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A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” (i.e., deliverable
Project Life Cycle
The series of phases that a project passes through from its initiation to its closure
A project phase
a collection of logically related project activities. Phases are typically sequential and generally time bounded, with a start and ending or control point
A distinct, scheduled portion of work performed during the course of a project
A significant point or event in a project, program, or portfolio.
A group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.
program branches to project that branches to activity that branches to work package
Definitions of Project Success
- Customer accepts the solution.
- Deliverables transitioned effectively.
- Completing the project within acceptable levels.
- Stakeholders eager to start a new project.
- Team members want to work together again.
The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements
A continuous quality improvement model consisting out of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement and learning
Project Management Process Groups
A logical grouping of project management inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. Project Management Process Groups are not project phases
Project Life Cycle Phases
Process of evaluating proposed projects or groups of projects and then choosing to implement them so that the objectives of the parent company will be achieved
Decision Making Model
Process for concluding which decisions need to be made and how to find alternatives for each decision (six criteria for project selection models and two basic types).
Modeling the Problem
Process of excluding the unwanted reality from a problem, leaving only relevant aspects of the ‘real’ situation (i.e., reality is far too complex in its entirety)
Project selection models
- are concerned with the merits or advantages of the project (or projects) being considered - the models measure the value of a project’s deliverables
- What matters is that the main considerations for choice are captured and properly incorporated in the decision-making logic. Three basic components of a project selection model
- alternatives, objective, information
The model should reflect the reality of a company’s decision situation, especially the multiple objectives of both the firm and its managers (as well as account for limitations).
The model should be sophisticated enough to deal with the relevant factors (e.g., internal and external situations that affect projects – strikes and rates; multiple time periods).
It should also be easy and convenient to gather and store the information in a database, as well as to manipulate data in the model through standard software
- Nonnumeric models are qualitative in nature and binary, meaning that if a criterion exists, the project is approved (i.e., some criteria are project categories with pass/fail).
- The Sacred Cow
- Operating Necessity
- Competitive Necessity
- Product Line Extension
- Comparative Benefit
The Sacred Cow
- A project that is undeservedly safe from elimination or criticism, often because it is the pet project of a senior executive (idiom: immune to criticism or questioning).
- oThese projects tend to drain resources without necessarily producing great benefit or organizational value. This type of project does not prevail in companies with mature PM.
- A project that is required in order to protect property or to keep the company in operation. Due to the nature of the project, it does not require much formal evaluation.
- oIf the project is required so to keep the system operating, the central question becomes: Is the system worth saving at the estimated cost of a project (i.e., totaled or salvage)
A project that is required in order for an organization to remain competitive in their industry or one that allows the organization to focus on their core competencies.
Competitive necessity projects may bypass more careful numeric analysis used for projects that are deemed to be less urgent or less important to the company’s survival.
Product Line Extension
- A project that is to develop and distribute new products or expand a current product line. Evaluated on how well the product fits with existing line, fills a gap, strengthens a weak link, or extends line in a new, desirable direction.
- Rather than stating that the project must be a product line extension or be eliminated, product line extension projects might be considered a project category or classification.
- More and more organizations are building sustainability into the set of criteria that must be met in order for the proposed projects to be selected for funding.
- Sustainability covers the triple bottom line (i.e., framework for the financial, social, and environmental performances). Focus on long-run performance rather than short-run gain
Comparative benefits, if not a formal model, is commonly used for project selection decisions. This approach entails subjectively ranking projects based on perceived benefits.
- Numeric models can use continuous or discrete values as input and selection criteria can be objective or subjective
- Real Options
- Window of Opportunity
- Discovery-Driven Planning
- Payback Period
- Net Present Value
- Unweighted Factor Scoring
- Weighted Factor Scoring
- The concept of a real option is that the investment leads to opportunities that would not otherwise be available.
- oThe value of an opportunity foregone is the “opportunity cost” of the investment made. But making an investment often presents options to do something in the future that would not be available without the investment.
Window of Opportunity
- This approach attempts to determine the cost, time, and performance specifications that must be met before any project is undertaken (does not assume project success).
- The method for conducting such an analysis is as follows (project example: extant production process innovation):
- This approach funds enough of the project to determine if the initial assumptions concerning the costs/benefits, etc. were accurate. When funds are used up, assumptions are reevaluated to determine what is next (step or decision).
- The idea isn’t to implement the project but rather to learn about the project. The assumptions about the project are documented and evaluated to determine two key aspects
- The undiscounted models are simple to use and understand.
- All use readily available data (accounting) for calculations.
- The output is in terms familiar to business decision makers.
- Most output is on “absolute” scale for go/no-go decisions.
- Few models can be amended to account for project risk.
- Most ignore all nonmonetary factors (i.e., except for risk).
- All are sensitive to input data errors in early project years.
- All depend on cash flow input – a difficult concept to define.
- Some are biased for the short run (payback period and PVs).
- Both non/discounting impose an array of shortcomings.
Profitability: Payback Period
- Length of time a project takes to return the investment or cost incurred to deliver it. The shorter the payback period, the more preferred the project, according to this model
- The payback period is easy to calculate and it is an attractive model in companies for which the cash position is one of the most important measurements.
Profitability: Net Present Value
Net present value (NPV) is equal to the present value of future net cash flows, discounted at the cost of capital.
- Multiple criteria can be used for decisions and evaluation.
- Structurally simple and thus easy to use and understand.
- Models are a direct reflection of the managerial policies.
- Easy to alter to accommodate internal or external changes.
- Allow easy sensitivity analysis - observable criteria tradeoff
- The output is strictly a relative measure (what it represents).
- Linear in form and elements are assumed independent.
- Ease of use is dependent on the number of criteria (a lot).
- Tendency to add marginally relevant criteria (too many).
- Capturing profit elements is inserting disadvantages.
Scoring: Unweighted Factor
In attempt to overcome some of the disadvantages of the profit models, particularly their focus on a single-decision criterion, different scoring models have been developed.
Scoring: Weighted Factor
This model incorporates numeric weights that reflect the relative importance of each individual factor (criteria). If used for selection, it may also be used for improvements.
Project Portfolio Process (PPP).
An eight-step procedure for selecting, implementing, and reviewing projects that will help an organization achieve it’s strategic goals
refers to projects, programs, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives. The projects or programs are not necessarily directly related.
Project Portfolio Process
- Step 1: Establish a Project Council
- Step 2: Identify Project Categories and Criteria
- Step 3: Collect Project Data
- Step 4: Assess Resource Availability
- Step 5: Reduce the Project and Criteria Set
- Step 6: Prioritize the Projects within Categories
- Step 7: Select the Projects to Be Funded and Held in Reserve
- Step 8: Implement the Process
Unique Roles and Demands of PMs
- The roles and responsibilities of a project manager are distinct from a functional manager.
- A project manager leads the team responsible for achieving the project objectives while a functional manager is focused on providing managerial oversight for a department.
- A number of demands are also unique to the management of projects, and the success of a project manager depends to a large extend on how well these demands are handled.
Differences Between Functional and PMs
- The functional manager uses the analytic approach while the project manager uses the systems approach.
- The functional manager is a direct, technical supervisor while the project manager is a facilitator and generalist.
- The functional manager’s knowledge must be in the expertise of the process being managed while a project manager must be competent in the science of PM.
Proper conservation of resources, timely and accurate project communications, and the careful, competent management of the project.
Project and Client
Preserve the integrity of the project in spite of the conflicting demands made by the many parties who have legitimate interests in the project.
Provide support to the project workers when transitioning between old/new projects or going back to their functional homes (concerned with future).
Project Manager’s Special Demands
- Several demands are unique to managing projects, these special demands can be categorized under the following:
- Acquiring Adequate Resources
- Acquiring & Motivating People
- Dealing with Obstacles
- Making Project Goal Trade-Offs
- Maintaining Balanced Outlook
- Breadth of Communication
Attributes of Effective PMs
- The selection of the project manager is one of the most important decisions concerning the project. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the attributes of effective PMs.
- Management Style
- Ability to Handle Stress
Organizational culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave – the shared values have a strong influence on employees.
Ethical conduct by PM can improve the corporate culture; poor decisions can destroy the culture, often in much less time than it took for the culture to be developed.
Management styles are the principles that underline the methods, abilities, and techniques that managers use in handling situations and expressing leadership.
Leadership styles should be adapted to the particular demands of the situation, the particular requirements of the people involved, and the particular challenges facing the organization.
Categories of Conflict
- Conflict in the project life cycle generally fall under one of three categories (i.e., goals, authority, and interpersonal):
- oGroups working on the project occasionally have different goals and expectations (e.g., project/operations schedule).
- There is much uncertainty about who has the authority to make decisions (e.g., resource allocation and scheduling).
- There are interpersonal conflicts between people who are parties-at-interest in the project (e.g., personality clashes).
Conflict in ...
- Project formation
- Project Buildup
- Main Program
- Project Phase-Out
Handling, controlling, and guiding a conflictual situation to achieve a resolution.