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What is Project Management?

Project Management Unit, Lecture 1

LSU 07/02/2004

What is PM?

What is a project?
A project is a complex, non-routine, one-time effort limited by time, budget, resources, and performance specification designed to meet specific needs.
Examples include construction of a chemistry department building, holding a teacher development workshop, creating a new French dining experience

Projects generally have a particular set of characteristics in common

A clearly stated objective A specific life span with beginning and end Multiple departments or people working together Usually something that has never been done before Must be done within specific time, cost and performance requirements
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Project Characteristics
A clearly stated objective
The scope / goals should be well constrained and definitive, providing a singular purpose for the project

A specific life span with beginning and end

The project life-cycle phases include design, development, fabrication, testing and operation

Multiple departments or people working together

Includes people with different expertise working as a team, coordinating their effort to address the project needs

Usually something that has never been done before

The effort associated with a project is non-routine and, to a greater or lesser extent, has unique features

Specific time, cost and performance requirements

Constraints drive accountability and can force trade-offs
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Two End Points in a Project


A miracle occurs

How does this miracle occur??

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Why manage a project?

Accomplish objectives of project within constraints Balancing trade-offs between time, cost and performance
These three constraints can be mutually exclusive An effective balance is necessary for project success

Anticipating, identifying and handling the unexpected

Unexpected events will happen throughout a project (Murphys Law) Risk planning is an essential component to project management

Taking into account unique project features

As project complexity increases coordination and risk also increase New technology development is usually associated with increased risk and complexity

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What is PM?

Basic Management Structures

Management structured along functional units
Tasks are allocated across and managed within existing functional units (i.e. engineering, manufacturing)

Dedicated project team structure

Create independent team composed of specialists to focus exclusively on project

Matrix structure with project team members drawn from functional units
Hybrid form where horizontal project management is overlaid across functional units Staff are members of both the project team and function units
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Management Structure Issues

Functional management structure
Maximum flexibility in staff use Slow response due to communication difficulty Appropriate for simple or organizations with few projects

Project team management structure

Maximum cohesion and focus provides fast response Resistance to outsiders and constrained staff expertise Appropriate for complex or organizations with many projects

Matrix management structure

Improved staff flexibility and team cohesion Potential management conflicts where team participants have multiple bosses Effective in many instances
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Culture Affects Management

System of shared beliefs, values & assumptions There are 10 primary characteristics
1. Identify with organization as whole rather than individual job or field 2. Activities organized around groups rather than individuals 3. Decisions take into account outcomes on people in organization 4. Units coordinate operations or are independent 5. Degree that rules & policies oversee and control behavior 6. Degree people encouraged to be innovative and risk seeking 7. Rewards based upon performance or factors not related to performance 8. Degree that conflicts and criticisms are aired openly 9. Decisions based upon outcomes or means to achieve those results 10. Degree that external environment changes are taken into account
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Culture Supportive of Project Management

Not at either extreme Balance needs of task and people Balance means & ends Working in teams Identifying with the overall organization High risk and conflict tolerance Loose control Performance based rewards
Figure from Project Management by Gray and Larson

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What is PM?

Choice of Management Structure

The form and details of the project management structure are highly dependent upon organization culture Cultures that encourage cooperation, risk taking and is tolerant of conflicts
Need less formal authority and fewer dedicated resources Weaker project management structure can be effective Functional matrix structure can be used

Cultures that inhibit collaboration, is risk adverse, and has low conflict tolerance
Need stronger authority and more dedicated resources to overcome difficulties Project manager needs central authority & command of resources Dedicated project team structure is needed
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Project Team Leadership

Good project managers need to not only cope with the logistical & technical complexities, but be able to lead the team through the uncertainties and changes that will occur during the project Understand who the project stakeholders are and their points of view concerning the project. Be able to establish influential relationships with team members and stakeholders. Lead by example to show others how to act and respond to project related issues. Exercise influence in a manner that builds and sustains the trust of others.

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What is PM?


People inside & outside of the project have different views
Success criteria Needs from project Contributions to project

Figure from Project Management by Gray and Larson

It is necessary to identify all the stakeholders and understand their viewpoint

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Establishing Influence
In the real world actions by individuals almost always can not be commanded. Influence is a non-monetary currency that can be traded and used to affect action (i.e. quid pro quo). A good leader will naturally build influential relationships with all stakeholders.
Providing resources, assistance, cooperation, information Acknowledging accomplishments, providing visibility Inspiring others with a vision, with standards of excellence and ethical behavior Listening to others issues, providing friendship & emotional backing Sharing tasks, letting others have ownership, expressing appreciation
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Lead by Example
By her own actions, a project manager will demonstrate to others how they should work on a project.
Performance Ethics Priorities Cooperation Problem solving Urgency

Setting the example also establishes competency and builds trust

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Figure from Project Management by Gray and Larson


Stages of Team Development

Forming: Get acquainted stage when ground rules, roles and interpersonal relations are established Storming: Conflict stage when group control, decision making, group & project constraints are contested Norming: Stage when close relationships develop and the group demonstrates cohesiveness Performing: Established expectations of how to work together and the group begins channeling energy into achieving project goals Adjourning: Attention is focus on completing the project and could include conflicting emotions
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Building a Project Team

Early on establish ground rules such as the following
How will the project be planned? What will be the specific roles and responsibilities? How will progress be assessed and tracked? How will project changes be documented and instituted? How, when and where will meetings be scheduled and run?

Conduct project meetings that are regular, crisp, have a focused agenda and are time constrained Establish a team identify and create a shared vision Facilitate group decisions by identifying underlying problems, generating alternate solutions, fostering a consensus and following-up on solution implementation Accepting, managing and encouraging functional conflict
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Project Team Pitfalls

Project teams and managers need to be aware of various pitfalls that can lead to poor decisions. A team can become convinced that its decisions are infallible. Fail to examine alternate solutions and problems that might arise from the current plan. Stereotype outsiders negatively so that external concerns, issues or solutions remain unconsidered. Opposition by a member to a particular direction or solution might be repressed by the team.
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Project Management The Managerial Process by Clifford F. Gray and Erik W. Larson, 2nd Edition, Published by McGraw-Hill / Irwin, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NT, 10020, 2003

LSU 07/02/2004

What is PM?