focus on eliminating waste, creating a smooth “flow” of work on the factory floor, and expecting workers to contribute high skill levels and an ownership mentality. These concepts helped Toyota, the exemplar of these techniques, vault over the traditional giants of the automotive industry. Lean manufacturing theories were highly influential in the creation of LD. Bob Charette, while not a signatory of the Agile Manifesto, has developed a methodology that has many commonalities with those mentioned so far. Similar, though distinct, ideas have also been put forward by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck in their book Lean Software Development . LD emphasizes four key success factors that clearly illustrate its compatibility with other agile methods:

  • Create visible customer value rapidly,
  • Build change-tolerant software
  • Create only necessary functionality and no more,
  • Adopt aggressiveness, stubbornness, and belief in meeting stretch goals.

Like Scrum, LD is more of a project management environment than simply a software development one; it consists of three distinct phases: start-up, steady-state, and transition / renewal. Rather than the daily “Scrum,” it recommends a time-boxed “whirlpool” that, like all agile methods, includes the analysis, design, test, and build activities in each iteration. Lean development is important not just for its conformance to the ideals of agile development but because the underlying philosophies of lean manufacturing have been accepted by business leaders worldwide, and so come with existing acceptance. This makes introduction of agile methods in a lean framework more easily accepted and presents a strategic framework that executives are likely to accept with less resistance.

There are 12 principles of Lean Development:

  1. Satisfying the customer is the highest priority.
  2. Always provide the best value for the money.
  3. Success depends on active customer participation.
  4. Every LD project is a team effort.
  5. Everything is changeable.
  6. Domain, not point, solutions.
  7. Complete, don’t construct.
  8. An 80 percent solution today instead of 100 percent solution tomorrow.
  9. Minimalism is essential.
  10. Needs determine technology.
  11. Product growth is feature growth, not size growth.
  12. Never push LD beyond its limits.

The principles of LD can be summarized as follows:

Eliminate Waste-  Current practices have to be examined to establish exactly what is gained by them. Without proper consideration too many activities do not produce a benefit for the organization. Similarly activities that once produced benefit can outlive their usefulness. Claims of indirect benefit must be carefully examined to see that they are actually realized.

Amplify Learning- Too much time is wasted re-inventing the wheel. There is a strange impulse to ‘create’ solutions rather than discover them. Ironically the need to proceed quickly encourages the inexperienced to rush into production without checking what others have done before.

Research-  is an easy win for all endeavors and avoids large amounts of work that might be undertaken to discover what could have been found out in a few hours or even minutes of research. Research applies inside an organization as well as outside many projects waste time struggling in an area where there is an expert right next door if they did but knows it. Delay Resource Commitment A lot of waste is generated by committing resources early only to find later that circumstances have invalidated the expenditure. Feed the Decision Making Process Waste is usually the result of bad decisions so favor early execution of activities which improve decision making in the future. Actions which inform decision making have hidden benefits that may not be apparent from a dependency or earned value chart.

Empower the Team – A lot of waste is generated by poor team cohesion: One person does something which contradicts or duplicates the actions of another. This often stems from top down management where individuals are encouraged to do as they are directed. Individuals in teams which are part of the management process are much less likely to do work which is not consistent with the work of others Specify with Tests Waste is often the result of an unclear brief which results in the production of something which is not what was desired. The clearest form of brief is a predefined acceptance test which the producer can perform themselves or have performed at will. The act of defining the test also focuses the analyst on exactly what they want.

In other words the best methodology for NoName Company is the Lean Development because it focuses on how the developers will work on how they me able to cope with the changes or the demands of their clients. With the help of this methodology, It would be easier for them to finish and implement the task given to them.

.review. Projects should be assessed for the right level of control needed: too much control is time-consuming, too little control is risky.

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