SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENT PDF
Project managers find success using a structured ap- proach to project planning, scheduling, resourcing, decision making, and management. This course isn't. Publishing a book is a project, and for Successful Project Manage- ment, I was fortunate to work with a team that has the can-do attitude that every project. PDF | With project managers in short supply and increasing pressures to identify potential project staff internally within the organisation, more.
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Project Characteristics. Management Knowledge and Skills .. . Project Management Institute Overview. management skills. • Better understand how ongoing risk identification impacts a project's success. • Gain tools to assist in your firm's support. This chapter presents an overview of project management concepts. You will will improve your chances of successful project completion and management.
The central objective of this study is to improve the level of project delivery in Nigeria, through the identification and integration of the critical success factors of projects into the project management system of projects, by way of designs, cost and time estimates as well as implementation of the above schedules during project execution.
In order to test the statistical validity of effects of answers obtained on the above question to successful project delivery, the following hypothetical proposition is tested: H Adequate application of the critical success factors of project management does not lead to significant positive improvement in project delivery.
Ntamere defined project management as managing and directing time, materials and costs to complete a particular project in an orderly and economical manner, so as to meet established objectives in time, budgeted amount and to achieve technical results. A project has a defined starting point and a technical point. Project management hence, is perceived as having developed out of the growing necessity to deal with the growing complexity of inter-disciplinary transaction in organization.
According to Butler , 'modern executives must be cognizant of the myriad of non-structured undertakings required to complete a project within time, cost and performance parameters'. The status of these projects may vary from conception to completion. As the executive learns that he cannot keep track on all work efforts for which he is responsible. Ndiomu opined that 'whatever the size of a project and how properly the project is planned, proper management guarantees the success of the project while Nwankwo argued that 'a good manager can take a deficient organizational structure work.
In reality then, a project is one of several subsystems in an organization. Samaras and Yensuang further outlined the responsibilities of the project manager within the project management process to include: i.
Establish project objectives ii. Defines tasks iii. Identify interdependencies Iv. Set milestones v. Allocate resources vi. Assign responsibility and accountability vii Monitor performance Project management does not operate in a vacuum but in an organizational arrangement.
And the task of the project manager is to implement the project objectives within the framework of the organization structure provided for the project. The project organization is seen here as focal, since it provides total project visibility, it is integrative in nature and becomes the hub of all activities, both internal and external which affects the project.
It is a management mechanism and does not replace the functional activities of the various departments; it supplements them. Managers use implementation to make planned changes in organizations by creating environments in which changes can survive and be rooted.
Implementation is a procedure directed by a manager to install planned changes in an organization. There is widespread agreement that managers are the key process actors and that the intent of implementation is to install planned changes, whether they be novel or routine.
However, procedural steps in implementation have been difficult to specify because implementation is ubiquitous. Amachree made several important distinctions pertinent to these processes of planned change, identifying four procedures called the entrepreneurial, exploration, control and implementation sub processes.
Successful Project Management, 4th Edition (with Microsoft Project CD-ROM)
From this perspective, implementation can be viewed as a procedure used in planning change process that lays out steps taken by the entire stakeholders to support change. Kerzner, summarized as follows: a. Minimizing the need for continuous reporting c. Identification of time limits for scheduling. Identification of a methodology for trade-off analysis. Measurement of accomplishment against plans. Early identification of problems so that corrective action may follow. Improved estimating capability for planning.
Knowing when objectives cannot be met or will be exceeded. Therefore, the project manager has the duty to control the company's resources within time, cost and performance.
For some companies, it means manpower, money, equipment i. The project manager has to devote more time on human, financial, and technical variables as the key to the realization of project implementation. From available literature, it is apparent that the following determinants are capable of affecting project implementation in the states in review if not handled with care. This in-exhaustive list includes: 1. Escalation of project cost due to inflation 2. Difficulty in payment to contractors due to bureaucracy in government parastatals.
Contractors performing below standard and expectation. Frequent changes in government. Increase in the scope of the project.
Change in pre-contract consultants such as architects. Ineffective project finance arrangement 8. Reorganization of the parastatals. Change in the original design Indiscriminate award of contracts without reference to funds available, location etc. Projects and contracts determined on political considerations. Poor planning or shoddy work by architects.
Specification of costly and imported materials Are the goals clear, and can they succeed? Project mission has been found to refer to the condition where the goals of the project mission has been found and understood. Beck considers project management as not only dependent on top management for authority, direction and support, but ultimately the conduit for implementing top management plans, or goals for the organization.
Pinto and Slevin , has drawn parallels between the stages of the implementation process. The first step in the moving stage. For instance, Anyanwu found that the degree, to which clients are personally involved in the implementation process, will cause a great variation in their support for that project. Anyanwu viewed client consultant as the first stage of a programme to implement change.
It is often required throughout the life cycle of the project Schultz, Pinto and Slevin warns that: it would be dangerous for the project manager to assume that since client consultant was satisfactory at an early stage, this activity could be ignored for the remainder of the project.
Nwachukwu, However, an unfortunate situation could develop, as Pinto and Slevin observed: in many situations, personnel for the project team are chosen with less-than-full regard for the skills necessary to actively contribute to the success of implementation.
Locus as an implementation strategist, discusses the importance of user participation in the early stages of a system development as a way of improving the likelihood of later acceptance. Wilson opposed the use of intermediaries to act as liaison between the design, or implementation team and the projects potential user as a method to aid in client acceptance.
Making allowances for adequate monitoring and feedback channels between the model builder and user. Communication as Pinto and Slevin opined is not only essential within the project team itself, but between the team and the rest of the organization as well as with the client.
Communication to provide feedback and technical evaluation to areas outside the project within the host organization tends to be highly specialized for more effectively managed research projects.
Pinto and Slevin , it was cautioned that each team should obtain technically competent people with the specific assignment to deal with problems when and wherever they arise, and to foresee, and possibly forestall potential trouble areas in the implementation process.
Project managers tag some projects successful even though they have been poorly received by the intended clients and used well below capacity.
Gido J., Clements J.P. Successful Project Management
Yet some projects exist which when first installed, were perceived as failures but have come to be viewed as major successes with time. Dvir opined in a study that project success are usually measured in terms of meeting planning goals, customer benefitting and overall measure of success. Pinto and Slevin observed that project managers are constrained either by company policy or personal rule of thumb to resort to simplistic formula in rating project success or failure.
Benjamin in his work also identifies four success factors to consider in designing an effective project management system, they include: i.
Definition of objectives ii. Allocation of responsibility iii. Co-ordination of activities iv. Staffing the project A study by Baker, et al strongly confirms the importance of including client satisfaction within any measure of project success.
After sampling six hundred and fifty project managers, the researcher concluded that project success is something much more than simply meeting cost, schedules and performance specifications. In fact, client satisfaction with the formal result has a great deal to do with the perceived success or failure of the project. Findings from the above research support the following definitions of project success. Perception plays a strong role in this definition. Good scheduled and cost performance means very little in the face of a poor performing end product'.
It may be shown that in many ways, measures of project and implementation success are parallel and complement each other. Consequently, Pinto and Slevin suggested that a synthesis of the measures of success in the fields has the potential to present a more accurate, comprehensive, and useful model of project success. The value of this model is that it suggests an alternative to project assessment at a stage just after the project has been completed and commissioned and a large part of the assessment of success relates to the importance of the project upon the intended users, the clients.
Besides, the study also adopted a deterministic approach by way of response weighting, maximum likelihood extraction, and varimax rotation for iterations, Kaiser Normalization and regression analysis to analyze and rank the critical issues.
To this end a total of fifty 50 respondents were sampled, and valid responses were gotten from only forty one 41 of them. This therefore constituted the sample size for analysis.
Twelve 12 factors of project success as identified in the literature were used in developing the questionnaire. The process of administration is the personal interview contact, which allows for a one-on -one approach in asking and answering of the questions. X3 4 Existence of use of scientific Project Management tools and techniques. In analyzing, the data collected, weighted score of respondents to each of the success factors were generated.
For the purpose of this study, factor analytical techniques were adopted to assess the significance of the twelve factors affecting project management success. Factor analysis is a method of quantitative multivariate analysis with the goal of representing the interrelationships among a set of continuously measured variables usually represented by their interrelationships by a number of underlying linearly independent reference variables called factors.
Factor analysis therefore seeks to collapse the numerous operating variables into fewer dimensions of interrelated attributes called principal components. The eigenvalue determines the principal components, which are orthogonally varimax, rotated to obtain more evenly distributed variables among the components.
Some roots of this characteristic equation may be repeated and we talk about the algebraic multiplicity of the eigenvalue in the same way as the multiplicity of roots of polynomials. No one likes to have to modify his commitments. However, if the reality is that the initial commitments won't be achieved, let's not pretend that they will up until the moment of unfortunate truth. Planning the Project Tip 5: Write a plan Some people believe the time spent writing a plan could be better spent writing code, but I don't agree.
The hard part isn't writing the plan. The hard part is actually doing the planning-thinking, negotiating, balancing, asking, listening, and thinking some more. Actually writing the plan is mostly transcription at that point. The time you spend analysing what it will take to solve the problem will reduce the number of surprises you have to cope with later in the project.
Today's multi-site and cross-cultural development projects demand even more careful planning and tracking than do traditional projects undertaken by a co-located team. A useful plan is much more than a schedule or work breakdown structure of tasks to perform.
It also includes: Staff, budget, and other resource estimates and plans. Team roles and responsibilities. How you will acquire and train the necessary staff. Assumptions, dependencies, and risks. Descriptions of, and target dates for, major deliverables. Identification of the software development life cycle that you'll follow. How you will track and monitor the project. Metrics that you'll collect.
How you will manage any subcontractor relationships. Your organisation should adopt a standard software project plan template, which can be tailored for various kinds of projects. This standard describes a comprehensive template, sufficient for the largest projects.
Study this template to see what sections would make sense for the types and sizes of projects that you work on.
If you commonly tackle different kinds of projects, such as major new product development as well as small enhancements, adopt a separate project plan template for each. Avoid overburdening small projects with excessive documentation that adds little value. The project plan should be no any longer nor more elaborate than necessary to make sure you can successfully execute the project.
But always write a plan. Tip 6: Decompose tasks to inch-pebble granularity Inch-pebbles are miniature milestones get it? Breaking large tasks into multiple small tasks helps you estimate them more accurately, reveals work activities you might not have thought of otherwise, and permits more accurate, fine-grained status tracking. Select inch-pebbles of a size that you feel you can estimate accurately.
I feel most comfortable with inch-pebbles that represent tasks of about 5 to 15 labour-hours, or about one to three days in duration. Overlooked tasks are a common contributor to schedule slips, so breaking large problems into small bits reveals more details about the work that must be done and improves your ability to make accurate estimates. You can track progress based on the number of inch-pebbles that have been completed at any given time, compared to those you planned to complete by that time.
Defining the project's work in terms of inch-pebbles is an aid to tracking status through earned value analysis [Lewis, ]. The earned value technique compares the investment of effort or dollars that you've made to date with progress as measured by completed inch-pebbles.
Tip 7: Develop planning worksheets for common large tasks If your team frequently undertakes certain common tasks, such as implementing a new object class, executing a system test cycle, or performing a product build, develop activity checklists and planning worksheets for these tasks. Each checklist should include all of the steps the large task might need. These checklists and worksheets will help each team member identify and estimate the effort associated with each instance of the large task he must tackle.
People work in different ways and no single person will think of all the necessary tasks, so engage multiple team members in developing the worksheets. Using standard worksheets will help the team members adopt common processes that they can tune up as they gain experience. Tailor the worksheets to meet the specific needs of individual projects.
Tip 8: Plan to do rework after a quality control activity I've seen project task lists in which the author assumed that every testing experience will be a success that lets you move into the next development activity. However, almost all quality control activities, such as testing and peer reviews, find defects or other improvement opportunities. Your project schedule or work breakdown structure should include rework as a discrete task after every quality control activity.
Base your estimates of rework time on previous experience. For example, you might have historical inspection data indicating that, on average, your developers find 25 defects per thousand lines of code by inspection and that it costs an average of 40 minutes to fully repair each code defect.
You can crunch these kinds of numbers to come up with average expected rework effort for various types of work products. If you don't actually have to do any rework after a test, great; you're ahead of schedule on that task. Don't count on it, though. Tip 9: Manage project risks If you don't identify and control project risks, they will control you. A risk is a potential problem that could affect the success of your project, a problem that hasn't happened yet, and you'd like to keep it that way [Wiegers, ].
Risk management has been identified as one of the most significant best practices for software development [Brown, ]. Simply identifying the possible risk factors isn't enough. You also have to evaluate the relative threat each one poses so you can focus your risk management energy where it will do the most good.
Risk exposure is a combination of the probability that a specific risk could materialise into a problem and the negative consequences for the project if it does. To manage each risk, select mitigation actions to reduce either the probability or the impact.
You might also identify contingency plans that will kick in if your risk control activities are not effective. Suppose you are concerned that your top developer might move to Australia to be with her new boyfriend. Consider the following actions: Pay her more money, offer to hire the boyfriend, or give her more vacation time to fly to Australia periodically reduces probability.
Keep her on as a telecommuting employee or contractor, have her document her work, or have her impart her specialised knowledge to other employees reduces impact. Line up a consultant or contract specialist to replace her if she leaves anyway contingency plan. A risk list does not replace a plan for how you will identify, prioritise, control, and track risks.
Incorporate risk tracking into your routine project status tracking. Record which risks materialised and which mitigation actions were effective for reference on future projects.
Tip Plan time for process improvement Your team members are already swamped with their current project assignments, but if you want the group to rise to a higher plane of software engineering capability, you'll have to invest some time in process improvement [Wiegers, ]. Set aside some time from your project schedule, because software project activities should include making process changes that will help your next project be even more successful.
Don't allocate percent of your team members' available time to project tasks and then wonder why they don't make any progress on the improvement initiatives.
Some process changes can begin to pay off immediately, whereas you won't reap the full return on your investment in other improvements until the next project.
View process improvement as a strategic investment in the sustained effectiveness of your development organisation. I liken process improvement to highway construction: it slows everyone down a little bit for a time, but after the work is done, the road is a lot smoother and the throughput greater.
Tip Respect the learning curve The time and money you spend on training, reading and self-study, consultants, and developing improved processes are part of the investment your organisation makes in project success. Recognise that you'll pay a price in terms of a short-term productivity loss when you first try to apply new processes, tools, or technologies. Don't expect to get fabulous benefits from new software engineering approaches on the first try, no matter what the tool vendor's literature or the methodology consultant's brochure claims.
Instead, build extra time into the schedule to account for the inevitable learning curve. Make sure your managers and customers understand the learning curve and accept it as an inescapable consequence of working in a rapidly changing, high-technology field.
Estimating the Work Tip Estimate based on effort, not calendar time People generally provide estimates in units of calendar time.
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I prefer to estimate the effort in labour-hours associated with a task, then translate the effort into a calendar-time estimate. A hour task might take 2. However, it could also take a week if you have to wait for critical information from a customer or stay home with a sick child for two days.
The translation of effort into calendar time is based on estimates of how many effective hours I can spend on project tasks per day, any interruptions or emergency bug fix requests I might get, meetings, and all the other places into which time disappears. If you keep track of how you actually spend your time at work, you'll know how many effective weekly project hours you have available on average [Wiegers, ].
Typically, this is only about 50 to 60 percent of the nominal time people spend at work, far less than the assumed percent effective time on which so many project schedules are planned. Tip Don't schedule multi-tasking people for more than 80 percent of their time The task-switching overhead associated with the many activities we are all asked to do reduces our effectiveness significantly.
Excessive multi-tasking introduces communication and thought process inefficiencies that reduce individual productivity. I once heard a manager say that someone on his team had spent an average of eight hours per week on a particular activity, so she could do five of them at once. In reality, she'll be lucky if she can handle three such tasks. Some people multi-task more efficiently than others.
If some of your team members thrash when working on too many tasks at once, set clear priorities and help them succeed by focusing on just one or two objectives at a time. Tip Build training time into the schedule Estimate how much time your team members spend on training activities annually, and subtract that from the time available for them to work on project tasks.
You probably already subtract out average values for vacation time, sick time, and other assignments; treat training time the same way. Recognise that the high-tech field of software development demands that all practitioners devote time to ongoing education, both on their own time and on the company's time. Arrange just-in-time training when you can schedule it, as the half-life of new technical knowledge is short unless the knowledge is put to use promptly.
Attending a training seminar can be a team-building experience, as project team members and other stakeholders hear the same story about how to apply improved practices to their common challenges. Tip Record estimates and how you derived them When you prepare estimates for your work, write down those estimates and document how you arrived at each of them. Understanding the assumptions and approaches used to create an estimate will make them easier to defend and adjust when necessary.
It will also help you improve your estimation process.
Train the team in estimation methods, rather than assuming that every software developer and project leader is instinctively skilled at predicting the future. Develop estimation procedures and checklists that people throughout your organisation can use. An effective group estimation technique is the Wideband Delphi method [Wiegers, ]. Wideband Delphi builds on the principle that multiple heads are better than one. The Delphi estimation method asks a small team of experts to anonymously generate individual estimates from a problem description and reach consensus on a final set of estimates through iteration.
Figure 2 illustrates the Wideband Delphi process flow. The outputs from the process include a complete list of project and quality-related tasks and an estimate for each task, in whatever units the team chose such as dollars, weeks, or labour-hours.
Participation by multiple estimators and the use of anonymous estimates to prevent one participant from biasing another make the Delphi method more reliable than simply asking a single individual for his best guess. Figure 2: The Wideband Delphi process flow. Tip Use estimation tools Many commercial tools are available to help you estimate entire projects. Based on large databases of actual project experience, these tools can give you a spectrum of possible schedule and staff allocation options.
They'll also help you avoid the "impossible region," combinations of product size, effort, and schedule where no known project has been successful.
The tools incorporate a number of "cost drivers" you can adjust to make the tool more accurately model your project, based on the technologies used, the team's experience, and other factors. Over time, you can calibrate the tool with your own project data to make it an even more reliable predictor of the future. Others include KnowledgePlan www. You can compare the estimates from the tools with the bottom-up estimates generated from a work breakdown structure. Reconcile any major disconnects so you can generate the most realistic overall estimate.
Tip Plan contingency buffers Projects never go precisely as planed. The prudent project manager incorporates budget and schedule contingency buffers also known as management reserve at the end of major phases to accommodate the unforeseen. Use your project risk analysis to estimate the possible schedule impact if several of the risks materialise and build that projected risk exposure into your schedule as a contingency buffer. Even more sophisticated is the use of critical chain analysis, a technique that pools the uncertainties in estimates and risks into a rational overall contingency buffer [Zultner, ].
Your manager or customer might view these contingency buffers as padding, rather than as the sensible acknowledgement of reality that they are. To help persuade skeptics, point to unpleasant surprises on previous projects as a rationale for your foresight. If a manager elects to discard contingency buffers, he has tacitly absorbed all the risks that fed into the buffer and assumed that all estimates are perfect, no scope growth will occur, and no unexpected events will take place.
The reality on most projects is quite different. I'd rather see us deal with reality, however unattractive, than to live in Fantasyland, which leads to chronic disappointments. Tracking Your Progress Tip Record actuals and estimates Someone once asked me where to get historical data to improve her ability to estimate future work.
My answer was, "If you write down what actually happened today, that becomes historical data tomorrow.These 21 project management tips won't guarantee success, but they will help you get a solid handle on your project and ensure that you're doing all you can to make it succeed in an unpredictable world. To manage each risk, select mitigation actions to reduce either the probability or the impact.
Successful Project Management is intended for students as well as for working professionals and volunteers. Don't allocate percent of your team members' available time to project tasks and then wonder why they don't make any progress on the improvement initiatives.
One can look at a product as having been broken down like this:
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