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PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUBJECT CODE: NAME ROLL NO MB0033
: TWAHIRWA TADEO : 540811570
SIKKIM MANIPAL UNIVERSITY (INDIA) UGANDA LEARNING CENTER
MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE AREAS AND RELATIONSHIPS. ANS: Project management refers to the art of controlling the cost, time, manpower, hardware and soft ware resources involved in a project. As many companies are becoming project oriented, project management is quite a necessary skill for any manager. This is mainly because of the following factors; A project requires huge investments which should not go to waste. Therefore a need for proper management, to fore cast risk and exercise control to avoid losses in future and failure of such a project to which heavy investments has been made. A loss in any project would have direct or indirect impact on the society as a whole. So a project must be managed well to revert such consequences that may arise due to project failure. Project management is necessary to prevent failures in projects. Such management help direct all activities of the project towards a common direction in order to achieve the goals intended of the project. Due to uncertainties in the environment, the scope of the project activities may under go a change. This requires skilled management to ensure that change is effectively handled without compromising the objectives of the project. Technology used in the project may change during the course of project execution. Proper management is necessary in order to ensure that new programs are developed to steer the project ahead without losing any of the essential data related to the project. Consequences of negativity in project related problems could be very serious and lead to the project standstill. There is need for management to instill confidence in team members and ensure project continuity.
Change in economic conditions may also affect the project activities. There is need for proper planning so that such circumstantial changes are forecasted in advance. This can only be possible if the project is properly managed. Project management knowledge areas and relationship. Project management knowledge areas comprise of various techniques needed to manage projects, the practical methodologies adopted in formulating and managing the resources which would affect the project completion. For project management to be successful it is essential that the managing team relates well with other supporting disciplines including; law, strategic planning, logistics, human resource management and domain knowledge. It is against this background that; when choosing a team to work with, one should ensure recruitment of multi-skilled personnel to help a project move on smoothly as it is an interdisciplinary task.
QN. 2.EXPLAIN THE VARIOUS ESTIMATION APPROACHES AND ESTIMATION TOOLS. ANS: Estimation refers to the manager’s ability to forecast the amounts of the various resources that will drive a project to success. The forecast includes the costs to be incurred in various phases of the project. It is an important aspect of project management since it provides a framework upon which the successfulness of the project will be measured. There are mainly two estimation approaches, viz; bottom up approach and top down approach. Bottom up approach involves various activities by the manager. The project manager first divides the product under development into major modules; he then divides each module into smaller units, and then defines a standard for manufacturing and self testing. The other approach is the top down approach. In this method, the manager gets the estimate of the total size of the product in function points, using productivity data from the project, specific capability baseline from the general process capability baseline or from similar projects, then fix the productivity level of the project, and finally obtain the overall effort estimate from the productivity and size estimates, Use effort distribution data from the process capability baselines or similar projects to estimate the effort for the various phases and refine the estimates taking project specific factors into consideration. Estimation tools. The ability to obtain an accurate estimate of an entire project prior to its start is, unfortunately, unrealistic. And yet cost and schedule estimates are necessary as management commits to funding such projects or bidding on a job. The initial estimate for a project is the most difficult and least accurate, since there is less data available. Different tools and techniques for developing software project estimates exist, but none are guaranteed to give an accurate estimate.
Algorithmic model is one of these tools. Much of the research work carried out in the software cost estimation field has been devoted to algorithmic models. It consists of one or more algorithms that produce an effort estimate as a function of a number of variables or cost drivers. Expert judgment is the other. These approaches rely on experience on past projects and published industry averages. Average data does not tell the whole story, and although past projects may seem similar, they will not have the same development costs, since estimates based on past experience do not account for changes in environments, politics, or organizations. Analogy tools are also used. These provide comparison of the proposed project to completed projects of a similar nature whose cost is known. The organizations process database is a source for such historical data. The other tool is the top down. Here the overall cost estimate for the project is derived from global properties of the product. This estimate will usually be based on the previous projects and will include the costs of all functions in a project like integration, quality assurance and configuration management. The bottom up tool is yet another important tool of estimation. In this tool , each component of the soft ware product is separately estimated and the results aggregated to produce an estimate for the overall job. Automated software estimation models are also widely used. These tools provide rigor to the estimating process, but the portability of these tools to environments different from that for which the tool was developed comes into question. In essence, none of the approaches or tools available today can estimate the true cost of software with any high degree of accuracy early in a project. Managers should be given a technique that identifies risk and uncertainty based on the seemingly refereed management tool manuscript.
QN.3.WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES AND APPROACHES OF MONITORING A PROJECT AND CONTROLLING A PROJECT? ANS: The purpose of Project Monitoring and Control (PMC) is to provide an understanding of the project’s progress so that appropriate corrective actions can be taken when the project’s performance deviates significantly from the plan. When actual status deviates significantly from expected values, corrective actions are taken, as appropriate. These actions may require re-planning, which may include revising the original plan, establishing new agreements, or including additional mitigation activities in the current plan. Various steps are involved in monitoring and controlling a project from start to end, and these are discussed below; Preliminary work is done as the first step towards effective project control. Here the team members understand the project plans, project stage schedule, progress controls, tracking schedules, summary of the stage cost and related worksheets. All the members have to understand the tolerances in any change and maintain a change control log. They must realize the need and importance of quality for which they have to follow strictly a quality review schedule and frequently discuss on the quality agendas. They must also understand the stage status reports, stage end reports, and stage end approval reports. Project progress is the other Approach towards effective control of any project. Members of the project must keep track of the project progress and communicate the same to other stake holders in the project. They must monitor and control project progress, through the use of regular check points, quality charts, and statistical tables, control the quality factors which are likely to deviate from expected values as any deviation may result in the changes to the stage schedule. The project manager ensures that these changes are made smoothly and organizes review meeting with the project management group. Stage control is yet another step for project control. The manager must establish a project check point cycle. For this suitable stage version control procedures may be followed. The details are to be documented stage wise. Project files have to be frequently updated with suitable version control number
and revision status should be maintained for each change. Team members are identified who will exercise controls at various points of the project. Resources also need to be controlled. Plan the resources required for various stages of the project. Brief both the project team and the key stakeholders about the objectives of every stage, planned activities, products, organization, metrics and project controls. Resource controls include but not limited to; cost tracking systems, effort reporting systems, and item action tracking systems. Quality control must also be ensured. It is a very important aspect of any project that must be strictly adhered to. It is only possible to control quality if the members continuously strictly reflect on the quality charts as they execute the various activities within the project. Scheduling quality review must also be done. This is a very important stage as it helps in proper quality monitoring. This must be done at the beginning of every stage and also at the end of each stage. It helps to monitor a project against any deviation to ensure quality products at the end. There should be an agenda for quality review. Here a quality review agenda is created and distributed upon project members. This agenda usually specifies the objective, products, logistics, roles, responsibilities and the time frame. Quality reviews must be conducted. This is done in a more formal and structured manner. Quality review should focus on product development and its quality factors to ensure that they all match the prescribed quality standards. Follow up should be done. There should be a clear follow up structure to ensure that actions are planned strictly in a manner which ensures conformity to the standards. Quality control procedures should also be reviewed. This involves a process of verifying the quality objectives for each product are appropriate and that all participants are satisfied both with the process and its outcome.
REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES. ANS: For organizations to cope with new challenges, introduce new product or services, take up new opportunities, or to take on competition, the organization members have to implement changed practices. Organizations usually take on two types of changes, viz; evolutionary and revolutionary changes. Evolutionary changes are gradual, incremental and have a narrow focus on one or a few of the following processes; Socio-technical changes take place as the organization evolves over time. The managers need to optimize both the technical and social systems for promoting effectiveness. They adjust both the systems gradually so that group norms and cohesiveness are not disrupted. This also helps to avoid group level resistance to change. However, changes in the way tasks are performed do change perception among workers about their own groups which might have been disrupted owing to technical requirements. The purpose of these changes is to bring in continuous improvement in the quality of products. Total quality management is an ongoing effort among members across functions to find new ways to improve quality in products and services. This change process, though incremental requires both workmen and managers to adopt new ways to viewing their roles in the organization. Evolutionary changes also include flexible workers and flexible work teams. Each worker can substitute another worker and can change his team depending upon the situation. This means that all the workers are trained for multiple tasking. This change promotes quality because it kills monotony. Thus a flexible work team becomes a group of workers who assume responsibility for performing all the operations necessary for a particular portion of the project.
The other batch of changes involves revolutionary changes. These occur as a result of drastic structural changes, new technology, huge increase in capacity, new business acquisition and implementation of a strategy. These changes mainly include the following; Reengineering is one of such changes. This is a process by which managers redesign a bundle of tasks into roles and functions so that organizational effectiveness is achieved. By doing so, dramatic improvements in critical measures of performance like cost, quality and service are expected. This leads to a radical rethink about the business processes adopted. E-engineering also is a revolutionary change. This refers to the attempts of companies to make use of all kinds of information systems, to make their functions efficient. New information systems are installed for conducting all business processes in the organization. The use of electronic communication within the organization enables frequent interactions between employees and results in better communication. Meetings are conducted through teleconferencing which saves a lot of time. Data has repositories that are accessible, transferable and updatable instantly and used by all concerned. Cross-functional workflows make it easier to coordinate activities. The increase in efficiency makes the organization to meet customers’ requirements faster. Restructuring is another revolutionary change. This is an attempt to change authority and task relationships of managers. The move from the functional form or a standard division structure, to combine or divide areas of control and authority to facilitate better coordination and or workflow can be restructuring. The process phases out some jobs and combines others. This mainly helps in reducing the bureaucratic costs. Innovation is also a revolutionary change. This involved a successful use of skills and resources in such a way that their response to customers’ needs to be effective. Changes in technology have made computers cheaper, faster and more user friendly. This has made a thorough change in the skills of employees and managers. Every company needs to adopt new methods, find them, and make them relevant in the changing world. Every department’s aim will therefore, be to improve its performance with adoption of new methods. A culture that promotes this thought across the organization is the best
way to benefit from it. For promotion, suitable people have to be selected, trained, empowered and rewarded. A thorough change in the way problems are solved is needed.
QN.5. WRITE A DETAILED NOTE ON REVIEW TEMPLATES AND POST REVIEW ACTIVITIES. ANS: Each project management review meeting starts with an introduction of the face to face and meet me call participants and an opportunity for general comments. The remainder of the review meeting focuses on six categories of information- general overview, status of action items from prior review, project status, issues and risks, project unique information. Here electronic templates are used to assist project staff in the preparation of the project management review briefings – first time reviews, ongoing reviews and samples. The templates serve as a means of standardizing the reporting requirements and enabling a common set of criteria for evaluating the health and progress of the departments’ corporate and major information systems. These templates may contain various information as will be discussed below; General overview of the project is one of the components of such templates. This category sets the stage for the remainder of the information provided during the review. Four slides are usually included in this set. For a first time review, all four slides should be covered. In subsequent reviews, the slides should be included only if any of the information has changed. Slide six may need to be provided the first quarter of each fiscal year, since it documents the objectives by year and is required in ongoing reviews, if information has changed. Status of action items from prior review are the other review templates. This slide provides accountability and closure for issues or action items that were raised during the prior review. Issues and action items are listed in the review report that is distributed after the review by the staff. The project manager is expected to check this list in preparation for the current review, include all listed items on the slide, and provide the status of each item. Issues and action items that are closed during the period from the prior review to the current review should be reported in addition to any items that remain open. Project status reports are also included in review templates. This category focuses on the management approach used for the project. Information presented in this category should cover things like; the project plan and dares planned to achieve the project objectives.
The first time review slides for the project status section should be reviewed at the start of each fiscal year to determine if project changes warrant their inclusion in the first quarter ongoing review. Project schedule or decision points are included in these review templates. The project plan and project should demonstrate the inclusion of plans to address known or likely obstacles, and identified points where decisions or involvement bay the CIO or the project manager’s management is necessary. It should include expected achievement dates for the item performance metrics, requirements, and review items. Other important data to be included may contain; developing funding status, estimated total cost, maintenance funding status, return on investment, product status, issues and risks among others. All this provide reliable information to develop perfect review templates that are very important for performance analysis. Post review activities. Once the project management review has been conducted, follow up with project managers on any issues requiring attention, the status of open items from the review, and CIO reporting actions. Post review activities are mainly three as explained below; Issues requiring attention is one of the post review activities. The project manager is responsible for raising issues or concerns that require assistance or guidance to the attention of the CIO. These items should be communicated whenever they become known, and not held to the next project management review. The CIO will assign appropriate OCIO staff available to help resolve open items. The project manager should communicate the status of these items in each quarterly review until the items are resolved or closed. Another post review activity is the status of open items from review. The project manager is responsible for tracking the open items from the review and communicating the status in each quarterly review until the items are closed. The supporting schedules of reviews will coordinate with the project manager after the quarterly reviews to help ensure that new items have been captured for tracking and action by the project manager.
CIO reports are also prepared. The staff supporting the CIO quarterly reviews will prepare a summary report after each project management review. The summary report will include information like; summary status, open issues, status performance, and status of schedule. This report will be provided to the project manager to gain concurrence on the content. The summary report will be used by the CIO when reporting status to the CIO council.
QN.6. WRITE A DETAILED NOTE ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF APPLICATION SOFTWARE AND SUPPORT SOFT WARE. ANS: Application soft ware: Fundamentals of application soft ware include the Odette documentation system specifications. The intent of this document is to define the structure of the documentation system, its content, the method of content generation and to attain common documentation of all standard processes of Odette. This also includes defining the process documentation system, model, object and symbol specifications, description of models and objects, process chain, model integration and model navigation , to mention but a few. Methodology and concepts must also be developed for application software. This includes the ARIS web publisher used to create HTLM- pages of the models that can be released in the internet or intranet and displayed via the internet explorer. This also consists of the master global materials management operations guidelines, strategy an, and production and product control. The last is project management using software. The Microsoft project family of products offers tools to work on a project from management point of view. Microsoft project is designed for people who manage projects independently and do not require the capability to manage resources from a central repository. Microsoft has a team project management solution that enables project managers and their teams to collaborate on projects. After the final project, a baseline has to be created to compare the original project plan with actual events and achievements. The baseline is reviewed, progress tracked, workloads balanced, variances monitored and reports created. Support software. The fundamentals of support software include the philosophy of supply chain management. The entire inter – company supply network is driven by customer demand. The increased reaction speed and flexibility of the supply network offers the necessary benefits. Where ever applicable, the multi-tier concepts are enabled. Integrated inter-company processes are needed to collect and share relevant data.
It also includes the introduction to supply chain monitoring. This enables establishment of a system aligned with an organization’s supply chain. Its main objective is the; prevention of stock-out and over supply, early warnings, elimination of bull-whip effect and optimize allocation in bottleneck situations due to network- wide inventory and demand transparency. Writing a business plan. It might sometimes seem difficult for an organization to straightaway launch into a project management exercise, even if they are equipped, particularly if the project is too large. In this case the core project team itself might feel the need to have some major inputs before even a tentative plan could be drawn up. A well-drafted business plan would ideally serve this purpose, provided it is handled systematically and professionally. Overview. The documentation system is intranet based to provide immediate access to current, up-todate process documentation. The system allows users to navigate through graphical structures to relevant documentation and processes which were created with the ARIS-Toolset.
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