Questions/Definitions

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Questions/Definitions
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  1. Project
    A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.
  2. Project Management
    Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.
  3. PMI(r)
    Project Management Institute
  4. PMBOK(r) Guide
    Project Management Institute, Project Management Body of Knowledge
  5. Program
    A group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually.
  6. Portfolio
    A collection of projects of programs and other work that are grouped together to make it easier for an organization to meet broader, strategic business objectives.
  7. Deliverable
    Any tangible, measurable and verifiable outcome, result or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project.
  8. Stakeholder
    An individual or organization involved in a project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or completion.
  9. Process
    A set of interrelated actions and activities that are performed to achieve a pre-specified set of products, results or services.
  10. Project Team
    The project team is comprised of all the people who have roles and responsibilities on the project.
  11. Project Management Team
    The part of the project team responsible for project management activities such as planning, controlling, and closing the project. The project management team may be also referred to as the core team, or the leadership team.
  12. Organizational Breakdown Structure
    A type of hierarchical charts representing the relationships of people on the project in a graphical top down format. Project activities are listed under each existing department. Each department can see all of its project responsibilities by looking at its part of the organizational breakdown structure.
  13. Resource Breakdown Structure
    A type of hierarchical chart where the project is broken down by the type of resources required. The resource breakdown structure is helpful when tracking project costs and can be aligned with the accounting system
  14. Virtual Team
    Virtual teams are groups of people with a shared goal, who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent meeting face to face. The virtual team is comprised on people typically from the same company who may come from very different geographic areas, cultures, countries, or speak different languages.
  15. Negative Conflict
    Team conflict that has a negative effect on achieving the project's objectives. This conflict can be disruptive to other team members, key stakeholders, or customers and it can also cause a project to fail.
  16. Positive Conflict
    Conflict that positively supports the project's objectives.
  17. Leading by Example
    Leading by example means demonstrating leadership through behavior. Project team members will model their behavior based on what they see the project leaders do. The project manager influences how others act and respond to issues related to the project.
  18. Project Life Cycle
    A set of manageable sections called phases into which a project is divided. Phases define technical work, specify deliverables, and describe control mechanisms and approvals.
  19. What are three types of project organization structures a Project Manager will encounter?
    Functional, Matrix, and Projectized.
  20. List the five project management processes.
    Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing.
  21. Identify and describe seven key characteristics of a successful Project Manager.
    An Integrator: S/he is the only person able to view the entire project and the way it fits into the overall plan of reorganization. Being a generalist, s/he looks at the overall “big picture” of the project and coordinates all the efforts of the project team to achieve a successful result.

    • A Communicator: Approximately 80 to 90 percent of a project manager’s job is communicating. S/he must communicate with senior managers, the project team, clients, as well as all interested project stakeholders. The project manager must collect information from many different sources in
    • many different forms and disseminate that information appropriately. The project manager must determine what kind of message to send, the
    • appropriate format for the message, the appropriate media for the message and who to send it to. This is one of the most important characteristics of a successful project manager.

    • A Team Leader: The project manager leads the project team by example in order to solve
    • problems as they arise. The project team may be comprised of people from many different functional areas, cultures, and geographies. The
    • project manager must be able to guide people from these diverse backgrounds effectively. In addition, strong leadership skills are required.

    • A Decision Maker: The project manager will constantly be confronted with changes as the
    • project moves through its lifecycle. For example, risks may occur. or project changes may be requested. Decisions must be based on allocating
    • resources, balancing out costs of performance versus schedule, as well as managing the scope and direction of the project. A successful project
    • manager must not be afraid of making decisions when it is required.

    A Relationship Manager: The project manager must take action to build a supportive atmosphere so that the project team can work together cohesively instead of against each other. The project manager must also build effective relationships with key project stakeholders, customers and the project team.

    • Concerned with Business Issues: Projects are created to solve problems. An effective project manager will understand the nature of the business problem that is supposed to be solved by the project. S/he will manage the project in accordance
    • with the visions and values of those business requirements.

    A Quality Manager: The project manager is responsible for the quality of the project and the product it delivers. S/he is responsible for achieving specified results on time and within budget. This is an individual responsibility that makes the project manager accountable for all that happens and all that fails to happen during the project. For example, if the project is successful the credit will go to the project manager and the project team. On the other hand if the project fails, the project manager will be held accountable.
  22. What information is important to know about each project role?
    • 1. The Role of the Person:
    • The role of the person describes the type of activities s/he will perform on the project. Examples of project roles are design engineer,
    • project manager, business analyst, technical writer, or project sponsor.

    • 2. Authority level:
    • The authority level describes the project team member’s ability to make decisions and sign approvals related to the project. Team members perform best when individual levels of authority match individual responsibilities.

    • 3. Responsibility:
    • Responsibility involves the work that the project team member is
    • expected to perform in order to complete the project activities is their
    • specified area.

    • 4. Skills:
    • The skill and capabilities required to complete project activities are identified. Project team members who do not possess required
    • competencies may not be able to perform their project tasks successfully. When mismatches such as these are identified, the project manager can improve the situation by training or hiring people, or by changing the project schedule or scope.
  23. “Soft Skills”
    Soft skills are the interpersonal skills used by a project manager when understanding project team members, anticipating their actions, acknowledging their concerns and following up on their issues to reduce problems and increase cooperation.
  24. Identify and describe five ways to manage and resolve Conflicts when they arise.
    • Mediate the Conflict: The project manager intervenes and tries to find a resolution to the
    • problem using reasoning and persuasion as well as attempts to find a common ground between the partys. S/he will do their best to influence
    • each party to make concessions in order to find a win-win solution to the problem.

    • Arbitrate the Conflict: The project manager imposes a solution after listening to each party.
    • The goal is not to decide which party wins but to choose the best course of action for the project to succeed. Sometimes the project manager
    • plays the role of a “benevolent dictator”, listening to different points of view ultimately choosing the solution.

    • Control the Conflict: Reducing the intensity of a conflict by smoothing over differences and
    • using humor is an effective strategy. In particularly heated conflicts, the project manager can postpone further discussions and allow people to
    • cool off before continuing. In certain situations, the project team assignments may be changed or rearranged to avoid the conflict.

    Accept the Conflict: In some cases the conflict cannot be resolved and must simply be accepted as part of managing a project.

    • Eliminate the conflict: In some cases the conflict escalates to a point where it is no longer
    • tolerable. The project manager must be prepared to remove the members involved from the project. Should this happen it must be done with
    • strength so that a clear signal is given to others on the team that disruptive, negative behavior is unacceptable.
  25. What is a Project Plan?
    A Project Plan is a living document that defines the project as fully as possible. The information collected and assembled into the Project Plan is used by the Project Manager to guide the project execution, document the planning decisions made throughout the project, document the planning assumptions, and provides a baseline for future performance, decisions, and changes.
  26. What is a Project Charter?
    The Project Charter is the document that formally authorizes a project. It provides the Project Manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
  27. What is Project Scope?
    The project scope is a definition of what needs to be accomplished in the project. It defines the work and activities to be done, and documents the boundaries of the project and its deliverables.
  28. List five of the core planning processes.
    Any five of –

    • Scope Planning
    • Scope Definition
    • Resource Planning
    • Activity Sequencing
    • Duration Estimating
    • Schedule Development
    • Risk Management
    • Planning
    • Cost Estimating
    • Project Plan Development
  29. What steps are taken to manage change in a project?
    Identify the change,

    Evaluate the effects of the change,

    Document the change, and

    Get approval.
  30. What is a post-Project review? Why would you do one?
    A post project review is a review of the project held at the end of the project, or at the end of a major project phase. It investigates and documents things the when right, and things that went wrong on the project. When should you do a post project review? At the end of the project, or at the end of any major project phase.
  31. Define Project Change Request.
    A formal request for a change to the project plan. It needs to be identified, evaluated, documented and either approved or reject for inclusion in the project plan.
  32. What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?
    • A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a deliverable-oriented, hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team, to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.
    • It organizes and defines the total scope of the project.
  33. What is a Work Package?
    A Work Package is the lowest level of a WBS component. It includes items that can be scheduled, cost estimated, monitored, and controlled throughout the project life cycle.
  34. What are Scope Verification Processes?
    Scope Verification processes are the steps the Project Manager uses to gain customer acceptance of the project scope in order to help ensure customer satisfaction throughout the project. A key element of Scope Verification is obtaining stakeholders formal acceptance of the completed project scope and associated deliverables at the end of a project phase, or at the end of the project.
  35. How do you control scope creep?
    The way to control Scope Creep is to ensure that all requested changes and recommended corrective actions are processed through the change control process defined for the project.
  36. Project Initiation
    Committing the organization to the project by developing and approving the Project Charter.
  37. Scope Planning
    Writing down a scope statement to be used as a basis for future planning and decisions.
  38. Scope Definition
    Subdividing project deliverables into manageable components and developing a Work Breakdown Structure.
  39. Scope Verification
    Gaining customer acceptance of the project scope in order to help ensure customer satisfaction throughout the project.
  40. Scope Change Control
    Managing and controlling the scope-effecting changes that occur throughout the Project Lifecycle.
  41. SMART Objectives
    Objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed, and Time bound.

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