Project Management

Project Management

Project Management (MGT6153) Directed Reading From Chapter 1 To Chapter 6 Instructor: William A. Moylan, PMP Students: Chang, Li-Li Yang, Shen-Shan Kuo, Hsien-Kai (ID: 88383) (ID: 88855) (ID: 88374) Chapter 1 Project in Contemporary Organizations Question 1. The twelve guidelines are presented in no particular order. Order them by level of importance and explain your reasoning. Answer The twelve guidelines should be order as below, the reason also is stated at the behind of each title. 1) Understand the context of project management.

Much of the difficulty in becoming an effective project manager lies in understanding the particular challenges project management. 2) Understand who the stakeholders are and what they want. Project management is a balancing act. It requires managers to juggle the various and often conflicting demands of a numbers of powerful project stakeholders. 3) Understand what “success” means. In modern business, to evaluate the criteria for project success is include the four items – Budget, schedule, performance criteria, and as well as client use and satisfaction. ) Build and maintain a cohesive team. Many projects are implemented through the use of cross-functional teams. Developing and maintaining cordial team relations and fostering a healthy internal group atmosphere often seems like a full-time job for most project managers. 5) Recognize project team conflict as progress. Once a project manager has analyzed the nature of the conflict among team members, a variety of conflict handling approaches may be warranted. 6) Accept and use the political nature of organizations.

We exist in a politicized world, so project managers who wish to succeed must learn to use the political system to their advantage. 7) Lead from the front. Project manager is a “ leader intensive” undertaking. 1 8) Enthusiasm and despair are both infectious. One of the most important roles of the leader is that of motivator and encourager. 9) Remember what you are trying to do. Do not lose sight of the purpose behind the project. 10) Use time carefully or it will use you. Time is a precious commodity. Efficient time management- one of the keys to successful project development – starts with project managers. 1) Above all, plan, plan, and plan. The essence of efficient project management is to take the time to get it as right as possible the first time. It includes the schedule, the team composition, the project specifications, and the budget. 12) One look forward is worth two looks back. Question 2. Where would you place yourself in Figure 2? Answer I will put myself, as “Sensible” The underlying attitude is politics is necessary. Intent – Further departmental goals. Techniques – Network: expand connections; use system to give and receive favors. Favorite Tactics – Negotiate, bargain.

Question 3. A few of the guidelines are related to the need to understand the reason for the project in the first place. Which guidelines would you place in this category? Why is this so crucial? Answer The guidelines about “Understand” such as understand the context of project management, understand whom the stakeholders and what they want. Those of them is belong to the understand reason. Why is this so crucial? Much of the difficulty in becoming an effective project manager lies in understanding the particular challenges 2 then are able to do well the planning. Question 4.

Why, in lesson 9, is always thinking about “ what if” so important? Answer The spirit is that never become comfortable with the status of the project under development. It also means, “ One look forward is worth two looks back” which encourage people to creatively and innovation. Questions 5. Lesson 12 warns about not planning enough, but also about spending too much time planning. How do you draw the line? Answer The essence of efficient project management is to take the time to get it as right as possible the first time. But too much planning is guaranteed to elicit repeated and ointed questions from top management and other stakeholders as they seek to discover the reason why “ nothing is being done. ” Project managers must be assured the project finished with success. 3 Chapter 2 Project selection Question 1. What project selection method described in the chapter will ABI probably employ for this proposal? Answer According to the description, the project selection method is profitability of numeric model. We might see the points from the business strategy 1) Bid only on good margin products that have the potential for maintaining their margins over a long term. ) Pursue only new products. 3) Utilize the most advanced technology in new projects. “ project champion” approach to innovation and creativity. no more than 480 employees. 4) Foster the 5) Maintain small plants of Question 2. What are the answers to Steve White’s questions? Answer Steve White’s questions, 1) ABI is already achieving an excellent return on investment (ROI). Won’t these investments simply tend to dilute it? Yes, it could be. Jim wondered what these changes in their assumptions would do to the ROI of the proposal and it’s over all profitability. ) Will the cost in new equipment be returned by an equivalent reduction in labor? Where’s the payoff? The cost in new equipment will be returned by the reduction in labor, if the well training for the employee and make the new equipment efficient. ABI had to make this investment to protect its profitable position in the business, the payoff certainly should be no problem. 3) What asset protection is there? This proposal requires an investment in new facilities before knowing whether a long-term contract will be procured to reimburse us for our investment. As the business strategy mentioned –

Pursue only new products whose design or production process is of a proprietary nature and that exist in areas where our technical abilities enable us to maintain a long- term position. Therefore, if the new facilities might utilize longer resulting to the investment might be get back from the making advantages. 4) Does this proposal maximize ROI, sales 4 potential, or total profit? I think it would be earn from the total profitable position in the diesel engine business, including ABI market position and the margin products. Question 3. What other factors are relevant to this issue?

Answer The forecast about the sales volumes, learning rate, productivity, selling prices, and cancellations of both current and future orders for existing and potential business. All of above will as the factors to affect the proposal success. Question 4. How do the changes in assumptions mentioned by the other managers affect the proposal? Answer The other manager has two major concerns: 1) “Scenario II” assumed the Japanese would soon follow and compete successfully with Big Red in the line. It analysis assumes the loss of substantial volume to competition. ) After –tax margins seem unreasonably high. Can we get such margins on a sole-source contract? However, Jim wondered what these changes in their assumptions would do to the ROI of the proposal and its over-all profitability. Question 5. What position should Jim take? Why? Answer Jim is the project manager that he should take the responsibility about the project in the success. 5 Chapter 3 The Project Manager Question 1. What primary characteristic distinguished the very successful project managers from the more mediocre project managers?

Answer Selecting a good project manager is not a simple task. Being an effective project manager is an ongoing challenge. The complex nature and multifaceted range of activities involved in managing projects precludes easily identifying managerial talent and continually stretches the capabilities of talented project managers. Two seemingly contradictory viewpoints have been advanced about what is required to be a good project manager. So, we distinguished the very successful project managers for one perspective prescribes a set of personal, characteristics necessary to manage a project.

Such personal attributes include aggressiveness, confidence, poise, decisiveness, resolution, entrepreneurship, toughness, integrity, versatility, multidisciplinary, and quick thinking. Question 2. In Table 3, match the rankings between skills and problems. Why aren’t the top skills matched to the main problems? Answer It has been argued in the literature that project managers require certain skills in order to be effective. It has also been argued that project managers need to be able to handle certain problems in order to be effective.

The results of this study suggest char these two perspectives are not contradictory but are fundamentally compatible. When the set of required skills is considered side-by-side with the set of critical problems project managers face, the complementary nature of these two perspectives is evident. This is illustrated in Table 3. 6 Without arguing which comes first, it is clear that either (a) project managers require certain skills in order to deal effectively with the factors most likely to create problems for them in managing the project.

Or (b) because certain problems are most likely to con-front project managers, they require particular skills in order to handle them. While this one-on-one matching in Table 3 obviously oversimplifies the dynamic nature of project management, it does have an inherent logical appeal. Since communication breakdowns are likely to create project management problems, effective project managers need to cultivate their communications (persuading and listening) skills. Project managers with good organizational skills are likely to be more effective at planning and subsequently allocating resources.

Unless project managers are able to build strong project teams they are likely to be plagued by problems caused by poorly committed team members and interdepartmental conflict. Project goals are likely to be more easily understood when the project manager’s leadership is consistent. Interpersonal conflicts will likely diminish when project managers set clear standards of performance and demonstrate their trust in, and respect for, others. The inevitable changes, which accompany any project that will be less problematic when it is not only coped with calmly, but also when handled with flexibility and creativity.

Finally, problems created when deadlines and schedules are unrealistic may be minimized through a project manager’s problem finding ability and experience in getting things back on track. Without arguing which comes first, it is clear that either (a) project managers require certain skills in order to deal effectively with the factors most likely to create problems for them in managing the project. Or (b) because certain problems are most likely to con-front project managers, they require particular skills in order to handle them.

What was found underscores the claim that the primary problems of project managers are not technical, but human. Improving project managers’ technological capabilities will be helpful 7 only to the ex-tent that this improves their ability to communicate, be organized, build teams, provide leadership, and deal comfortably with change. The challenge for technical managers, or for chose moving from technical into managerial positions, is to recognize the need for, and to develop where necessary, their interpersonal skills. Question 3.

In Table I, which of the problems are related to project setup (perhaps occurring before a project manager was selected) and which are related to the project manager’s skills? Answer In Table I, which of the problems are related to project setup, There were Resources inadequate, Meeting (“unrealistic”) deadlines, Unclear goals/direction, Team members uncommitted, Insufficient planning, Changes in goals and resources Conflicts between departments or functions. And which are related to the project manager’s skills? That is communications, organization, team building, leadership, Copying, and technology.

Question 4. How does Table I compare to the discussion in the chapter? Answer There were nearly 900 statements about what factors or variables created “problems” in managing a project. Most of these statements could be clustered into eight categories as shown in Table 1. Inadequate resources were the issues most frequently mentioned as causing problems in managing a project. “No matter what the type or scope of your project,” wrote one engineering manager, “if insufficient resources are allocated to the project, you have to be a magician to be successful. ”

Not having the necessary budget or personnel for the project was a frequent complaint. However, the specific resource of time and generally the lack thereof was mentioned just 8 about as often as the general inadequate resource lament. Typically, the problem of time was expressed as “having to meet unrealistic deadlines. ” Table 1. 1. Resources inadequate (69) 2. Meeting (“unrealistic”) deadlines (67) 3. Unclear goals/direction (63) 4. Team members uncommitted (59) 5. Insufficient planning (56) 6. Breakdown of communications (54) 7. Changes in goals and resources (42) 8.

Conflicts between departments or functions (35) That resources are inadequate is caused by many factors, not the least of which being that resources are generally limited and costly. Before this hue is dismissed by veteran project managers as just so much bellyaching “after all, there are never enough resources to goaround” it is important to examine the cause(s) of this problem. Respondents pointed out that resource allocation problems were usually created by senior management’s failure to be clear about project objectives, which in turn, resulted in poor planning efforts.

These two problems lack of clear goals and effective planning were specifically mentioned by more than 60 percent of the respondents. It is pain-fully obvious that vague goals and insufficient planning lead to mistakes in allocating the resources needed by project managers. The three most significant problems reported by first-line research, development, and engineering supervisors in Lauren Hitchcocks [4] study parallels those definition of policy from top downward, how to define the goal of a problem, and budgeting and manpower assignments” to be the major problems confronting supervisors.

It remains true that senior 9 management needs to articulate clearly where the project should be going, why, and what it expects from project personnel. When project goals are not clear, it is difficult (if not impossible) to plan the project efficiently. The lack of planning contributes directly to unrealistic resource allocations and schedules. People assigned to the project are unlikely, therefore, to commit energetically to the endeavor. The lack of commitment (and poor motivation) among project personnel was reported as emerging more from the problems already mentioned than from ssues associated with the project’s technology or organizational structure (e. g. , matrix form). The communication breakdowns (problems which occur during the life of a project) were often referred to as “inevitable. ” These breakdowns occur as a result of the ambiguity surrounding the project, but also result from difficulties in coordinating and integrating diverse perspectives and personalities. The project manager’s challenge is to handle communication breakdowns as they arise rather than being able to predict (and control) communication problems before they happen.

How the problems confronting project managers were interrelated is exemplified by how frequently problems of communication and dealing with conflicts were linked by respondents. The linkage between these two issues was demonstrated in Statements like: “My problem is being able to effectively communicate with people when we disagree over priorities. ” “Conflicts between departments end up as major communication hassles. ” Conflicts between departments were also linked to earlier problems of poor goal setting and planning. Question 5. How does Table 2 compare to the discussion in the chapter?

Answer About Project Manager Skills, The point issue investigated was what project manager skills 10 traits, characteristics, attributes, behaviors, respondents easily generated four to five items which they believed made the difference between average and superior project performance. The result was nearly 1400 statements. These statements were summarized into six skill areas as shown in Table 2. Several factors within each are highlighted. Eighty-four percent of the respondents mentioned “being a good communicator” as an essential project manager skill. Being persuasive or being able to sell one’s ideas was frequently mentioned as a haracteristic of a good communicator within the project management context. Many people also cited the importance of receiving information, or good dictating skills. As one systems engineer exclaimed: “The good project managers manage not by the seat of their pants but by the soles of their feet! ” Table 2 Project Management Skills 1. Communication Skills (84): Listening, Persuading. 2. Organizational Skills (75): Planning, Goal-setting, Analyzing. 3. Team Building Skills (72): Empathy, Motivation, and Esprit de corps. 4. Leadership Skills (68): Sets an example, Energetic, Vision (big picture), Delegates, Positive. 5.

Coping Skills (59): Flexibility, Creativity, Patience, and Persistence. 6. Technological skill (46): experience, project knowledge. Organizational skills represented a second major set of competencies. Characteristics included in this category were planning and goal-setting abilities, along with the ability to be analytical. The ability to prioritize, and capture in the phrases “stays on track” and “keep side project goals in perspective” was also identified as significant. While successful project managers were viewed as good problem solvers, what really differentiated them from their so-so counterparts was their problem finding ability.

Because 11 of their exceptional communication skills, goal clarity and planning, effective project managers were aware of issues before they became problems. Problem finding gave them greater degrees of freedom, enabling them to avoid being seriously sidetracked by problems caused by unforeseen events. The important team building skills involved developing empathetic relationships with other members of the project team. Being sensitive to the needs of others, motivating people, and building a strong sense of team spirit were identified as essential for effectively managing a project. The best project managers use a lot of ‘we’ statements in describing the project,” wrote one computer programmer. Being clear about the project’s objectives and subsequently breaking down the project into its component parts (e. g. , schedules) helped project participants to under-stand their interdependencies and the need for teamwork. Several different attributes and behaviors were catalogued under leadership skills. These included setting a good example, seeing the big picture, being enthusiastic, having a positive outlook, taking initiative, and trusting people.

Having a vision is closely related to goal clarity (which was included as an organizational skill). One financial analyst as “the ability to see the forest through the trees” best expressed the leadership component of this competency. Since, as is often lamented, the only constant in managing a project is change, successful project managers require coping or stress-management skills. Respondents indicated that both flexibility and creativity were involved in effectively dealing (or coping) with change, as were patience and persistence.

What project managers experience are generally high levels of stress. How well they handle stress (“grace under pressure”) significantly affects their eventual success or failure. The final cluster of skills was labeled technological. Successful project managers were seen as having relevant experience or knowledge about the technology required by the project. 12 Seldom, however, were effective project managers seen as technological “experts. ” In-deed, expertise was often felt to be detrimental because it decreased flexibility and the willingness to consider alternative perspectives.

Project managers do need to be sufficiently well versed in the technology to be able 13 Chapter 4 Project Organization Question 1. Which virtual project problems are unique to the phenomenon of being dispersed and which are common project problems in any project? Answer The virtual project problems are unique to the phenomenon of being dispersed, because the extraordinary use of electronic communications is to increase the stability of the virtual project, it is particularly important that all team members be able to work with the detailed project plan.

All team members should have access to whatever software is being used co plan and control project activities. They should also have easy access tot he project files. The liberal distribution of project documentation provides enhanced communication as well as an exposure to the project cultural structure. The common project problems in any project are a basic knowledge of team building is essential to the effective management of any project. With the advent of the virtual project, however, the methods and techniques necessary for implementing the project team building process have changed.

Face-to-face communications are obviously desirable, but they may no longer be possible because of time or cost constraints. Fortunately, the same technologies that have made the virtual project a possibility also provide the methods for developing effective teams of dispersed project participants. Question 2. What new electronic technologies have contributed to the problems, and solutions, of virtual project teams? Answer The Virtual Protect. The virtual project, also known as a “distributed team,” is one in which the participants are geographically distributed to an extent that they may seldom, if ever, meet face-to-face as a team.

The geographical distances involved do not have to be great; 14 individuals who work in the same industrial complex may be functioning in a virtual project if their schedules do not allow them to meet face-to-face. As distances increase, however, the difficulties of communicating and building teams increase significantly. When team members are spread across several time zones, opportunity for direct communication is severely limited, and the associated costs of both face-to-face and electronic communications increase dramatically.

Electronic communication takes on much more importance in virtual projects because electronic systems must assume the burden of making the development of effective project teams possible. The new electronic technologies has all forms of electronic communication, cellular phones, pagers, faxes, e-mail, Web pages, and computer-to-computer transmissions across local area and wide area networks to distribute everything from key reports to jokes, logos, and mottoes. Question 3. Of the solutions to virtual team problems, which would apply to regular project teams also?

Answer Unless developing trust, developing group identity, share information, developing clear structures, Formation of “CLIQUES “ or informal subgroups. And understanding information is the solutions to virtual team problems, the managers also has both knowledgeable and creative in using the modem communication technologies, which is available to them for the purpose of enhancing the common experiences of their project team members. And hence the commitment that can be generated for the project’s objectives and goals.

Perhaps more important, however, is to recognize that the ability to effectively use all of the current electronic communication techniques available to the project manager is rapidly becoming a mandatory skill for anyone likely to be involved in virtual projects. Question 4. Which problems described in the article are the most serious for virtual projects? Which might be fatal? 15 Answer The problems described in the article are the most serious for virtual projects has Problems listed below: 1.

Irregular, inconsistent communication; lower level of comfort and familiarity among team members; “us vs. them” attitude. 2. Experiences are fewer shared; lack of cohesion; little understanding of other members’ roles and responsibilities. 3. Difficulty sharing adequate levels of information across distances, lack of formal opportunities to discuss work-related issues; lack of a common system to transmit information across distances. 4. Uncertain roles and responsibilities of team members; clashing cultures create different expectations, few clearly defined processes for decision-making 5.

Cliques tend to create antagonism and competition between the team and the project manager, between team members, or among the cliques themselves 6. Each team member has different information (inconsistent); each Member has varying levels of information (incomplete); each member has a different perspective of the information. All =inequities of information I think the fatal problem is problem 1. Irregular, inconsistent communication; lower level of comfort and familiarity among team members; “us vs. them “attitude. Question 5. How might the difficulties of matrix organization change when implementing virtual projects?

Answer When implementing virtual projects, In the new,” virtual project” environment, Team Members seldom share a common workplace, may rarely see each other, may never have worked together before, and may never work together again after the project is complete. For an ever-increasing number of organizations, the world is represented by an environment of 16 rapid technological advancement, particularly in the area of communications; complex organizational structures needed to deal with tough global competition; and dynamic markets that demand short production runs of unique products.

Downsizing, outsourcing and employee empowerment has become facts of life. In the climate or” many organ-rations, while job security is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The survival of many organizations depends on the ability of the organization to rapidly change its structure, culture and products to match the changing demands of the environment. Let’s explore the conditions faced by the modern project manager in developing an effective and productive project team within a “virtual project. 17 Chapter 5 Project Planning Question 1. Planning for inevitable crises seems to be quite logical, yet is rarely done in project, Why?

Answer A crisis could be externally generated as in an uncertain accidence, such as snow avalanches, landslides, earthquake, and other natural disasters. Crisis considered in project activities to the point where new decision must be made to continue the project. Projects have characters that make the design and preparation of tools difficult, but a available tool can afford us most of the protection we need. Question 2. Would some of these tools have been of value to Iceland in the Project Management in Practice example? Answer Risk analysis, Contingency plan, and Tabletop exercise, are valuable tools to Iceland in the Project Management.

First to analyze several disaster being occurred, and identify an appropriate coordinating body for each disaster type and location. Second, identifying a process for the appointment of a project manager independent, both financially and emotionally, of all the main stakeholders. Finally, Documenting the response plans to do exercise as rehearsing, discussing for each specific response of disaster. Question 3. Scenario analysis — the brainstorming of possible crises and anticipation of their outcomes — seems like another useful tool here. How does this approach compare to the tools described?

Answer Tabletop exercise seems like as the brainstorming of possible crises and anticipation of their 18 outcomes for a useful tool here. Tabletop exercise force managers to think through the decisions made during a crisis in advance, and reducing the time needed to make decision. A tabletop is accomplished in controlled phases to allow discrete, individual answers, which focuses group attention on each point and thereby promotes a common understanding of roles and responsibilities and enter the entire response sequence by all participants. Question 4.

Which of the four tools would have the most value? Which would be easiest to implement? Answer Tabletop exercise has the most value to provide all phases of project management that is a versatile tool. Logical chart is easiest to implement, when a crisis occurs, people need procedures to follow, Logic chart can provide an overview of principal emergency response events and recovery operations that make people to response action easily. Question 5. In their recommendations to project managers regarding implementing these tools, which recommendations are most important?

Answer The most important recommendations are: ? E Even for small projects, assign the job of developing at least a two-page risk analysis and contingency plan before the project begins. ?E Use a logic charts to design procedures that won’t go awry during a crisis. ?E Conduct these tabletop exercises quarterly to ensure readiness and to update procedures and responsibilities. ?E Use emergency planning processes in projects, including risk analysis and contingency planning. 19 Chapter 6 Conflict and Negotiation Question 1. In Table 1, what was the second best resolution technique?

What was the worst resolution technique? What do you conclude from this? Answer Forcing was the second best resolution technique that the Effective Conflict Resolution was 24. 5%, lower than 58. 5% of Confrontation. Forcing also was the worst resolution technique in 79. 2% of Ineffective Conflict Resolution, highest than others. Forcing was seen to be effective, but a highest ineffectiveness. It was “winners” of a win-lose conflict, and “losers” of a win-lose conflict that Forcing was an effective method of resolving conflict by the victor, but not by the vanquished.

Question 2. Which of the four examples of conflict resolution is the best example, in your opinion, of effective resolution? Why? Answer Confrontation-Problem Solving (Collaboration) was the most common method for effective resolution (58. 5%), without ineffective resolution (0. 0%). It was the significantly greater use of the four examples. Conflict must be resolved by negotiating, face to face for solving problem that can benefit and minimize losses for all parties.

After simulation or evaluation involving many differences of opinion, a comparison of two concepts or two ideas instead of compromising, to discuss until a solution completely satisfactory to both is found, which is negotiation at obtaining the best outcome for the organization, not winning. 20 Question 3. Of the ineffective resolution example, which was the worst, in your opinion? Why? Answer Forcing was less use for effective resolution (24. 5% vs. 79. 2%), it was the worst example with the highest ineffective resolution (79. 2%).

Forcing is usually to obtain some potential damage without perceiving, the top-level manager wins, but the problem is not resolved. Forcing is blind to outcomes without creativity, and increase reluctance from the subordinates. It is a higher losing than winning conflict. Question 4. Summarize or condense the 13 characteristics of Confrontation as a conflictresolving method. Answer ? E To achieve a better solution through collaboration on people’s interesting and ideas. ?E To solve the conflict or the problem with explored discuss and responsibility. E Through team-work effort to understand the conflict or problem from other person’s point of view, full acceptance of the other is essential. ?E The important to look at the conflict is examining and recognizing one’s own attitudes. ?E Minimizing face-saving smoothing, difference, defensiveness, and other barriers from team work. ?E Listening to opponent’s opinion that stimulate opponent to find greater support to solve conflicts and problems. Question 5. The article concludes on the note that conflict need not be a bad thing. Compare this view with that in the chapter concerning the win-win approach to negotiation.

Answer Conflict comes form nature response, each person has different ideas, if he or she is a subordinate, can be seen as a troublemaker or as an innovator, depending on the leader’s 21 attitude. There are some people that attempt to contribute their ideas, to do things that other people do not want to do. Their ideas are different with top-level people, but good than top-level people. If the leader explores the notions of conflict resolution from the organizational as well as the individual viewpoint, and using role-playing suggest in showing the benefit for project, the win-win approach can be the best resolution of conflict. 22

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