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Introduction to Project Management

Unit 2

Unit 2

Need for Project Management and Project Management Approaches

Structure 2.1 Introduction Objectives 2.2 Project Manager Key Qualities and Skills of a Project Manager Challenges for a Project Manager Responsibilities of a Project Manager Project Management Hierarchy 2.3 Project Management Methodology 2.4 Project Life Cycle Tools and Techniques used in Project Life Cycle 2.5 Project Management Approaches 2.6 Summary 2.7 Terminal Questions 2.8 Answers 2.9 Glossary

2.1 Introduction
By now you must know what project management is and what the characteristics of a project are. It is important that the projects need to be performed and delivered under certain defined constraints. However, project implementation becomes complex and confusing without the proper management. Thus, the need of managing the project is a vital task for successful delivery of the services. The term project management was originated in the field of construction and engineering. Nowadays, the process of managing projects has taken a wide perspective in emphasising the activities and the human work involved in the process. Project management can be defined as planning, organising, scheduling, directing and controlling resources involved in a project. The aim of project management is to achieve a specific short term target or a goal. A project successfully meets its objective if constraints like time, expenses and
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performance are taken care of. This unit familiarises you with the need for managing projects and project life cycle. In this unit, you will learn about the qualities of a project manager and the challenges faced by a project manager. The primary constraints for managing a project successfully are maintaining timeline and the budget within the expected range. Learning Objectives After studying this unit, you will be able to: Analyse the key qualities and skills of a project manager. Explain the project management methodology. Analyse the phases of a project life cycle. Analyse the various tools and techniques used in a project life cycle. Explain the different project management approaches.

2.2 Project Manager


A project manager is a person who facilitates smooth workflow of the project that is delivered to the clients timely. They are responsible for planning, execution and closure of a project. A project manager possesses a combination of skills as well as the ability to make assumptions and resolve any personnel conflicts. The project manager ensures that necessary resources are available for the progress of the project work. Thus, a project manager is a critical resource in the project team and is responsible for taking timely decisions so that project risks are managed well and uncertainties are reduced. 2.2.1 Key Qualities and Skills of a Project Manager Project manager plays a vital role in managing a project and is also responsible for defining roles and responsibilities of each member in the project team. A project manager ensures that the project meets its deadlines with expected quality output according to the specifications given by the client. However, for efficient management of the project, the project manager is expected to have the following qualities1:

1 www.projectsmart.co.uk/methods-tools.html

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Leadership ability: It is the ability to lead a group with integrity, openness and receptiveness. A good project manager should strictly adhere to the values, morals and methods as defined by the organisation. Rather, it simply means that the words, actions and decisions of a project manager are bound to certain standards defined. A to suit their defined job roles. It is required to provide appropriate training sessions such good project manager has the ability to gather information from various sources and make a final decision based on the input. A project manager is able to take decisions strictly adhering to the framework and structure of the organisation and not based on unleashed emotions. A good project manager is able to solve the queries and prioritise the needs and concerns of the other members of the team. Project managers ideally possess critical management skills that enable to inspire and motivate the group leading towards a common goal. Ability to steer team growth: People are the most valuable asset of a company. Therefore, for an organisation to flourish and meet its successful deadlines, it is very essential to develop people, by nurturing their skills, appreciating their work, and providing training that is necessary as communication skills, team building skills, time management skills and leadership skills. Ability to take decisions: A project manager should be well organised and able to meet specific targets within the allotted time. The project manager has skills to manage various tasks and responsibilities that are both internal and external to the project. The project manager makes decisions keeping in mind the resources available, the scheduled time targets and the expenses incurred. The project manager is self motivated, self initiated, creative, and is able to solve any queries from the team. The project manager anticipates and has solutions to problems associated with the project. Ability to manage the finances of the project: A project manager effectively analyses and keeps track of the project finances to ensure a balance between the planned budget and the incurred budget. Commitment: A project manager is committed to the roles and responsibilities allotted and also create a positive and energetic work environment for the team to work in.
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Excellent communication skills: 85-90% of project managers tasks are about communication. Good communication skills help project manager to express and communicate effectively with all the stakeholders and also the team. Communication does not imply only sending information and speaking effectively; it also includes Listening skills, which means receiving information and understanding the message communicated from the other end. Good interpersonal skills (Individual Skills): Good interpersonal skills are defined as those skills which are very essential to interrelate, interact or deal with others in the organisation. Project managers possess good interpersonal skills to ensure that work is done on time without hurting the sentiments of any of the member of the project team. Interpersonal skills are categorised into communication skills, people skills and soft skills. An efficient project manager has good interpersonal skills that facilitate various ways that are suitable for interacting with other team members in various situations. Technical Skills: A project manager should have technical skills relevant to the project. The project manager knows the tools and techniques used in the project to ensure proper utilisation of resources. Problem solving skills: Project managers should possess problem solving skills and provide solution to most of the anticipated problems. A project manager should have the ability to identify the problems and concerns that arise out of various social situations. A capable project manager is able to take timely decisions in case of any risks or uncertainties associated with the implementation of the project. Time management skills: A good project manager understands that time is a non-renewable resource, thus plans and schedules tasks based on the priority that it has to be completed. A good project manager also ensures that scheduled tasks are implemented and executed on time as per the wants and demands of the client with the expected quality outcome. The project manager also ensures that there is ongoing interaction with the clients to determine whether there are any changes in the specifications from the clients.

Project managers base their decisions based on a sound understanding of the concepts and techniques used in the implementation of the project.
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Some of the skills that a project manager requires with respect to project implementation are as listed below: Agency responsibilities: A good project should possess ability to deal with the obligations and challenges during the development, implementation and execution of the project. For example, the implementation of a software development project, a project manager ensures that the project meets the requirements of the end user, performs perfectly , provides software that is user friendly, cost effective and that can be maintained and managed efficiently. Understanding the nature of the project: It is very important for the project manager to analyse the nature of the project to assign roles to various members of the team. Understanding the nature of the project ensures that suitable resources, tools and techniques are chosen for the implementation of the project. The nature of the project has to be in line with the companys structure, policies and planned budget. Conforming project feasibility: The project manager is able to manage the project in a manner that is feasible to various kinds of situations. Defining and setting the project scope: It is very essential that the objectives and the scope of the project are defined along with the shared decision by the senior members of the team. The probability of project failure increases when there is no clear definition and clear understanding of the objectives of the project. Once the goals and the objectives of the project are set, the task that follows is to identify the scope of the project. When scope has to be defined for a project, various factors have to be taken into considerations such as: o The amount of effort that has to be put in the project assigned o The duration of the completion of the project o Financial commitments o Duration and availability of the resources. Setting goals: Project managers ensure that the goals of the project benefit the organisation in terms of finance as well as the overall growth of the organisation. Assigning roles and responsibilities: It is vital that the job roles and responsibilities are assigned based on the skill set possessed by the employees.
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Planning organisational change: In situations, where an existing structure of the organisation is not matching the requirements of the project taken up, it requires changing or updating the framework or certain activities of the organisation to ensure accommodating of the new process tasks. Thus, the organisation should be well prepared for the transitions of the plan so as to meet the specifications and the requirements of the client. However, a delay in the transition planning of the project can impair the productivity of the organisation. The planning of the changes in the organisation hold good in various aspects such as policies, procedures, description of new job roles, and other services of the customers.

2.2.2 Challenges for a Project Manager Project managers need to manage resources and clients during project implementation. Some of the challenges that a project manager faces and needs to take care are as listed below2: Unrealistic deadlines: The challenge of the managers is to find various alternative approaches and methodologies in order to complete the project on time. Most of the time, deadlines of projects are unattainable due to wrongly set deadlines at the initial stages. Thus, the project manager needs to take the challenge of planning creatively, performing alternative analysis and communicating effectively to the members participating in the project. Cross Communication defect: The project manager needs to establish proper communication for the members of the project. It is essential for the manager to develop a checklist of the information that has to be conveyed. Scope changes: The project manger needs to communicate effectively to every member of the project team regarding any changes made in the project plan and the scope of the project. Resource competition: Projects usually compete for resources such as people, money and time. A project manager has to be able to define and set priority of the resources required. Uncertain dependencies: It is very important to determine the dependencies of the project and assessing the risks that are associated

2 ezinearticles.com/?Eight...Challenges...Project-Manager...

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with the project. The manager has to be able to use various techniques such as brainstorming to monitor any uncertainties that are likely to occur in the project flow. Insufficient team skills: The challenge of the manager lies in documenting the core set of skills that are required to accomplish the tasks. On analysing the area in which the team lacks the skills that are required, the manager needs to be able to arrange for training sessions, additional resources and other external advisors to bridge the skills gap. Customers and end users are not engaged during the project: The challenge of the project manager is to maintain the deadlines of the project. It is essential to discuss and provide updates to all the participants of the project on a regular basis. It is required that the stakeholders and customers are kept informed of the progress of the work and the nature of the tasks accomplished. This ensures that everyone is equally engaged in the project and in turn gives satisfaction and motivates the team to progress in the assigned tasks. Non-centralised communication: The manager needs to maintain a centralised communication flow. If messages are ignored, it leads to various misinterpretations of key messages. It can result in unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings in the organisations.

A project manager has to be able to face challenges that come during the course of the project. We can summarise by stating that a project manager does the following: o Manages stress and sustaining positive energy. o Develops clear channels of accountability. o Maintains positive attitude and relationships among employees. o Motivates and facilitates employees to complete tasks in the defined time. o Monitors and maintains a balance between the expected and incurred cost in a project. 2.2.3 Responsibilities of a Project Manager The various responsibilities of a project manager are: Motivating the team. Allocating, scheduling and analysing work for the team. Monitoring project resources.
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Effectively planning the necessary credentials. Setting objectives and targets for every individual in the project. Providing assistance to team members in solving queries. Performing a quick and effective review of the teams work. Reporting the status of work to the concerned department of the organisation.

2.2.4 Project Management Roles It is important that a hierarchy is maintained in the organisation to report any project related issues to the top management such as status of the work, suggestions, or any other factors. However, it is important that the issues are reported systematically and in order. The following steps illustrates the role of various members associated with the team Also, in some projects, where deploying manpower could be a problem, one person could execute more than one of the roles mentioned below: Project Expeditor: Responsible for monitoring and reporting the status of the project to the senior management. However, this role has no authority. A project expeditor acts only as a communication coordinator and does not possess the rights to enforce any decisions. Project Coordinator: The role is similar to that of a project expeditor. However, the project coordinator has some limited authority to make decisions. Programme Manager: The programme manager is also called as the change manager. The programme manager ensures that the delivery of projects benefits the business of the organisation. The programme manager has command of all the managers and leaders responsible for monitoring the project. Project Manager: Manages individual projects assigned. The project manager has project leaders as reporting employees. Project Leader: Responsible for managing the different stages of the project. A project leader can report either to a project manager or to a programme manager or to both.

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Self Assessment Questions 1. What do we understand by the term Project Expeditor? 2. Is it necessary to maintain a centralised communication flow in the organisation (Yes/No)? 3. Project Coordinator has no authority to enforce decisions regarding the project (True/False)

2.3 Project Management Methodology


Project management methodology explains how a project is managed from start to finish. It helps in describing in detail the various stages of the project life cycle to ensure that all the members of the team adhere to some standard rules and policies while working on a project. The reasons that benefit organisations by using project management methodology are: It ensures anticipated scheduled costs. It ensures that time to market and time to profitability for an organisation is reduced to a great extent. It provides ways to monitor resources effectively. It describes ways to prioritise and allocate resources.

However, to benefit from the project management methodology, the following factors have to be considered: o Support from senior management. o o o Conformity and commitment to perform assigned responsibilities. Acceptance from the top level management as well as from the clients. Thus, the art of mobilising and putting together the skills of all employees and resources is called project management.

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Figure 2.1 depicts the project management process groups.


PLANNING SEQUENCE

CORE MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS

SCOPE

QUALITY

TIME

COST

PROJECT MANAGEMENT INTEGRATION

PROJECT SUCESS FINISH

START

PROJECT LIFE CYCLE STAKE HOLDER SATISFACTION

INFORMATION/ COMMUNICATIONS

CONTRACT/ PROCUREMENT

HUMAN RESOURCES

RISK

Feedback

Facilitating Functions

Figure 2.1: The Project Management Process Groups

The four vital functions of the process are scope, quality, time and cost. These core functions are facilitated by management functions such as information and communications, contract and procurement, human resources and risk. Project management process is responsible for integrating all these functions through various stages of the project life cycle. The main objective of the project management process is to provide assigned targets to the stakeholders with respect to their requirements. A stakeholder is defined as the entity responsible for sponsoring the project within or outside the organisation. Thus project management ensures various benefits to the organisation in the following ways: It ensures that organisations maintain requisite resources for the smooth workflow of the project. It ensures that resources are properly utilised and misused. It manages any changes in the structure or design of the project. It ensures that any predictable or occurred risks are analysed and solved. It ensures that the motives and objectives are well planned with respect to the organisation criteria and standards. Organisations that have limited resources can handle only small projects. When too many projects are handled with limited resources, it leads to a
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problem called gridlock. Maintaining a proper balance between the scheduled work and resources is the main objective of project management methodology. The main objectives of the project management methodology include: o Defining the project. o Reducing the stress to a set of tasks that can be easily managed. o Maintaining necessary and required resources. o Building an efficient team that can meet the defined work timelines. o Monitoring and controlling workflow. o Reporting work status to reporting managers. o Reviewing deliverables before delivery to ensure consistency. o Closing down the project when successfully completed. Self Assessment Questions 4. What do we understand by the term Grid Lock? 5. Define Project Management.

2.4 Project Life Cycle


It is important that a project follows a sequential flow through its various phases to successfully complete the project. Figure 2.2 shows the different stages of a project.

Figure 2.2: Project Life Cycle

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1. Project Initiation: The Initiation process includes determining the nature and scope of the project. An outline of the project is prepared in this stage. The plan, expenses and the budget of the project are estimated by the project manager and the stakeholder. For example: Consider a scenario of a small organisation. The scenario defines that the Project Management Life Cycle (PLC) varied across three divisions. The task was to unify the plan of all three divisions to arrive at an approach that best suits the organisation. Outlining the project was an important activity to define and identify the processes that ensures utility by all the three divisions in common. This illustrates the importance of Initiation stage of the project. The initiation stage includes a plan that encompasses the following areas: o Analysing the needs and requirements of the organisation in various measurable goals. o Performing a review of the operations specific to the process. o Analysing the finances, costs and benefits of the project. o Analysing the stake holder including users. o Analysing the project charter such as costs, tasks, deliverables and schedules. 2. Project Planning: The main objective of Project Planning includes planning of cost, time and resources that are essential to manage the risks that are associated with the execution of the project. Figure 2.3 depicts project planning and design.

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Figure 2.3: Project Planning and Design

The various activities that project planning includes are: o Determining how to plan the process. o Developing the scope statement. o Identifying the deliverables that are required to create the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). o Estimating the resources that are required for various activities. o Estimating the time and costs of various activities. o Developing the project schedule. o Developing the budget of the project. o Identifying the risks that are associated with the project. o Gaining approval to begin work. Thus, this phase aims at outlining the definition of the complete project and effectively plans methods to meet organisation standards and client requirements. This responsibility does not solely rest on the project
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manager; it is a shared decision made by the whole project team. This stage decides various parameters that are required to start a project. 3. Execution Phase: During the phase of execution, the solution that is planned is implemented to solve the problem that is specified in the requirements of the project. With the progress in the execution phase, various groups across the organisation involve in planning for the final testing, production and support. However, the most common tools or methodologies that are used in the phase of execution are an update of risk analysis, in addition to the milestone reviews. 4. Monitoring and Control: The process involves checking that the project execution and identifying the potential problems. The process ensures that the problems are identified in time so that appropriate action can be taken. The performance of the project is monitored on a regular basis. This ensures that any variances in the plan of the project are identified. The various activities under Monitoring and Control include: o Monitoring the variables of the project such as cost, quality and time o Monitor project performance. o Monitor changes in the project and apply appropriate change control. o Monitor risks in the project and take appropriate action to manage the same. In projects that include multiple phases, the monitoring and controlling process also provides feedback between phases of the project. This ensures that preventative and necessary actions are taken to bring success in the project plan. 5. Close down Stage: This stage ensures that project deadlines and requirements are successfully met. Close down stage ensures delivery of the products or services according to the project agreement. This process includes the acceptance of the project. The activities under close down stage include: o Project Close: a proper closure is done to all the phases of the project and lessons learned documented. Contract Closure: it is checked if all the contract conditions are met and contract is closed as per the agreement with the vendor.

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2.4.1 Tools and Techniques used in Project Life Cycle The various tools used during a project life cycle are: Verifiable objective setting: This tool ensures that all the goals and motives are measured and verified. It ensures that all the objectives of the project are met. Brain Storming: This technique allows solving any queries and problems in a creative manner. It is a technique used in all stages of the project. Project Evaluation Review Technique (PERT): This tool is used analyse the various dependencies of tasks. This technique helps in accomplishing tasks in a cost effective manner. Figure 2.4 depicts PERT chart of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
AGREE FORMAT DEVICE TEST

SET CRITERIA

ESTABLISH NEED

JOB DESC

WRITE ADVERT

PLACE AD

SHORT LIST

INVITES

INTERVIEW

TAKE DECISION

CHOOSE AD LOC SET TARGET DATE

ESTABLISH LEAD TIMES

BOOK VENUE

Figure 2.4: PERT chart of WBS

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) provides a clear picture of the scope of a project in graphical format. The hierarchy of deliverables and services are expressed using WBS. Critical Path Analysis (CPA): CPA is used in co-ordination with the PERT analysis. CPA prioritises tasks as critical, very important and important. Based on the priority of the tasks, the overall duration required to complete a project is estimated. Milestone Planning: Milestone planning determines various approaches that can be adopted to meet the target set of objectives. On completion of specified tasks, milestones are reached. It is usually used at senior manager reviews.

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The importance of milestone planning is better understood by means of an example. Imagine, you have planned to holiday in London. You are walking along the road and suddenly you see a milestone .It says 20 miles to London. You keep walking and later find another milestone at some distance which says 10 miles to London. By this milestone, you understand that you are moving in the direction you actually wanted to and hence you are able to estimate the distance covered and the distance remaining. This is the main purpose of using milestone planning. Accrued Cost and Earned Value Analysis: These measures allow the monitoring of the project in terms of expenses and finance.

Gantt Charts: Gantt charts are also called inventor charts or bar charts. These charts are used to exhibit PERT and CPA outcomes. It makes representation as simple as possible to ensure that the project results are understood in detail by even those who are not part of the project. Activity 1: Identify various milestones that are necessary to build a house in a given time. Consider milestones such that every chunk of work is understood clearly by the milestones chosen. Self Assessment Questions 6. What is the estimated time required to complete the feasibility phase of project development? 7. A project leader is responsible for managing the various stages of the project, State True or False. 8. Gantt charts also called _________________. 9. Expand CPA. 10. What is the function of PERT?

2.5 Project Management Approaches


A project can be managed in various ways. Some of them include: Traditional Approach: The phases in traditional approach include initiation of the project, preparing the project plan, implementing the planned phase, monitoring the workflow and budget, closing the project for delivery.
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Critical Chain Project Management Approach (CCPM): It is an approach of scheduling and managing the projects with respect to resources. It ensures planning and structuring of projects so that resources are available when the critical chain begins. It ensures that the project plan undertakes resource levelling. Resource levelling is a part of the project management process. It inspects resources that are not balanced. These resources can include people or equipment. For example, when requirements of resources such as equipment or manpower are far more than that is available at that instant, the resources need to be rescheduled. When a team member is a critical resource for multiple tasks, the responsibilities of that person need to be redistributed among other personnel in order to complete the tasks simultaneously. Project resource levelling resolves such conflicts by balancing the resources and the workload.

Extreme Project Management approach (XPM): The approach includes supervision of very compound and indecisive projects. Event Chain Methodology Approach: This method allows modelling of uncertainties in an easy and simple way in the project. The various principles that event chain methodology works on are as follows: o o o Probabilistic moment of risk: It monitors the uncertain risks that occur at the some point when the project is in flow. Event chains: An analysis is performed to determine an increasing effect of event chains in the project. Critical events or event chains: Critical events are defined as those events that have the ability to disturb the progressive workflow of the entire project. An analysis is performed to determine such uncertain situations in the project. Project tracking with events: tracking makes it possible to gather information about future events from the incomplete information available. Event chain visualization: Event chain diagrams are used to visualize events and event chains.

Agile Approach: Agile approach aims at delivering the deliverables in stages. Agile approach facilitates the project delivery in weeks of time.
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Agile approach strictly adheres to the rules and standards defined in the agile manifesto. Iterative Approach: Iterative approach aims at finding and reducing the anticipated risks quickly. Iterative approach facilitates project delivery in months Phased Approach: A project life cycle includes initiation, planning, execution, control and close. The phased approach is responsible in fitting the requirements according to the need of the organisations of various sizes. There are various benefits of using phased approach in project development. This approach assists in laying down a firm and structured foundation for the project. Incremental Approach: The incremental approach adopts a sequential approach in preparing a project for delivery. The main objective of incremental approach is to reduce development time to a large extent. This is achieved by adopting measures such as finding the most deserving and suitable people for the task, facilitating good human relations and communication within the project team and providing solutions to anticipate customer wants and queries. This approach is very useful in situations where complete funding is not readily available or when there is a delay in the delivery of the deliverables.

Self Assessment Questions 11. Expand CCPM. 12. _________________ approach aims at reducing the risks quickly. 13. Agile approach follows rules and standards as defined in the _______. 14. Extreme Project Management approach (XPM) approach includes supervision of very compound and indecisive projects. (True/False)

2.6 Summary
A project generally exists to achieve some objective and once the defined objectives are achieved the project is completed. However, in situations where projects carry on indefinitely without meeting the defined timelines causes huge penalty to the organisations. This pushes the need of a good management system for managing the various activities of the project. This requires well planned and structured management of the project development.
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A project manager has to be an efficient leader displaying good communication, problem solving and time management skills along with decision making capabilities. A project manager ensures that the distribution of job roles, responsibilities, resources is balanced and that all phases of the project are executed successfully without any redundancy. Skills of the members participating in the team are recognised and the members are able to do their assigned tasks effectively in time and team performance is appropriately rewarded. . By deploying various approaches and techniques, the life cycle of the project can be implemented according to the requirements of the stake holders.

2.7 Terminal Questions


1. Explain project life cycle. 2. Illustrate the functions of a project manager. 3. List out some of the key skills and qualities that a project manager should have. 4. Explain the various tools and techniques used in project life cycle.

2.8 Answers
Answers to Self Assessment Questions 1. A Project Expeditor is a communication coordinator and does not possess the rights to enforce any decisions. 2. Yes 3. False 4. Handling too many projects with limited resources leads to a problem called as Grid-Lock. 5. The art of mobilising and putting together the skills of all employees and resources 6. Not defined 7. True 8. Bar Charts or Inventor Charts 9. Critical Path Analysis 10. PERT tool is used to analyse various dependencies of tasks 11. Critical Chain Project Management Approach 12. Iterative
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13. Agile Manifesto 14. True Answers to Terminal Questions 1. Refer section 2.4 2. Refer section 2.2.4 3. Refer section 2.2.1 4. Refer section 2.4.1

2.9 Glossary
Term PERT Gantt charts Milestone planning Brainstorming Description Project Evaluation Review Technique is a tool for analysing various dependencies of the task It is used to represent the information in a graphical format to give a simple view as possible. Determines various approaches that can be adopted to achieve objectives A technique used to solve queries in a creative manner. It is used in every stage of a project

References 1. The leadership Challenge - James M Kouzes, Barry Z Posner 2007 2. www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/index.php?id=143 3. www.bia.ca/.../TheTopProjectManagementChallenges.htm 4. www.beg.utexas.edu/energyecon/.../AB_Project_Mgt_challenges.pdf -

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