Project Management (Case 4)

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1. What phase of the project do you think causes it to fail?

In project management there are 5 basic phases that a project should undergo before it would complete its stages.

5 Basic Phases of Project Management

Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project.” The process of directing and controlling a project from start to finish may be further divided into 5 basic phases:

  1. Project conception and initiation

An idea for a project will be carefully examined to determine whether or not it benefits the organization. During this phase, a decision making team will identify if the project can realistically be completed.

  1. Project definition and planning

A project plan, project charter and/or project scope may be put in writing, outlining the work to be performed. During this phase, a team should prioritize the project, calculate a budget and schedule, and determine what resources are needed.

  1. Project launch or execution

Resources’ tasks are distributed and teams are informed of responsibilities. This is a good time to bring up important project related information.

  1. Project performance and control

Project managers will compare project status and progress to the actual plan, as resources perform the scheduled work. During this phase, project managers may need to adjust schedules or do what is necessary to keep the project on track.

  1. Project close

After project tasks are completed and the client has approved the outcome, an evaluation is necessary to highlight project success and/or learn from project history.

Projects and project management processes vary from industry to industry; however, these are more traditional elements of a project. The overarching goal is typically to offer a product, change a process or to solve a problem in order to benefit the organization.

These phases or steps are needed as a guide for the project team to accomplish the project that was assigned to them. If they will not be able to accomplish one phase, they can’t proceed to the next phase in which they have so start over and over again without any traces of accomplishments.

From the above scenario, the root problem on why the project resulted into failure is that the EMCA Corporation is a computer shop specialization in selling IT solutions for home users and Small & Medium Enterprises. Even though they sell softwares, this company doesn’t have a software development team for their customers. They bid for the project offered by the LGU that is to implement a biometric DTR or Daily Time Record and Payroll Solution that is aiming to eliminate ghost employees of the LGU or Local Government Unit. The said project was very useful and helpful for the improvement of their system, its just that they barked at the wrong tree which is the EMCA Corporation. The said company is good in providing hardwares and softwares but not to the point that they will engage in software development because it is not their forte. It all started when the head of local outlet of the EMCA interfered and wanted to provide the complete solution for the project in which the local outlet hesitated about it because they know software development is beyond the scope of their company.

In the first phase of project management which is Project Conception and Initiation, they may surpass this stage because they were able to think of ways on how to start the project and provided alternative ways to accomplish it like hiring sub contractual employees like a group of IT people from different companies which in composed of a System Analyst and three other developer/programmer.

In the second phase which is Project definition and Planning, they lack synchronization because the office hours of the EMCA are from Monday-Friday and half day during Saturdays. Knowing that their sub contractual employees can only work in them during Saturdays they will not be able to meet for a specific time in performing their tasks. This phase is very crucial because it is the planning stage and every member of the team is needed for their suggestions and presence are needed especially when they will be dividing the tasks so that the work will be done faster.

In the third phase which is Project Launch or Execution, this will be the part in which they will distribute to the members their respective responsibilities in the project so that they will be able to start as well as finish their given task. All members of the team should work hand in hand or collaborate as a team because teamwork is all they need for them to be able to succeed.

In the fourth phase which is Project Performance and control, in this phase or part of the project management the project manager should take charge of the overall control of the project. His presence is very much needed in this phase. Because as a project manager, he should be a hands-on leader to their group because if the project will end to a failure the blame will be all unto him because of his negligence and by not being an effective leader to the team.

The last phase would be project close; this is the end part of the project after they have accomplished everything. The team will present their finish product of project to their clients and will be having some evaluation from their clients so that they will know if they are satisfied with their works and for them to work on some changes if their clients will demand some.

In this case there are lots of negligence that happened within the team and it is also the reason why the project resulted to a failure especially the project manager. A project manager should have the ethics towards his work. During the course of a project, the project manager may be faced with many decisions in which he must choose the right course of action. A project manager’s ethics should provide a strong guide for these decisions. For example, a project manager must not exploit resources or confidential information for personal gain. Ethics should also assist the project manager with interpersonal communication. By remaining honest and respectful of co-workers and clients, the project manager will be able to promote a positive work atmosphere. A project manager should possess the fundamental qualities like responsibility, respect, fairness and honesty. Responsibility is very vital to project management because everything relies on the project manager from the project itself and also to his co-workers. This third value calls for a project manager to own his decisions and not attempt to place blame on others for failures. Responsibility can also tie in closely with fairness when accepting accolades. If a project manager shares the success of a project with his team, this not only will help to build a reputation for him as a good team leader, but also it will help to build team morale.

The project manager in this case is not responsible enough to handle the project and as well as him team. It is not a good attitude to be absent during the most important meetings for their project. he is not around during the installation of the software to the LGU site only the developers were present during that day. He made it even worst when the EMCA project manager resigned and went abroad. He left and all his responsibilities were left hanging. The EMCA outlet manager did take over his position and they have found out that the software has bugs and the subcontracted group corrected it.

The project was left hanging even more because the members of the team except the system analyst left the project and not heard anything from them. From that move, we can conclude that the project will not go any far because one by one the persons assigned to it who did take all the responsibilities from the start are now gone without even considering the effect of their actions. The system analyst was left with project all alone for the JOB, debugging and testing it. We could not expect for an improvement in this project because first, it is a big project and it should be done as a group and not individually and lastly, too much time have been wasted because of the attitudes that the team members have shown towards the project.

I can say that the EMCA Corporation should also have the blame on the failure of the LGU project because they know that software development is not their thing. They do not have much experienced in handling projects like this. They should not present their company to the LGU because of its less experience in handling software development projects. The company’s reputation is also at risk on this move because it is not their forte and they went out of their comfort zone. Unfortunately, the project is declared as a failure and their reputation is already stained because of their negligence and the failure of the assigned project to them.

The project manager should also considered and take the full responsibility because he is the leader of the team. Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience (Jago, 1982). This guide will help a person through that process.

To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and, do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their laurels. While leadership is learned, the skills and knowledge processed by the leader can be influenced by his or hers attributes or traits, such as beliefsvaluesethics, and character. Knowledge and skills contribute directly to the process of leadership, while the other attributes give the leader certain characteristics that make him or her unique.

A leader must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that it is the followers, not the leader or someone else who determines if the leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed.

Different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new hire requires more supervision than an experienced employee. A person who lacks motivation requires a different approach than one with a high degree of motivation. You must know your people! The fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation. You must come to know your employees’ be, know, and do attributes.

In their case, their leader or the project manager lacks motivation in accomplishing the project then it will also be the mindset of the members that their leader is not worthy of their hard work and trust then they will also be uninspired to work on their project because of their leader’s attitude.

Leaders lead through two-way communication. Much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when you “set the example,” that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything that you would not be willing to do. What and how you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees.

In their case, they are not able to communicate well because their schedules are not fixed and they barely see each other especially their project manager who is always absent and not able to perform his work properly.

What makes a person want to follow a leader? People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future.

Without the proper function of a leader, the team will not succeed as well as the project that they are doing because when there is no proper leadership towards a team everything will fall like a domino.

2. As a project manager how would you proceed with the recommendation of the LGU?

A  As a project manager, I would recommend the LGU choose the best company to work on their projects and not just entrust to a company with less experience in this kind of task. Because a project is not just a joke that we can laugh if it will fail for it is a serious matter.

If the LGU will approve, I would still want to proceed with the project but I will form another team and set another members whom I can fully trust to work and finish the project in due time. A project manager plays a big role in the project and he needs knowledge so that the project will not result into a failure.

There are some factors that would help project managers in handling a project so that everything will fall into its proper place and there are no other results but SUCCESS!

  1. “Project definition” – Define project scope in 1-3 sentences and include it in every project meeting to avoid scope creep.”

The scope statement helps stakeholders develop a common understanding of the project and specifies what should be the goals and objectives of the project and what needs to be accomplished for the project. Scope creep refers to uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope. This occurs when the scope of a project is not controlled, documented or defined properly.

Defining project scope and avoiding scope creep are important because doing so keeps the stakeholders in the know and the project on budget and schedule. “There will be people who try to change things or add things to the project without allow for time line changes. Watch out for these people,” Gerald Nichols, another project management guru within our company, said. Maintaining a balance of both aspects is a difficult task, but they are crucial to not losing control of the project. A clear plan leads to flawless execution. If everything is plotted out perfectly, and the members of the team keep referring to that plan, odds are the project is going to be a success.

Gerald Nichols weighed in on the topic, saying “Understand exactly what the project encompasses. That way there are no surprises later.”

  1. “Key Resources” – Assign a resource from each department involved in the project. This resource is responsible for attending meetings and keeping their team posted on progress.”

Selecting a representative from each department allows for the remaining members to continue their work while the representative is doing the JOB of filling everyone else in. Uprooting all of the people that are working on the project can be a painstaking endeavor. Streamlined meetings with just the representatives are more conducive to a productive discourse.

  1. “Milestones” – Define priorities and set dates for tasks to be accomplished to keep project on track.”

Everything in life has to be prioritized, especially when it comes to project management. You want everyone working on the project to work on the most important thing first and work down the list until it’s completed. Also, deadlines provide the workers with a goal for when the task should be finished. Deadlines must be honored for the project to stay on target.

  1. “Time Management” – If tasks are not completed on their required dates, adjust the calendar or priorities appropriately, so other departments are not adversely affected.”

As much as we would like to meet every deadline, disasters can happen that take our eyes off the prize. A worker can try their hardest to get something done on time, but every so often it isn’t meant to be. “Don’t try and estimate a project until it has been broken down to tasks. You will/can forget about smaller tasks that when added together will push your time frame out,” Nichols said.

This isn’t their fault though, so everything can be adjusted accordingly. However, in the case of employees who don’t get their work done for reasons of their own design, the team needs to be adjusted more than the calendar.

“When it comes to projects it is the same as the old line “How do you eat an elephant?” – One bite at a time. Take the project and break it down to tasks, if a task can be broken down to more tasks, do it. You should end up with a list of tasks that you can put time to and milestones,” Nichols said.

  1. “Manage Expectations” – Constant communication with the key resources and project stakeholders on progress. If priorities or end dates change, all stakeholders should know.”

Communication is important in any relationship, especially ones between the project manager and their team and the company and their stakeholders. Constant, productive communication needs to occur for the project to be completed on time and without too many disgruntled employees coming away from it. The stockholders need to stay informed because they want to be involved in the company’s operations. Alienating them could result in the financial collapse of the company as a whole.

“Keep everyone on the team in the loop, even if they are not directly involved with that piece. You might think that development is not involved in a sales decision, however they might be greatly impacted by the decision or have a better idea you have not thought of,” Nichols said.

Using the five recommendations above and online project management services could help you complete any project with stunning results. Keep in mind the other guidelines for your respective industries. Those rules and what we’ve provided will lead you on a surefire path towards success.

Since the EMCA Corporation is new to this kind of project, as a project manager I would recommend my team to do thorough research on the development of the software that the client wanted. Even though the team is consists of IT Professionals like programmers and developers from different countries, research is still an effective tool in doing projects for them to gather information that are might useful for their project.

Successful projects and campaigns result from quality stakeholder engagement, research, insight, careful planning, implementation, and constant adjustments based on feedback. Approach all projects from a project lifecycle perspective, with most projects following a series of interdependent stages. Typically, these stages include understanding, planning, and designing, implementing, and concluding.

There is a time and place for each product and service. Within each stage, projects may require any combination of management, research, creativity, training, and technical services. To approach each project, we should assess which project lifecycle stages will be required, and then combine the best combination of services, products, and people for that stage.

Recognizing there are no “one size fits all” solutions, we should tailor each project to suit our clients’ individual needs and unique operating environments. Since all our products and services are aligned with the lifecycle stages, we offer the right support, at the right time, focused on the right goals.

Project lifecycle stages

  1. Understanding

Solid projects and campaigns begin with quality research and insight. This can include audience, product, competitor, and stakeholder research. The insights gleaned at this stage are used for the strategic planning, design, and implementation stages. Moreover, any baseline data may be used for pre/post comparisons within the final evaluation.

  1. Planning

The best strategic plans take place after conducting preliminary research, and before designing projects. Innovative strategic plans are best informed by an organization’s products/services, operating environment, capacities, competition, and stakeholders. The strategic vision set during the planning stage will guide successive work during the design and implementation stages.

  1. Designing

The design stage is when strategic plans, research, and stakeholder preferences are artfully combined into a blueprint that describes how a program, campaign, intervention, or study will operate. This is when concepts, promotional materials, and visual designs are conceived, pilot tested, evaluated, revised, and finally refined. This is also where project teams, workflows, and key people are engaged. At the end of this stage, organizations will possess blueprints describing how the project will look and function.

  1. Implementing

The blueprints designed at the prior stage are now implemented at this stage. When this stage starts, the project enters the building phase, where product specifications are converted into tangible products. This stage draws on a range of talent, such as managers and marketers, as well as creative, technical, and substantive experts. Roll-out may occur through a gradual or a rapid implementation. Soon after, daily management and operations set in. During this stage, monitoring and periodic evaluations help staff understand how their various activities are working out, and use this feedback to better optimize their efforts.

  1. Concluding

When a project or campaign ends, there are numerous opportunities to extend its impact and to learn from the experience. Final evaluations are a key part of this stage. Any baseline research, monitoring, or interim studies can make a significant contribution to the final evaluation.

As a project manager, I would recommend to select the best members to be assigned in the project. They should be the best in their craft so that the project will be finished in no time. The LGU Project for its biometric DTR (Daily Time Record) and Payroll solution is a not an easy project to handle so the team should work with enthusiasm for the project because the project relies on their hands.

The project team and the client should have a healthy client-team relationship.

“Has a successful track record of developing, managing, growing, and institutionalizing complex relationships on behalf of the firm.”

Winning the sale: Is able to consistently convert leads into paid projects, programs, or transactions. Can analyze a client’s buying network and develop strategies to help meet each player’s business and personal wins. Mobilizes the right team and set of institutional resources for each sales opportunity. Successfully negotiates the commercial aspects of the contract with the client.

Many-to-many client network: Works with his/her team to plan and build many-to-manyrelationships with the client. Creates multiple sponsors/supporters within the client organization, so that the departure of a single executive will not result in termination of the commercial relationship.

Account planning and development: Together with the team, develops annual client plans. Meets periodically with the core team to review, reflect, and strategize about how to improve the relationship and serve the client. Seeks client feedback on the firm’s performance. Follows up on agreed actions and ensures team members meet their commitments.

Agenda setting: Understands and can articulate the client’s most critical issues and challenges. Is forward looking–doesn’t just react to client requests, but actively works with the senior client to help define his/her agenda. By building trust, has earned a “seat at the table” for the firm when important strategic or operational issues are being discussed.

Value: Forecasts, delivers, and communicates value to the client. Can articulate core value and personal value: Both how the team is delivering against contracted-for results, and also how the team is adding value to the key executives it is working with.

Having a relationship with the clients would also help for the accomplishment of the project. as a project manager, I would recommend the LGU that they should also coordinate with us so that they may know the development of the project and they may able to monitor what the team needs for the project. Being involved in a project is not that easy, it is a difficult task in every aspect because it can test your patience, knowledge, skills and responsibility in the assigned task. Especially that the company is new to this. They need cooperation from their clients for easier communication and right implementation of their LGU Project.

Projects are happening at every level and in every department of the modern organization.  Companies INVEST heavily in the successful completion of these projects, yet even with the support they need, many of these projects are unsuccessful in fulfilling their defined goals. A study done by The Standish Group reports that 51% of all projects come in over budget or run past the original deadlines.

Strategic planners and project managers develop plans that have a strong likelihood of success, gather the right people to implement that plan, and then guide that work toward project completion. But as every project manager knows, having the best plan and the highest performers onboard isn’t nearly enough. Ineffective communication and lack of team collaboration will cause even the best plan to fail. Emails and Spreadsheets are important, but insufficient tools to ensure project success across the organization.

As a Project manager, I would recommend that they should provide the need of  tools that parallel a more effective Enterprise Project Management (EPM) methodology and enable them to manage their projects within a the dynamic cycle of planning, communicating, tracking, and analyzing projects toward a defined goal. And that goal is to accomplish the project given to us

3. If you’re a project manager, will you declare it as a failure? Why?

If I am the project manager, I would declare the project a failure. It is a failure becausethe Head Office didn’t analyzed or planned the proposed project well enough. They should have planned the necessary steps they should make in order to figure everything out. So that they could analyze everything and make necessary steps when encountering consequences within project implementation and project testing. Even though the Head Office has more power in making the final decision they should have been more open-mended to the comments, suggestions or opinions of the local outlet personnel and the other members of the EMCA Corporation suitable in making the analysis on accepting the LGU’s said project. If the critical success factors for the projects output are not well specified, and is not properly oriented to the developing team, then consequent process of design, quality control, or project management is going to be a major consequence in the near future on the project development. Project manager should take and plan well the necessary steps needed for the project. Preparing and defining the project scope of work, financial plan, its goals and deliverables.

All though the EMCA Company has made their move on doing outsourcing of resources to cover for the insufficiency of the company to perform software development for costumers and some of the hardware installations. Still, they failed to on finding some of the other resources, such as the team that would perform and develop the said project. They have succeeded in forming a team that is knowledgeable in making the software, however because the team was outsourced; they don’t have the full time in making the software. This however compromises the accomplishment of the project due on the scheduled date. They should have formed more than one team to perform the creation of the software because the team they had formed doesn’t have their full time on creating the project. EMCA must’ve formed many teams and divide the tasks in the construction of the software, this will make the completion of the project a lot easier and could make the success rate higher. Forming many teams and dividing the software development is the best way they could do to complete the project and cover for their insufficiency and scarcity of resources. In this manner they could utilize their outsourced resources well enough to complete the project on time. A team that can handle the JOB will be the one who will carry out the entire strategic plan to be led by the project manager from the Head office. However, the company failed in finding an efficient, dedicated and reliable project manager; instead the project manager itself abandoned his own team and causing more damage to the project and discouraging the team resulting to failure and abandonment of the other members. Step-by-step process is a key in the project to have its progress and finally it will finally be used by the client. The assigned team must be keen in observing the development of the project from the start until the very end. Somehow the project will yield without error. After this it could remark their company as well the team that they do great JOB in making projects. It will enhance their standing in the eyes of other clients on the field of outsourcing industry. It will uplift also their ranking as well. If they succeed on a particular project it will attract more clients and create new JOBS.

After accepting the project and identified the project definitions needed to be performed, the next thing the company must have done is to make a list of activity sequence. In this way they could easily identify what to do first and next. Activity sequencing is very important, having this aspect in the project plan; the team could easily perform the tasks accordingly. After identifying the tasks that are needed to perform, the tasks should identify what should be done first before the other. It is very essential in project management to plan and to identify the sequence of the job to be done. This is also important especially when you have many personnel that would be doing the project. Job division is very easy in this manner. I think the Project manager failed to lead his or her subordinates to be effective in doing the project. The project manager was so busy doing another project, while having the current project accepted from the LGU. The estimation of the project activity and the estimated completion time was also a failure. The head of the project failed to estimate the right amount of time and the right accomplishment duration of the project. Activity duration estimation is very important. This is where the manager must estimate the enough time that would be allotted to finish a specific activity scope. Failure to do so is another alteration for the planned activity duration and the activity sequence. The planned sequence and the planned estimated duration should be followed well to prevent major project failure. This is very important because making specific time frames for your project would help the team to finish the activity on the right time thus, preventing project failure. The project manager failed to lead the team well, so that they would carefully follow the plans prepared. He failed because he is so busy doing other tasks. An efficient and effective project manager should’ve leaded the team well in following the right sequence of tasks within the specific time frames given. Monitoring the team constantly is also a factor on making the project duration planning a success. The team must have constant communication in order to have effective team work. Constant communication to the clients should also be done by the project manager; this would help the team to update the client about the progress of the project and also to gain confidence and trust on the team from the clients. The EMCA’s team lacks the so called team work and communication. Team work is very relevant in making a particular project to be a success. Team work must be led by the project manager.

Assign precise responsibilities for each team member according to their field of expertise, this helps the team do their JOBS at its best. As a Project manager he is necessary in managing all aspects of the project and the team members for them to work effectively and take action on the plans effectively. Coordinating directly and indirectly with project staff to ensure successful completion of the project – Directing, supervising, supporting and coordinating the project team members/staff. The EMCA Corporation has overestimated their company’s capabilities and resources thus compromising the entire project. They have failed to assess the project properly if they could really accomplish the entire project. They have failed because the Head Office was greedy and offered to accept the entire project even though they lack resources and knowledge about the said project for the LGU. The Head Office should have listened to the Local outlet when they hesitated about accepting the entire project. The Local outlet has succeeded on identifying the project definition, project resources needed and the tasks to be performed and completed. However, the Head Office failed to do the necessary measures needed to be performed before accepting any project, resulting to a major disaster in the project completion. Managing the design of the project documents to monitor project performance and data stored. Possibly the most common downside is failing to initiate a project properly by spending time to gather and agree customer requirements, create a good project plan and set customer expectations and specifications. It is very influential to start work quickly, but a poor initiation phase often leads to problems and even failure that made the team fail to accomplish a project. Never ever start a project until it has been properly initiated. Do not allow the customer to push the team into starting work on the assumption that it will result in an earlier delivery, the project manager should always have the plan to when to start the project after the agreements, the go signal for the project initiation. In reality, poor project initiation extends projects, by causing revisions, errors and oversights. It is no-good doing a systematic planning of activity lists and initiating a project, if the project manager would not supervise the team effectively. Classic problems are scope creep, poor work-planning, lack of change control, poor communication and poor management of risks and issues that can be encountered by the team during project development. Introduce a change control process and make everyone aware of it, in this way the team would be prepared if there will be changes on the scopes, schedules, tasks, etc. on the project in the near future when facing consequences while the team is working on the project. Use it to ensure that the team stay focused on delivering what is important and what are the necessary tasks or actions to be done while implementing the tasks given. The team should always report any issue that would be faced at the middle of project development phase; in this case the team would be helping each other in facing the issues met and thus making the necessary steps to be done in solving the issue a lot easier and faster. This saves time and ensures there is better focus on risks and issues as they arise. Communicate regularly with the customer, sponsor and other important stakeholders. Review and update the project plan on a regular basis. If the team doesn’t intend to evaluate and keep posted their plan, then it’s not worth creating.

The project manager’s responsibility is the most challenging of roles within the project team. To effectively manage the project management process, this requires full-time commitment, focus, effective planning and most importantly the attitude of the person leading the team. The head of the team must be the most influential member of the team. The most versatile Project Managers are therefore those highly skillful. The project must get the first call when a conflict of importance arises. For each project undertaken the Project Manager should identify, agree and document the responsibilities and the expectations of the client. The bearer of each risk should be responsible enough to call the attention of the project manager and to monitor his risk, and to take appropriate action to prevent it from getting a lot worst, or to take whatever necessary action needed if the problem does occur. The team in the first place should also work responsibly. Work with all enthusiasm. Engage with the clients properly. Bear with clients’ needs and wants. The team should be ready for any possible change that the client would request. Consider many adjustments throughout the project making. Having an agreement and clear transaction with the client before proceeding in developing the project, so that there will be no error all throughout. Do not begin working without good direction. After all the output is collected, a report will be generated. Regular reports are valuable. Consider tasks/projects that need to be done and modify the team to get the work done. Without this strong communication, teamwork would not have been possible. Likewise, a result would have been impossible. It was the key to the team’s success.

Especially in the form of communication, many misunderstandings and change will occur. So if the company will handle any kind of projects, they should make sure to verify each single detail on the given project. Make out the best of it. Timely consult the client. Listen to clients need and wants. And dedicate time and effort on how to develop and manage each project.

Changes and misunderstanding must be first considered with the company and the client as well. It is consistent in some other ways. But the company is the main responsible on any case of mistakes. It is mandated also that every company will stand whichever the problem is.

4. What steps would you do to make it succeed?

  For this project to succeed the company must modify their developing team. They should have their developing team as their own employees and not the outsourced one. This would help the company have a proper control over the employees and control of the project. The company must select a new and a more efficient project manager. They must have a contract for both parties, the clients and for the developing team. This contract would hold the definitions, specifications of the project agreed with client and as well as the bind with the employees that they will not leave the project until it is not finished and that the project would be finished on the date agreed upon by both parties. This would also hold the necessary compensations agreed if the team fails to accomplish the project given to them. For the team to success they should follow the necessary steps needed in order to make the project a successful project.

At the beginning of the project, make sure the clients share a common understanding of how they will determine whether this project is successful. Define the necessary specifications needed in order to make the project a success. Too often, meeting a set schedule is the only apparent success factor, but there are certainly others. Achieve the specific customer satisfaction measures, retiring a high-maintenance legacy system, and achieving a particular transaction processing volume and correctness. Identify project drivers, constraints, and degrees of freedom. Every project needs to have balance functionality, employment, budget, schedule, and quality objectives.

Early in the project, decide what standards will determine whether or not the product is ready for release or it is still in the testing state. You might base release standards on the number of high-priority defects, performance measurements, specific functionality being fully operational or other indicators that the project has met its goals and specifications. Whatever standard you choose or set for your project it should be realistic, measurable, and aligned with customers set of quality standards expected of the project output. The team should always establish a constant communication within them and with the clients. Any data you have from previous projects will help you. The hard part isn’t writing the plan. The hard part is actually doing the planning—thinking, negotiating, balancing, talking, asking, and listening. The time you spend analyzing what it will take to solve the problem will reduce the number of surprises you have to cope with later in the projects processes.

Breaking large tasks into multiple small tasks helps estimate the project completion more accurately, reveals work activities you might not have thought of otherwise, and permits more accurate, fine-grained status tracking. Plan to do rework after a quality control activity. Almost all quality control activities necessary for improving the quality of the output of the project, such as testing and technical reviews, find defects or other improvement opportunities for the project. Your project schedule or work breakdown structure should include rework as a separate task after every quality control. Always plan proper time scheduling for process improvement, team members are already overloaded with their current project assignments. Set aside some time from your project schedule, because software project activities should include making process changes that will help your next project be even more successful.If you’re not the top person in the company, use your influence to help employees to achieve their career goals. If you are the top manager, do whatever you can.

Things never go precisely as you plan on a project, so your budget and schedule should include some contingency buffers at the end of major phases to accommodate the unforeseen. Unfortunately, your manager or customer may view these buffers as padding, rather than the sensible acknowledgement of reality that they are point to unpleasant surprises on previous projects as a rationale.Have a record on the progress of the project. See if the progress complements on the scheduled time frames of your plans. If you don’t record the actual effort or time spent on each task and compare them to your estimates, you’ll never improve your estimating approach. Your estimates will forever remain guesses.One benefit of using inch-pebbles for task planning is that you can classify each small task as either done or not done, which is more realistic than trying to estimate what percent of a large task is complete at any time. Always track the progress status accurately and honestly.

Always have constant communication between the client and within the team. Clear communication will help guarantee teamwork and productivity. You need to explain your vision for the team. Employees appreciate knowing what you expect, how they’re doing and what’s in it for them. Set goals about expectations of employee performance, coach your workers, and get feedback. Share your logic in decision-making processes. Explain concepts and principles to your workers, so they can feel involved and valued, and can be pro-active and take ownership of their work.

Proper, immediate, and effective risk management is always needed. If you don’t identify and control risks, they will control you. Spend some time during project planning to brainstorm with the team members for possible risk factors, evaluate their potential threat, and decide how you can lessen or prevent the risks. Estimating based on effort and not calendar time. People generally provide estimates in units of calendar time, but it is good to estimate the amount of effort associated with a task, then translate the effort into a calendar-time estimate. This translation is based on estimates of how many effective hours I can spend on project tasks per day, any interruptions or emergency bug fix requests I might get meetings, and all the other places into which time disappears. In this way, project completion or tasks completion estimation are even more accurate. Estimating the capabilities of every member to finish a particular given tasks is very important in determining the schedules to be followed. Schedules planned and analyzed are based on the capabilities and efficiency of every member to accomplish the given task. Never schedule team members 100% of their time. Tracking the average weekly hours that your team members actually spend working on their project assignments is a real eye-opener. The task-switching overhead associated with the many activities we are all asked to do reduces our effectiveness significantly. Don’t assume that just because someone spends 10 hours per week on a particular activity, he or she can do four of them at once; you’ll be lucky if he or she can handle three. Determine how much time your team members typically spend on training activities annually, and subtract that from the time available for them to be assigned to project tasks. You probably already subtract out average values for vacation time, sick time, and other assignments; treat training time the same way. With this data you can create the time frame needed in the project completion process to be followed. Always record the estimates you have made and assess if it was followed well or not. When you prepare estimates for your work, write down those estimates and document how you arrived at each of them. Understanding the assumptions and approaches used to create an estimate will make them easier to defend and adjust when necessary, and it will help you improve your estimation process. Use estimation tools. Many commercial tools are available to help estimate the entire projects. With their large databases of actual project experience, these tools can give you a spectrum of possible schedule and staff allocation options. They’ll also help you stay out of the “impossible region,” combinations of product size, team size, and schedule where no known project has been successful.  If you’re trying new processes, tools, or technologies for the first time on this project, recognize that you will pay a price in terms of a short-term productivity loss. Don’t expect to get the fabulous benefits of new software engineering approaches on the first try, so build extra time into the schedule to account for the inevitable learning curve.Encourage workers to suggest ideas for business success. If an employee makes a suggestion – even if you’re not in full agreement – look for reasons to be accepting of the idea. The worker will give 100% to make an idea work, and the person’s morale will skyrocket. If it doesn’t work, the employee will endeavor extra hard to fix it in order to save face.

But if in case all of the company’s employees are really busy and are not available to do the project and leave them the option which is to outsource man power resources, they should probably hire full time employees. However finding the most suited and more capable full time employees will take them a lot of time to find. This leaves them with the option of having many outsourced team. In this way, the company could divide the tasks on the different part time teams. This will make the project completion faster and easier. Tasks breakdown is also a lot simpler and would be done a lot faster. It is because the teams will just have to make a specific task and divide the task into simpler and smaller sub tasks rather than making the entire project with only one team. The company however will have to select many project managers from their list of employees suitable enough for the project to lead the different teams, each team will have a project manager from the company itself.

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